I am of the age where I grew up watching The Partridge Family ( a Family Band) on my family’s RCA console TV.
The main star of The Partridge Family was David Cassidy who played Keith Partridge, a teenage idol and heartthrob, both on the TV show and in real life.
As a teenager I knew David Cassidy was popular, but until just the other night, I had no idea just how popular he was worldwide.
David Cassidy performed in front of six (count em – SIX) sold out shows at the famed Wembley Stadium in 1973, in one weekend, a feat which has never been matched.
In a three-year span from 1971-1973, David Cassidy appeared on the cover of Tiger Beat Magazine thirty-four (count em – 34) times.
A charismatic, talented, gifted singer and songwriter, Cassidy worked tirelessly for years, a trait he picked up from his Broadway, good looking, charismatic, talented and gifted singer father, Jack Cassidy.
My interest in David Cassidy reached a fever pitch this week as the documentary “David Cassidy: The Last Session” was aired on A&E TV this week.
My particular attraction to this documentary found its roots in two people who are not named David Cassidy.
John Marks is the Executive Producer of this tragic and yet touching documentary. John and I were classmates together at Davidson College. A gifted, smart, intelligent, sensitive, writer, actor with a great sense of humor elevated only by his sharp cutting sarcasm (a weapon only used when needed in extreme circumstances), John produces a film on David Cassidy worth watching and worthy of the lessons of life found therein.
Secondly, Teri Cotè is featured in the film as she has been David Cassidy’s drummer in his band for years.
About fifteen years ago one evening I boarded a plane heading back to Medford, Oregon (my home airport at the time). As I got ready to sit down on my preferred “aisle” seat, there in the window seat sat a striking young lady with blue jeans, black leather motorcycle boots, a leather vest with a tank top on underneath. I thought to myself, “I don’t even know this lady and I can already tell, she is one cool chick.” I sat down and within seconds we introduced ourselves to one another and before I knew it, there I was sitting next to the drummer for David Cassidy. Teri is an amazing lady whose love and care for David Cassidy, along with her band mates is overwhelmingly evident in documentary. By the way, Teri Cotè is the best drummer in the whole wide world!! I have been privileged and honored to stay in touch with Teri over the last fifteen years.
Both John and Teri are in the film. John as “The Producer.” Teri as “The Drummer.” My heart skipped a beat in seeing both of them on the TV screen! (Yes, I have always been a little starstruck with Hollywood!)
David Cassidy being Jack Cassidy’s son had it tough.
David’s meteoric rise in fame and popularity surpassed anything Jack could have dreamed for himself and David was a mere twenty-three years old.
As David Cassidy points out in the documentary, he only needed, desired, cherished, wanted one thing in life… His father’s blessing!
Even though David’s father died in 1976, and David would live for another forty-two years, he lived out the rest of his life trying to get his father’s blessing.
He never got it…
I was forty-three years old when I was taking my father back to the airport after a weekend of my children getting baptized.
I knew this moment was coming.
My hands were sweating.
My heart was pounding.
My throat constricting.
Finally, I asked the question of my father, of which I had not known the answer for forty-three (count em – 43) years, “Dad, are you proud of me? I need to know. Because I am forty-three years old and I don’t know if you are proud of me.”
My dad’s response was quick and tender, “Oh son… Yes, David, I am very proud of you.”
Knowing firsthand my father’s blessing was like the weight of the universe being lifted off my shoulders!
My dad lived for another four and half years after that day we rode to the airport together. Much to his credit, for the rest of his life he ended every conversation with these words, “Son… I’m very proud of you!”
The scriptures tell us we are “blessed to be a blessing…”
On this Father’s Day weekend, I’m passing the blessing on down to my children.
How about we all do the same!
Not only will they live in peace…
They will rest in peace…
Laugh often and Fear not!
Grace and peace,
Laugh often and Fear not!
Rev. David W. Dendy
Pastor, Mountain View Presbyterian Church
8601 Del Webb Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89134