A young George Michael interviewed David Cassidy about stardom, struggling with fame, and doing a comeback that was published in the June 1985 issue of the Ritz fashion magazine. Below is the full transcript of the interview:
- When George Michael Interviewed David Cassidy (Ritz Magazine, 1985)
- George Michael Interview of David Cassidy (Part 2)
- George Michael Interview of David Cassidy (Part 3)
- George Michael Interview of David Cassidy (Part 4)
- George Michael Interview of David Cassidy (Part 5)
The interview between David and George first took place over lunch at Pier 31 Restaurant, at which they were both got rather inebriated … so much so that they endeavored a second, more successful meeting at David’s house the following week ….
I first met David Cassidy in early 1984 at one of London’s more prestigious (i.e. posey) restaurants. The dinner was arranged by our mutual publisher, Dick Leahy, who told me that David was seriously considering making a comeback. (It’s a horrible word, but at least it has a ring of confidence, which is an ingredient sorely needed when approaching such a mountainous task.)
At the time, I was having a particularly hard time coming to terms with my own position in the public eye. Consequently, I could think of no reason why an artist who had seen the mayhem of the early ‘70s (which many people do not realise was a huge phenomenon in comparison to the reported scenes of ‘hysteria’ today), should want to strike up a new relationship with the music business. I was also keen to find out whether a man introduced to such a ridiculous business at a tender age of 18 (well, he looked tender, didn’t he?) and subjected to all distortions for a solid six years, had actually retained his SANITY …
Luckily for him, and somewhat encouragingly for me, DAVID CASSIDY appears to be a well-balanced and happy individual. The effect of these six years, though sometimes very apparent, are inoffensive, even engaging, and after all he is an American.
DAVID and I have met on several occasions between that meal and this interview, we’ve become friends and I think I can confidently say that, as far as the man himself is concerned, being DAVID CASSIDY is no problem at all.
GM: Have you got any plans as to what you’ll do if you take off anything like the proportions you did last time? What would you do this time round? What would you do differently, because obviously you started differently, you have control?
DC: Relative control. (Laughs)
GM: OK – We won’t talk about last week…
DC: No, we won’t talk about last week! Well, obviously it’s important for me this time around that people get a true sense of who I am as opposed to a commercial sense, because I became successful last time from a TV series. I have no intentions of doing anything like The Partridge Family ever again.
GM: So, what you’re saying is basically that the last time, the personality that you were landed with was simply The Partridge Family personality?
DC: Well, when you see somebody on the TV screen and he’s playing a part as an actor of this all-American good guy, who doesn’t do anything wrong or use naughty words, and he’s very safe and scrubs his teeth three times a day. I did a lot of that, and I think when you see him on the back of the cornflake boxes, it’s difficult to get anything from that except, well this is who that person is. I think because of the kind of merchandising that was done in a blatantly commercial sense, DAVID CASSIDY was that poster that was up on the girls’ walls, and he was sexually non-threatening. I don’t think I was really able ever to come through that.
GM: Don’t you find that if your image was one thing, if you have been created or are part of something which creates an image, that when you try to do anything which is even vaguely upsetting to that image, even though it’s really you, people see it as false, which is very frustrating, obviously?
DC: I think because of the time that has lapsed – in terms of eight years not making a record and not being a basically public person, I think that people are a lot more forgiving and a lot more willing to look and say, “Well, who is this guy?” This album is more revealing as to who I am. There aren’t a handful of poppy tunes that have nothing to do with what moves me, or where my passion is, and the songs that I’ve written on it are about that.
GM: Do you have any real worries of being taken as light pop again, or is it basically that you don’t want to be seen as the teen thing again?
DC: Yes, the music speaks for itself. You let it go, and put it on the radio and people perceive it exactly how they want to perceive it. Some people might listen to this album and think, “Jesus, it’s deep and it’s heavy,” and other people might listen to it and think, “Oh no, why did I record that”, which I used to do.
GM: I think the problem these days in a situation like that is that unless the music you put to those lyrics, or whatever you’re singing is blatantly non-commercial, then nobody gives a fuck what you’re singing about.
DC: I agree
GM: I think that’s probably even more the case than it was 10 years ago. I mean, you have to decide what you want.
DC: I want success again. I wouldn’t be doing it otherwise. I understand the commitment to the music business. It’s two words, it’s the music and now it’s “the business’, which is what you and I are doing.
- An Audience with George Michael: Interview with Chris Evans (1996)
- George Michael Interview on the David Letterman Show (1998)
- George Michael Interview of David Cassidy (Part 3)
- George Michael Interview on Parkinson Show 1998 (Part 2)
- ‘Souled Out: George Michael’ Published in Interview Magazine (1988)