Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
Actor, singer and songwriter David Cassidy may forever be remembered for his role as the character of Keith Partridge in the '70s television series The Partridge Family, which offered him the opportunity to star with his real life stepmother Shirley Jones.
The fictional family scored several hits, including "I Think I Love You," which featured Cassidy on lead vocals and helped him launch a successful music career. He wrote a book about his experience on the show titled C'mon Get Happy: Fear and Loathing On The Partridge Family Bus and more recently Could It Be Forever? My Story in 2007.
Cassidy has acknowledged that through The Partridge Family he gained a strong gay following.
ChicagoPride.com's Jerry Nunn caught up with David Cassidy, who was on the road to Chicago where he'll perform at Northalsted Market Days on Sunday, Aug. 11.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, David. Fans are looking forward to you coming back to Chicago.
DC: (David Cassidy) I am excited for the event itself. It is really a wonderful thing. I am very thrilled that they invited me. I am glad to be a part of it.
JN: There will be a huge turn out like every year at Market Days.
DC: I heard and I am loving that. I have a couple of friends of mine that are coming along. They appreciate the fact that I am supportive of human rights. In my career I started as young boy and I was around a lot of people that were gay and it was unacceptable to come out. There are totally different feelings from the general public now. I was fortunate to be around great people in the theater and my parents very active in the community in New York. It has finally come to a place where the general public is so open and accepting.
My son's generation is totally different than mine. He's 22. A bunch of his friends are gay and lesbian. I've been around so many people that don't care what a person's preference is so it is a beautiful thing to celebrate that with open arms and embrace it from a social stand point. It is a human rights stand point for me.
JN: Are you bringing your band with you?
DC: Oh yeah. They have been with me for over a decade. It is an amazing band. I was also trying to get the band Dead or Alive to come with me. I was in England and actually had a hit the same time that Pete Burns had "You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)." I saw him on YouTube recently and it is shocking how he looks these days. I thought it would be really campy to bring him out for this show.
JN: That would great.
DC: Wouldn't it be awesome? I remember seeing him back in those days and to see him now is totally different in every possible way. To each his own and to feel openly free about whatever your sexuality may be is fine with me providing it is not harmful or criminal.
JN: They compare your teen icon time in the spotlight to Justin Bieber. What advice would you give him?
DC: It is very difficult to give advice to someone unless you live it like I've lived it. I used to say this to anybody who chooses to go and become an artist, actor, musician, or writer, be true to yourself. Now there is much more personal and artistic freedom these days.
I said this when Zac Efron was coming up big. It is not my world. I did it during my decade and as big as I could have done it. I walked away from it at the top playing stadiums. I think that was the biggest reason I was able to carry on and have a completely different career. Playing live is the most exciting part of it for me. I have loved making movies and television but for me though getting in front of a live audience is really exciting. I am going to do a couple of special things for Market Days that I have never done before. I haven't decided on what that might be yet but it will be something spectacular.
JN: I watched Celebrity Apprentice and wish you had been on there longer.
DC: Well thank you for that but I was really thrilled to get off!
JN: Really? You didn't seem very cutthroat from what I saw anyways.
DC: Are you kidding? Working around those slime bags... they were backstabbing and nasty people. It starts from the top to the bottom, my friend. Often I say with corporations or companies, the fish stinks from the head down! You can make of that whatever you choose to...
JN: I don't agree with Donald Trump's stance on gay marriage but he was very polite to me on the phone when we have chatted.
DC: Good. If he was polite to you then that is your experience. I never had an issue with him. I always try to take the high road with people anyways.
JN: Have you read the Shirley Jones book that is coming out?
DC: No, and I have no idea about it. The only thing I know is someone from the company that was sold the bill of goods said they needed to put some spicy, controversial, staggering gossip kind of crap in there because she is not that kind of a person but I am sure her husband had something to do with that.
JN: I read your book and it was great to see a behind the scenes of how hard you worked.
DC: Thanks, I appreciate that.
JN: During the run of The Partridge Family you worked hard touring at the same time.
DC: I was fried emotionally, personally, and physically by the time it was finished. It was eighteen hours a day, seven days a week. However I'm blessed to have had the experience. I have been able to touch so many people's lives. I want to put an end to demystification of what I do. I'm really just a regular guy.
JN: Do you keep in touch with other stars from The Partridge Family?
DC: No, but I would. A couple of years ago we did the Today Show as a reunion. I don't think Susan Dey even acknowledges she was in it. I believe she has retired. No one has seen her for 20 years. She married an elderly guy who was 20 years her senior.
Danny Bonaduce and I see each other. We saw each other a lot more when he was in Philadelphia and I was in New York. We would hang out together. He has married a great girl. He moved to Seattle and is doing a morning show there. He's very funny and I love the guy. I know so much about him that people will never see. When you see him as a little boy showing up to perform and knowing his father beat him up the night before, you have a different perspective and certainly a lot more compassion for him. He's a very bright and talented guy.
JN: Do you have more Broadway shows in the works?
DC: If the right project comes along. I got pretty close last year. It would have to be a great project. I loved being brought up around New York and did four shows there, some were really close to my heart. I just don't want to live my life to work anymore. I want to work and do what I do but I don't want to devote my entire life to it now, being on vocal silence and not exerting myself too much. You show up at the theater an hour and a half before you go on to start your stretching and icing your back, which I did every day. You have to have devotion to go through with it. Doing so many shows in Vegas while producing and promoting was a lot. I don't want to be a slave to the work. I want to enjoy it. I don't go out and do long tours now. I do two or three shows then relax for a while. It is a much more balanced life.
David Cassidy will perform the Northalsted Market Days North Stage at 6:45 p.m. Sunday, August 11.
Northalsted Market Days opens Saturday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. and runs through 10 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 along North Halsted St. between Belmont Ave. and Addison St. There is a suggested $8 gate donation to benefit the Northalsted Business Alliance. The entertainment lineup also includes Wilson Phillips, Kat Graham, David Cassidy, Lynda Carter and 10,000 Maniacs.