Monday, July 21, 2008

The Partridge Family - Why Not?

Quentin Tarantino once asked, via 'Pulp Fiction,' "Are you a Beatles or Elvis person?" (When I search deep into my soul, I must say: Elvis.) So it goes for the Brady Bunch or the Partridge Family. Though I once dreamt of becoming a member of the Brady Bunch (the seventh child), I know that I'm basically a Partridge Family person.

The passion! The weirdness! The sardonic manager, Reuben! They practiced in the garage of their suburban San Pueblo, CA home, and had the most laid-back stage mom in the history of show business. They were too polished to be real, or even to be a proper garage band (and why exactly was Bobby Sherman hiding out in the garage during one episode? The 70s were so boss!). But they rocked my Friday nights and looked fine in dark velvet and ruffled shirts.

Memorable incidents included Susan Dey's character, Laurie, receiving radio-transmitted broadcasts through her newly applied braces, causing her to play the wrong keyboard notes during rehearsal; Danny stealing everything his older, cuter, stupider brother Keith owned in order to sell the items to would-be groupies; Shirley Partridge's pixie haircut, which Shirley Jones has worn for the past 60 years (surely a record); and year-round red velour, vested, high-necked stage costumes.

I Can Feel Your Heartbeat - Direct quote by me, at age eight: Keeeeeeeeeith!!!!!!

I Think I Love You - The Partridge Family assert their manly domain over radical feminism. This is why the Equal Rights Ammendment couldn't pass.

Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted - Not since Spanky McFarland of the "Our Gang" comedies had such a precocious kid dominated the small screen. Danny Bonaduce looks for a new family, to no avail. It's all uphill from here, kid.

Bandala - The Family celebrates diversity, but then blow it by replacing their 7-year-old brunette drummer, Chris, with a blond-haired, blue-eyed version the following season. Richard Pryor in the audience, enjoying the cowbell.

\Spike Lee's Crooklyn got 70s childhood right. One of my favorite scenes, featuring I Woke Up In Love This Morning and a box of Lemonheads candy:

The Cowsills - Anything Changes
The Cowsills were to be the Partridge Family but when Shirley Jones was hired over their mother, they refused to do the show. The show's producers said, "Hey, screw you, Cowsills. We'll do the show anyway, with kids who can't sing or play." And they did.

Disclosure: At age seven I owned a Cowsills drum kit and played the drummer in a Partridge Family lip-synch cover band that I formed with my friends. When I couldn't make the performance due to a cold, they told me it went all right anyway. I said, "Without the DRUMS?!"


Tuckers said...

OMG! The pain of those memories! Make it stop! I liked the Partridge Family, but the artificality of it really really confused me. I also think my clothing and hair choices in High School were unconsciously (and unfortunately) driven by Keiths look too.

Every time I used to get a serious fever, I would always hear I Think I Love you running in an endless loop in the back of my brain -- no kidding! Thank the Lord I havent' heard it for so long, it's faded out of my consciousness. Last time it was RadioHead, which sounds kind of feverish on it's own.

Tuckers said...

I was also really into the Cowsills when I was around 5 years old. We used to get the records from the library, and I would play them on my yellow clamshell record player over and over again.

Morningside said...

My co-worker and I were talking about the 1970's and the Partridge Family in particular, when all of a sudden, I sing, "I Think I Love You" and turn around to see the new VP of Sales outside my cubicle waiting to introduce himself to me.

I think it was good for him to see I wasn't too "corporate" for a start-up.

Lisa Mc said...

All these songs have been stuck in my head for two weeks now. What have I done. What. Have. I. DONE???