Music journalist and manager Danny Fields, in a piece published on PleaseKillMe.com, remembers spending time with Cassidy at the height of his fame — and at the point when Cassidy started to resent it.
“Like it or not, I had to be publicly cutesy and an eternal virginal teenager, when I was turning 20 in real life,” Cassidy once said to Fields.
“In fact?” Fields asked him.
“In fact, I was a wild f— maniac, banging every girl I could,” Cassidy reportedly said.
Fields, who once managed acts Iggy Pop, the Ramones and Lou Reed, recalls Cassidy saying he felt trapped by his eternally youthful image on TV and aspired to be a serious actor and musician. But he was forced to spend years playing the hits from his show when he'd rather have been making a name for himself.
The retrospective also recounts a turning point in Cassidy's career — a 1974 concert in London, where fans rushed the stage and trampled each other in the White City Stadium. Eight-hundred fans needed medical attention that night, and one passed away from her injuries after being rushed to the hospital.
Fields says that the UK tour was meant to be the end of stadium tours for Cassidy anyway. His stardom had just begun to wane in the US, and his managers had booked the dates across the Atlantic to capitalize on the novelty factor he would have over there. However, Cassidy — who had just turned 24 — didn't want to play his old hits anymore.
“Won’t you miss this life and all this adoration when you retire from touring?” a BBC interviewer asked Cassidy the night before the White City Stadium disaster.
“I’m not retiring,” Cassidy said. “I’m at some kind of height, and it’s a good time to leave. I’m still going to be writing, making records, working all the time. I need to grow.”