By Lauren Wise
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When Bill was an altar boy, Father O'Leary wore silk robes with lace fringes. His altar was mahogany with individualized carvings, topped with elegant linens and good silver. The church was stone and had arched ceilings with angels in patented, maternal, sorrowful expressions. O'Leary's sermons were creepy takes on the evils within us and how we project it onto others. It was at once horrifying and uplifting.
When the sermon begins today, the preacher starts by likening Jesus Christ to a major sports figure. His point is that all success can be achieved through "investment" and "belief." He speaks in contrived, self-confident tones that would bode well as patter on a used car lot. He knows his shit because he has the congregation on the edge of their pews and on their knees. He knows exactly what they want to hear. Bill is up and out of there before communion.
He is in the old spiritless Ford speeding past the new suburban cathedrals like banks and malls and car lots. He can't wait to get back to his trailer and share with himself all the evils of the devil like Henry Miller, the Clash, porn and beer. Bill feels redeemed, not through some ham-fisted patriarchal religious dogma but through a relief of just being for the sake of being; a complete spiritual freedom without the reliance on some money-grubbing deity. He realizes then, with some great outward leaps and spirals of pure faith that he now, and unknowingly for the last 20 years, has his own personal religion. One with his own congregation, his own grace, his own faith. Himself. Amen.
Old Trick New Dog
Here is a recipe for a fine album: Loop-driven versions of old glories imbued in sleepy adult-contemporary textures minus any of the sexuality, tension and hipswing of the forbearer. Picture a record made by one who has recently found God. Did Mister Cassidy find God?
The white-soaked blandness of updated Bible-belt versions of "I Think I Love You," "Heartbeat," "I Woke Up in Love This Morning" and "Rickey's Tune" would suggest that he did indeed find the Lord.
Oh fuckin' Lord in heaven.
Anyone who grew up in the Seventies wanted to do David Cassidy; he was the picture of unspoken sex, it dripped from his flowered fingers, hairless chest and unpolluted voice box. Boys questioned their sexuality over his being and girls just creamed. He was pure porn, a sex star disguised by lunch-box covers, TV censors and the screams of 12-year-old girls who at night saw his face replace the unicorns and talking caterpillars as they floated off to warm dreamy sleep with a strange feeling of butterflies between their legs. David beaming into American living rooms on The Partridge Family TV show gave birth to a trillion contrite sex dreams, in girls, boys, their mothers and maybe even fathers. Only a real rock 'n' roll star could do that.
Almost like Jesus. Perhaps, David Cassidy should have died at age 27 or 33?
Contact Bill Blake at his online address: firstname.lastname@example.org