Stone Soul Partridge

Doesn't somebody want to be Laurie?

NT: Playing the air piano can really take its toll.

Stone: I know! In the pilot, I tried to kind of look like I was really playing the piano, and they're like, basically, "Screw that." If you look at me in the pilot, it's insane -- I've got my elbows up in the air, and I'm playing the air in front of the piano. I don't know how Susan Dey did it.

NT: No one is allowed to come to my home without telling me their favorite Partridge Family song. And you're not allowed to say "I Think I Love You."

A bird in the band: The Partridge bus has picked up a local.
Emily Piraino
A bird in the band: The Partridge bus has picked up a local.
Vinyl exam: New Partridges had better nail that trivia.
Vinyl exam: New Partridges had better nail that trivia.

Stone: It's not "I Think I Love You." My favorite is "Can't You Feel Your Heartbeat" or "Can I Feel Your Heartbeat" or whatever it's called. I love that song! I need to get more of their albums, but they're hard to get. It's, like, eBay!

NT: It might also be wise for you to develop some theories about why there were no singles released from the Crossword Puzzle album, or how come all the Partridge albums have 11 songs on them, or why Shirley's vocals were used on the show but not on the records. Because what if you run into one of those obsessed fans, and they ask you a Partridge question, and you don't know the answer?

Stone: I know. Have you heard of the Partridge Family Temple? The members have to actually legally change their last name to Partridge. We had some of the Temple members audition for the show. One of them had a partridge tattooed on the back of her neck. Psycho. Crazy. They go to David Cassidy concerts and pass out their fliers. It's psychotic. There are some crazy Partridge fans out there.

NT: It seems that way.

Stone: And they're very mad at me for singing "Bitch." Because Laurie would never have sung "Bitch." They're like, "You're ruining her image!" People hate me for not being Susan Dey.

NT: If you were Susan Dey, you'd have to develop an eating disorder, sleep with the director of the show, and later refuse to participate in any reunion specials.

Stone: Oh, I know. (Flipping through magazine.) I can't believe this. There are Partridges on every page of this magazine. I knew they were big, but this is wacky.

NT: You could do a remake of Cage Without a Key, that women's prison movie Susan Dey made. Or you could do a sequel to Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night, where Susan Dey played an alcoholic who murders her 4-year-old daughter.

Stone: Oh, no. Those horrible B-movies she made. Why did she do that?

NT: Nobody knows.

Stone: It kind of makes me nervous -- that clan of people who are psychotically obsessed with the way it used to be. There are these Partridge Family role-play clubs online, chat rooms where you pretend to be the different characters. It was a bigger phenomenon than I think we can grasp today. They're TV characters for people to watch, not become. And that's why some of these people are so mad at us -- because it's been their lifelong dream to become a Partridge, and we get to be Keith and Laurie. It's like, "You guys are 45 now! There's no way! Maybe you could be Shirley."

NT: But this might be your life in 20 years -- being followed around by people obsessed about a Partridge you played on TV.

Stone: I don't think so. I don't think that people do that anymore, get stuck on TV characters. Do they?

NT: Maybe sometimes.

Stone: Really? (Long pause.) Oh, no.

E-mail robrt.pela@newtimes.com

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