December 1995: I decided to spend Christmas in England visiting friends and relatives. While chatting with a friend the converstaion turned to David Cassidy and my friend said, 'Oh, he's here at the moment. I think he's doing a play.' I froze and explained that I'd just missed seeing Shaun and David do Blood Brothers in New York (the cast had changed the week before I arrived). Sure enough, David was performing for four weeks only in the Westend. What luck. The next day I purchased my ticket for the following night. By myself, I sat in the third row of the packed theatre, thrilled that I was actually in the same room with him. I've been a fan since I was eight years old, so it all seemed a bit surreal.
The show was fab and afterwards I thought it wouldn't hurt to hang out near the stage door and maybe get a photo. It was freezing as I took position amongst the other 20 or so diehard fans and the two professional photographers that had gathered. About 30 minutes later, this guy appeared. 'David will be out in a minute,' he began. 'But he has one request. He will sign autographs and pose for photo's, but please refrain from taking pictures until he's finished signing the autographs. The flash blinds him. That's all he asks.'
This seemed like a pretty decent request, so we all shook our heads in agreement and waited for him to appear. A few miutes passed and, sure enough, that familiar face appeared to be greeted by the two professional photographers lenses. Just before they could snap a shot, David gave them an icy stare and froze pointing an acusing finger in their direction.
'What did I just ask you?' he inquired. The crowd turned in the photographers direction. No answer. 'I just made one fucking simple request,' he continued.'Can't you respect my wishes?' 'We've got a job to do,' replied one of the photographers. 'I don't care,'continued David. 'These people have been good enough to wait in the cold for me to get autographs and pictures. I don't need arseholes like you stuffing it up. It's a simple request and not fair to these people.' The tone in his voice implied - don't mess with me. I'll walk, and you'll have to deal with this crowd. Also, by this stage the crowd had joined David saying things like, 'Yeah, leave him alone,' and 'just go, will you?'
This one photographer just wasn't taking no for an answer. He raised his camera only to be met with David's pointed finger. 'Are you deaf?' he quizzed. 'What's your name?' 'Zed,' he replied.'What's yours?'
Well that was it the crowd went right off and started putting their hands up in front of his lens. A few choice words from David followed, and he then invited people to get autographs. The whole altercation only lasted a few minutes but it was wierd seeing him so pissed.
Anyway, to end the story on a high note, he ended up being really pleasant. He signed things and then posed for pics. The photographers also took a few snaps before retreating muttering something to the effect, 'Well that's going to be a great story in tomorrow's paper.' I never got to see any story the next day but the funniest thing about the whole thing is that while David and everyone else there that night thought the photographer was being a smart arse calling himself Zed, some of those photos came through a photo agency to the magazine I work for here in Australia. The photo credit was Zed, his real name.
Back for more Brushes with Velvet