I was, like, a total, you know, teeny bopper when Paul Revere and the Raiders were a hot band.
I idolized Mark Lindsay, the lead singer with the radical-for-the-time pony tail under his feather-trimmed tri-corner costume hat. I secretly did not care for the pony tail, but I put up with it because the man was so darn cute.
It is a revelation to me when I look back at the pictures of the band that I didn’t remember they wore white tights like ballet dancers. If I had known anything about “alternative lifestyles” back then, I would have seen the boys in a whole different light. Something akin to The Village People (see pic of Greatest Hits album art! In case you don’t know, Mark is the second from the left.) But all personal preferences aside, I was in L-U-V with Mark.
I liked to draw portraits and I was reasonably good at it. So my walls were adorned with hand drawn copies of pictures from teen magazines of all my FAVE RAVES. Mark had a prominent place on my wall of honor along with Davey Jones, Bobby Sherman, and Paul McCartney.
The Raiders were regulars on Saturday TV in a show called “Where the Action Is.” Acts like Neil Diamond, who was just becoming famous, were on that show. It featured musicians lip syncing while cavorting on the beach with California girls (and guys) in tasteful two piece bathing suits (the girls) doing the twist on the sand and pretending to be surfers at Malibu Beach in California. MTV Spring Break it was NOT!
American Bandstand was also on Saturdays and both shows were produced by Dick Clark. Dick Clark was the king of adolescent TV at the time, with a monopoly on Saturday mornings. He had MY number, that’s for sure. But I guess my “number” was pretty common. And get this kiddies! NO video recorders in MY day! So if I missed a show, it was gone for-ev-ar!
Mark and I share the same birthday. The one time I saw them in concert in Portland, Oregon it was “our” birthday and I slipped the usher a note to Mark to let him know someone out there was celebrating with him. I think I was turning 13. He probably still has it in his collection of stuff fan girls sent him over the years and cherishes it even today. Or maybe its still crumpled up in an usher’s coat pocket hanging in the back of the music hall collecting dust.
Recently in a serious bout of boredom after reading one of those “where are they now” articles, I did a Google search on Mark. Lucky me! He just recently got his own web site! AND he’s on both Twitter and Facebook. Well, there you go! I am ALSO on Facebook and Twitter. Coincidence? Karma? Fate?
Mark isn’t one of those celebs who just has a fan club on Facebook. No. He interacts personally with his friends. Posts pictures of his vacations even. Of course he screens his friends, so I told him why I should be allowed into his inner circle. I gave him “our” history and threw in the TV show reference to prove I was a loyal and legitimate fan, worthy of his Facebook friendship.
I cannot imagine what my response would have been if I had had Facebook at age 13 and I got an email saying “You and Mark Lindsay are now friends.” As it is, he and I are now both over age 50, and it was still way cool to get that message. Better late than never, as they say. A little less thrilling when you know that you are one of 1,856 other “friends.” But, still. Its something.
It used to be that famous people did not associate with the lowly “public.” They were above us, and they only associated with other similarly famous people. But now, with the so-called Social Media at our calloused fingertips, the ability to connect with someone famous is only a tweet away.
I’m not sure this is good. I mean, where’s the romance? The intrigue? I look back fondly on those wonderful and terrible angst-filled teenage-girl nights spent starring at Mark’s and Davey’s and Paul’s faces as the moonlight shone through my window! “Take me away Mark!” “Take me away to Malibu and give me a life of sunshine and romping on the beach and traveling the world!”
Mark was beyond my reach but not beyond my dreams! He was perfect! I could tell from just watching him on TV but I also knew this because Access Hollywood hadn’t been invented yet.
But now, sheesh, can’t you just let a girl dream? Do we HAVE to know our idols have drug habits and secretly like to wear women’s clothes and cheated on their wives and sometimes make out with prostitutes in the backs of cars in dark alleys? How can we idolize them if we know they have faults just like the rest of us schmucks?
I suppose there is something positive in knowing so much about famous people’s lives. As a parent, I can now point to a celebrity and say to my kids “let that be a lesson to you – Paul McCartney smoked pot all his adult life and just look where THAT got him!” Oh- right. Paul is still rich and famous and sings great and has only been divorced once. “Don’t be like that Robert Downey Jr. who couldn’t shake his cocaine habit and went on to be — Iron Man.” Dang. Another success from ruins story.
America likes nothing better than a great comeback story. So now we have Michael Jackson’s come-back rehearsal tapes being turned into a movie. I am confident he was hoping to perform live and in person but he is presently deceased and unavailable for comment. The cautionary tale there is not so much vice but victimization of a sensitive and talented child who decided to become Peter Pan instead of grow up and become one of the adults who made his early childhood a living hell.
As for my teen idols, one of which is NOT Michael Jackson, they’re on the road with the Teen Idol Tour! Mark, Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees) and Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits) on stage so the baby boomers can return to adolescence for a couple of hours and ask themselves the question “How did we all get this old?”
For the record, I have no evidence – nor have I sought any – that Mark Lindsay is anything but a decent and upright guy with no skeletons in his closet, even if the closet did at one time include a feathered hat and tights.