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Australian Tour, March 1974


PROMOTER: Harry M. Miller Attractions / Aztec Promotions

DATES / CITIES / VENUES: (partial list)
Perth - WACA Ground
Sydney - Randwick Racecourse
Melbourne - Melbourne Cricket Ground


David Cassidy had enjoyed huge popularity and massive commercial success in Australia since 1970, thanks largely to his role as Keith in the musical sitcom The Partridge Family. But by 1974 his star was waning, at least in Australia.

The Cassidy tour was the first venture back into pop promotion in several years for entrepreneur Harry M. Miller. He had promoted many successful pop package tours in mid-1960s, but since 1969 most of his energy had been directed towards his hugely successful stage productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and, most recently, The Rocky Horror Show. The Cassidy tour proved to be one of Miller's rare miscalcuations, as he recalled in his memoir My Story:

" ... in March 1974 I played what I thought as a pop concert ace and got trumped. After long and tortuous negotiations with the William Morris agency in the U.S. Kenn Brodziak and I secured the Australian and New Zealand end of a lengthy Asian and European tour by David Cassidy, a young squeaky clean American pop singer-actor who was the idol of teenyboppers. Wholesome, good-looking and not without talent, he also had a strong family appeal through his starring presence in a telelvision series, The Partridge Family. He didn't come cheaply. We had to guarantee $150,000 plus air fares and accommodation for eight concerts. By playing him in outdoor arenas we calculated our profit on the increased capacity and the reasonable expectation of large crowds. They didn't happen. Over the nine months or so between the start of negotiations and the concerts, Cassidy's popularity in Australia had nosedived."

"I had made the mistake of checking on Cassidy's public profile and not on the expenditure he generated. His record sales, I discovered too late, had never been strong. It was a repeat of the error of judgement I'd made nine years earlier, when I listened to a few people making a lot of noise and lost a substantial amount of money on my Judy Collins-Josh White folk festival promotion. Even the publicity campaign we mounted behind the Cassidy tour turned round and bit us. By building our expectation of of vast throngs, we fell into the trap of frightening off parents, nervous that their chidren would get trampled. The whole enterprise was a costly embarrassment."

During his Melbourne concerts Cassidy appeard as a guest presenter at the 1974 Logie Awards. He wore one of his stage costumes -- a white tuxedo with rhinestone lapels and bow tie and rhinestone boots -- which prompted some jokes at Cassidy's expense from host Bert Newton. Gina Lollabrigida was also a guest presenter that evening, and as a result of their meeting Lollabrigida (who was a keen amateur photographer) asked Cassidy to pose for some photos. She took some photos of Cassidy posing nude in his hotel and also photographed him on stage during his tour.

Photographer Henry Diltz, who travelled the world with Cassidy during that time, commented in 2002 that Cassidy's tour of Australia was, like those everywhere else:

"...a collection of mad rushes from cars to hotels, hotels to venues, venues back to hotels. All serenaded by screaming pubescents who kept vigil outside his hotels 24 hours a day."


Bernard Zuel
"A Spent Partridge"
Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November 2002

Harry M. Miller
My Story
(Macmillan, 1983)

David Cassidy official website

The Downunder David Cassidy Fansite

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