site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Fall Of The Teen Idol
...But only a temporary one. There's always another to step up to the podium.

Remember when we had the all-glorious 'teen idol'? That one guy who was just so ethereally gorgeous that almost every girl had his picture up in their locker, their bedroom, or was writing their name linked with his on their notebooks during class?

Or just lusted after with that cooing screaming thing? They're still around, but we really don't call them teen idols any more. They're "sensations" now.

Blame marketing. They can re-package anything and call it new.

There was Sinatra (the first considered idol), Elvis, The Beatles (all 4 of them), James Dean, Frankie Avalon (while guys lusted after Annette Funicello). And there was David Cassidy, Lief Garrett and Scott Baio. Can't forget David's brother Shaun Cassidy either. And Kirk Cameron, Rick Springfield, Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe. More recently came Leonardo DiCaprio, Joshua Jackson, and Orlando Bloom. And don't forget the boy bands like the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and New Kids on the Block. They've all done comebacks recently, or are in the middle of them, and grown women are screaming over them.

Oh yes, they fall into the 'teen idol' designator, even though it might be considered a relic of days gone by. Don't think we don't have teen idols now? Check it out - the Jonas Brothers. They're everywhere, and I'd hazard a guess that my daughters girlfriends are probably sighing over them. My daughters aren't - they're not impressed. But they might just be a temporary flash in the pan.

Sure, I had a 'Top Gun' poster in my bedroom - right along with one for 'Bull Durham', 'Dirty Dancing', and a poster that listed all of 'Murphy's Laws' and their corollaries. Did I want such for the pretty guys on them? No, I was a movie addict even back then. The pretty guys were a bonus, but not something I obsessed over like some of the others in my classes.

I'd walk through high school and see lockers with posters of all sorts of guys from movies I'd watched and wondered why someone would smooch a photo between classes. Seriously - what the hell was wrong with them? I'd keep that to myself, but I think it might have been picked up by a few others and could explain why I didn't have many friends in high school.

Is it silly? Yeah, a little. But I do sorta get it. Really, and I'll explain.

That aside, let's get back on topic. Let's look at some of these idols from the past. You could say they're... fallen idols?

Check it out. Let's look at idols who really caught the media attention - after Elvis, after the Beatles. We all know what happened to those guys - it's old news. But do you know what David Cassidy is up to?

He's still around. He's been making music, performing in Vegas and is married to his third wife. Well, life can't be all perfect, right? And his half-brother, Shaun? He ended up well too - He did theater for awhile, and then turned to television. He created a couple of little shows like "Invasion" and something called "Cold Case". I guess he's doing all right for himself.

Leif Garrett? Well, he's still making music, and he has done a few films, including poking fun at himself in a movie called 'Dickie Roberts, Child Star'. But what he's most notable for these days are the drug arrests. Heroin and cocaine. And he's not so pretty anymore.

We all know what happened to Tom Cruise. You couldn't avoid it over the last couple of years. Couch-jumping and all. But what about Kirk Cameron - the curly haired goof on 'Growing Pains'. Oh, the posters in the lockers on that guy during the 80s. Well, if you followed the show he struck out on his own, married a co-star (who played his girlfriend), and found God. He's still acting, but only in religious themed movies (excepting Growing Pains reunion movies) and is a television evangelical preacher. Christian Fundamentalist. Yes, Mike Seaver is a religious wing-nut now.

Rob Lowe turned into quite a good actor, after the sex tape controversy disappeared. Scott Baio is looking for love on VH1. Leonardo DiCaprio is now Scorsese's new muse, and Joshua Jackson has found himself on FOX with a JJ Abrams series that's weird and has the same soundtrack as 'Lost'.

Jonas Brothers? They haven't faded away since the start of this blog entry, so I suspect they have a few more minutes of fame and obsession in them.

But I'll get back to that thought I had earlier - I get the teen idol thing. I do, but it took me a few years to realize it. Like about 25 of them. A couple of weeks ago in the gym I was listening to the iPod and watching one of the morning shows. They had this rocker - like they do for so-called "summer concert series" things - and he was HOT. So I plugged into the audio to see who that might be. He sounded really awesome.

And familiar. But they're all sounding the same here and there, so I brushed that off. Then I had to wait through the commercials and I almost fell off my stationary bike when I found out who it was.

Rick Springfield. He's still rocking - I knew that already - but he still *rocks*. Seriously cute. And that's when it hit me. I got it. I get it. I get the women still screaming over the unattainable celebrity crushes they had when they were teenagers with pictures up in their lockers.

I didn't have his picture in my locker. I didn't even have his CDs. But I watched him on 'General Hospital' way back when and had made the connection that this guy with that song ("Jesse's Girl") was the same guy. And yeah, I thought he was cute then in a non-threatening eye-candy sort of way. And I can only explain that now because I understand what it was then.

A crush. A real honest to goodness girl crush. Wow. I *was* a normal kid.