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- August 13, 1990
- Vol. 34
- No. 6
Some Advice from the Old Kids
Sooner or Later It Happens to Every Teen Idol: Your Fans Drift Away, Your Songs Sink a Few Fathoms on the Pop Charts, You Find You Have to Shave More Than Once a Month. In Anticipation of the Day When the New Kids Face Postpubescent Retirement, Some Bubble-Gum Heartthrobs of Yesteryear Offer a Few Words of Wisdom
Donny Osmond in 1977 and today, at 32, staging a comeback: "When you blitz the market, you sacrifice longevity for success. The people around you take advantage of you and market you to the hilt. It's what happened to me. It's a sad scenario." Adds brother Jimmy, now 27 and head of an entertainment marketing firm: "Treat celebrity as a gourmet meal that lasts a short time but that you can remember with joy and fondness forever."
Bobby Sherman in 1973, after his prime as a teenybopper icon and star of television's Shindig and Here Come the Brides and today, at bottom, as a 46-year-old actor, composer and volunteer paramedic: "Enjoy and appreciate your fans, and always remember that you have a unique and powerful ability to influence millions of young lives. Consider it a trust and a responsibility."
Eric Faulkner, below left with the Bay City Rollers in 1978, and today at 35: "Nothing compares with the buzz from playing in front of 70,000 screaming kids. It's unbelievably exciting. But we suffered from overexposure. People think, 'Oh, God, not them again!' And we got really tired and started to take it out on each other. You get to where you start taking a pill or a drink to cope with the pressure."
Fabian as a 16-year-old teen dream in 1959 and, above, performing on the state-fair circuit. "Your ego gets inflated and you think you are some macho No. 1. but if you are with someone for a night, remember, that's their claim to fame. You don't want to treat them badly: Groupies are still people. My advice to the Kids is to do their own laundry once a month. To keep them humble."
Frankie Avalon, flexing in 1964, and today at 49: "If kids idolize you, at least try to be someone who has morals and kindness—I even took it as far as not getting photographed with a cigarette in my hand. Remember, you're not going to be teen idols all your lives—that's going to be the biggest pitfall of all. If you want to stay in the business you love, develop your craft."
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