Danny Bonaduce Hit Me (and it felt like a kiss)

(published on ABBAMAIL Sept 2005)

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Well, not really.

As you know, I'm totally hooked on this tv show Rock Star INXS. This Tuesday is the finale (no spoilers please) and one of the contestants will become the "New Lead Singer of INXS." Each week, three of the lowest rated contestants sing INXS songs, and the one who does the worst job (I'm paraphrasing) gets the boot. "Sorry, you're just not right for our band INXS."

So each week, for the past eleven weeks, I've been hearing somewhat interesting (occasionally) and terrifying (more often than not) takes on "classic" INXS songs.

Which prompted me to try and get a piano song book of INXS songs, so I can amuse myself (along with passing strangers and/or terrified house guests) with my own renditions of INXS songs. So today, when I was in Hollywood, I checked into my favorite over-priced sheet music store, appropriately named "Hollywood Sheet Music."

As I was poring over the latest piano book releases, in walks in none other than Danny Bonaduce. I recognized him instantly, of course, being a huge Partridge Family fan (even though that was thirty years ago). But he started talking to the guy behind the counter, and it was obvious that he had called ahead to get some sheet music put on hold for him. The clerk asked him how "the tv show" was going, and he said it had been on last night, some newspaper had written it up, and they talked about that for a moment.

I could not help but notice that Danny was in my favorite drag, that being a wife beater (white tank top) t-shirt and fairly snug (well fitting but not obscene) jeans. But underneath, he was very well tanned, and VERY well defined. Danny's been working out!

He turned and walked to the country music department, where I was perusing the Shania Twain Greatest Hits book (which I ultimately decided I didn't need, since I have her singular folios). He looked at me and said, "are you in a band?" Which is something I am often asked, actually. I said, "no, not at the moment," which is the truth. And he looked at me sideways and said, "well, I think I saw you play and if it was you, you were GREAT." I shrugged casually, as if I heard that sort of thing on a daily basis, and said, "well, thanks."

He asked the clerk about some Johnny Cash sheet music, and the clerk scurried off to find some. "Oh, and do you have any Kenny Rogers," he asked. And then he said, "oh yeah, what about Springsteen?!"

So while they were going back and forth, I was deciding what music to buy for myself, but more than that, I was wondering what on earth Danny Bonaduce was going to do with Kenny Rogers sheet music. He was a few feet away from me, and the clerk went to help another customer who had come in to buy some broadway musical scores.

And I'm, in my head, wondering if I should say anything to Danny. I mean, I do have plenty of music knowledge in my head, and several hundred sheet music books at home. Although I was trying to remember if I have any Kenny Rogers. Hmmm. And I'm thinking, how often is Danny Bonaduce a few feet away from me, and wearing my favorite clothes and looking for something that I actually know something about?

I thought about telling him that when I was a kid, I loved the Partridge Family and I thought he was a terrible actor (which he was, in all honesty), and I dreamed that the producers would fire Danny and hire me to replace him. I could be the Partridge Family's long lost cousin, Ty (I always wanted to be called Ty). And I could sing harmony with David Cassidy and teach Susan Dey how to actually play her keyboard instead of making a mockery of professional musicians everywhere. All the while engaging in the weekly hijinx that is life on a 70's sitcom.

But I thought, I'm not sure how well that would go over.

Despite the distractions, both real and imagined, I decided to get the Keane folio (I love their album, even though it looks like it will be hard to play), and the latest Michael Buble book, and a 'Even More Hits of the Seventies' book that has Peter Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way" which I had fallen in love with when they did it a few weeks ago on Rock Star INXS.

Ironically, that same book also had the music to "I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family in it. How serendipitous, I thought. I almost bought the Scissor Sisters songbook, but I looked at it for quite some time (all the while keeping my eye on Mr Bonaduce, and maintaining an 'open body language' posture) and decided that it wasn't going to sound good as solo piano pieces. I think Scissor Sisters music really needs a drummer. (And Jake Shears, but I digress).

So I made my purchases, and while I was at the counter, Merrick called me on my cel phone. I answered quietly, and told him I would call him back in a few minutes. I wanted to make sure that Danny Bonaduce would have ample opportunity to talk to me again.

But as I left, I saw that he was firmly engrossed in the deep country section (what on earth is he up to, I keep thinking). So I went out to my truck and sat there and called Merrick back.

I told him, "Danny Bonaduce is ten feet away from me wearing a white tank top and jeans and looking mighty fine." Merrick said, "yeah, I heard that he was doing steroids." (Merrick had watched Danny's reality tv show last night so was much more up to date than I, as usual), "but he's looking pretty haggard."

Oddly, I realised that I hadn't really looked at Danny's face. I told myself that was because I was trying to be discreet, but, in all honesty, it was because he was very very buff and tan and wearing exactly what I love.

I noticed that the only other vehicle in the parking lot was a motorcycle, and it was parked right beside my truck. It must be Danny's!

* * * * * *

A few minutes later, Danny came out of the music shop, and he went to his bike, which was right beside me. He said, "you must be a musician." I said, with a coy look, "yeah, I dabble."

He walked up to me, and said, "I like your shirt." (I also happened to be wearing a white 'wife beater' tank top, even though I don't have a wife to beat even if I wanted to). I said, "yeah, you sure have been beefing up, too! What are you working on, with the country music?"

He said, "yeah, I'm starting up a country covers band, we're going to be playing every Thursday night at McCabe's. I noticed you were looking at the Shania Twain music, do you know a lot about country music?"

"Sure," I said, and I gave him my business card. I said, "give me a call, I've got tons of music, I'd love to give you a hand."

Then he leaned into me, so close that I could smell that he wasn't wearing any cologne or aftershave, and put one hand lightly (but firmly) on my chest. He took a quick look around the parking lot, and when he saw we were alone, whispered hoarsely into my ear, "I'd like to give you a hand, too."

* * * * * *

OK, no, everything between the asterisks I made up. But it COULD have happened.

What really happened was, I went out to my truck and rolled down the windows and called Merrick back. We were talking about Danny Bonaduce and I said that his motorcycle is right beside me. And a few minutes later, Danny came out and stood by his bike, between me and his bike. He made a quick phone call and put on his helmet (how conscientious) but then took his helmet off again and had a quick cigarette (how un-conscientious).

I told Merrick that I had my camera (as always) and I wondered if he would be upset if I took his picture. I mean, how often is Danny Bonaduce standing ten (or maybe even five) feet away, on a hot Sunday afternoon, wearing a white tank top and jeans, leaning on his motorcycle. Even if Us magazine wouldn't pay me $5000 for it, it would make a nice update to my website.

Merrick said, "Sure, I'm sure he would be happy if you asked him for a picture."

* * * * * *

So, I got out of the truck with my camera, and Danny was looking at me. Of course, we were the only two in the entire parking lot.

I said, "would you mind if I got a picture?" and he said, "sure, no problem."

I said, "would you mind if I got a picture of both of us on your bike?" he thought for a second, but smiled, and said, "sure, I guess so."

I said, "would you mind taking your shirt off and I'll get on the bike behind you, and put my arms around your chest?"

That was when he slugged me.

"I have a wife, you moron. Don't you watch my top rated reality show?"

* * * * * *

OK, no, the stuff between the asterisks I made up. But it COULD have happened.

What really happened was, I asked Merrick if I should take a picture, and Merrick said, "I'm sure he would be happy if you asked him for a picture."

But as I was making up the above fantasy in my head, and still on the phone with Merrick, Danny put his helmet back on, started up his motorcycle, and drove off down Sunset.

End of story.

Rod Reynolds
Still not a member of the Partridge Family
Los Angeles, CA USA

©2005 The Art Dept LA

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