I had to think about that for a moment, because did my "teen idol"shape my life? I had never thought about it before. Let alone write eight pages about it.
We each had to pick one person, and after a ridiculous amount of contemplation, I finally did. When I finished writing the final draft of my essay, I have to admit to you, I burst into tears. I guess I had discovered something I didn't know I knew.
So we'll talk about the book more when the publication date comes, not till next year! But for now, did you have a teen heartthrob? I won't tell you who I chose until you all do!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, yes, Hank. I fell madly in love with Paul McCartney when I was eleven, and I don't think I ever completely got over him. I saw the Beatles in 1964, can you believe it? I saw McCartney again on tour in Dallas a few years ago and was just gobsmacked. I guess this goes some way towards explaining my lifetime of Anglophilia, doesn't it?
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh, Debs, I was a Paul fan too. But since you got there first, I will admit, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees was my first luv. I was completely gaga over him, and begged my parents to let me subscribe to TIGER BEAT so I could read up on all things Micky.
HALLIE EPHRON: This takes me back to the early nineteen sixties. I was fourteen years old and obsessed with my shortcomings (tall, skinny, pimply, smelly, hairy.) And just at the time when a person couldn’t get more self conscious, along came breasts…or in my case, didn’t. In the throes of self-conscious adolescent angst I first clapped eyes on Warren Beatty. My best friend and I took the bus to the Picwood movie theatre in Westwood to see Splendor in the Grass. I left besotted with Warren Beatty’s Bud Stamper, a sweet, sensitive, sex-starved, high-school quarterback who’s madly in love with beautiful, popular, passionate, virginal good girl, Deanie Loomis (Natalie Wood). They burned up the screen, those two.
He (Bud? Warren?) nailed me with those crinkly eyes, that goofy smile, and an endearing boyish awkwardness. He had the perfect inarticulate stammer and aw-shucks manner about him, a sweetened amalgam of Marlon Brando and James Dean. By the time Bonnie and Clyde came out six years later the bloom was off the rose. The movie magazines I devoured were telling me that my sweet Bud was sleeping around. And around. Ya let me down, Bud.
HANK: Oh, Hallie, I interviewed Warren Beatty (for Rolling Stone Radio News) when he toured for Shampoo. In Washington DC, at the Watergate Hotel. I have to say, he was--not exaggerating--the handsomest person I have ever seen. EVER. We will talk about it in detail another time, but he hit on me, I mean, seriously. (I guess he was enchanted by my pink acid-washed matching jeans and jacket.) I went home and wrote it all down, word for seductive-ish word. Bottom line, I turned him down. I thought it would be hilarious to be the only woman who ever had. Plus, he was married at the time, wasn't he? To JULIE CHRISTIE? I mean--gah.
Speaking of Warren: poor thing, though! To be handed the wrong envelope? What did you think? I felt so sad for everyone...
RHYS BOWEN: I was a terrible judge of men in my early teens. I was madly in love with British pop star Cliff Richard, with British actor Dirk Bogarde and with Rock Hudson, all of whom turned out to be gay!
When the Beatles came on the scene I was actually more attracted to John than Paul because John had that raw sexiness. I was disappointed when I found out he was married.
The only real crush I've had since then was Robert Redford. I still have a photo of him on my bulletin board!
JENN MCKINLAY: At age nine, I was a hard core Shaun Cassidy girl. I mean, come on, the feathered hair, the satin pants, singing Da Doo Run Run, and shaking his money maker - seriously, what was not to love? LOL.
Of course, it helped that he also played the adorable Joe Hardy on the Hardy Boys television show. I wanted to be Nancy Drew but I wanted to date Joe Hardy - never Frank - always Joe. Huh. And now I write mysteries with amateur sleuths...hmm.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Oh, my gosh, Jenn, my sister and I were GLUED to the tube when the Hardy Boys came on. She got Joe, and I got Frank, played by the oh-so-good-looking Parker Stevenson. They were the perfect very early girl crushes - with their smooth skin and coiffed hair, there was no chance to threatening masculinity. The first man I crushed on was Paul Michael Glaser in, yes, STARSKY AND HUTCH. He had chest hair and five o'clock shadow, and made 13-year-old me feel all confused and excited whenever he got shot (which seemed to happen frequently) and had to be nursed back to health.
Finally, seeing Frank Langella in DRACULA (1979) pretty much completed puberty for me. When
he glided into Kate Nelligan's bedroom in his undone white linen shirt and whispered to her, "I need..." I finally understood what sex was all about.
HANK: This is so fascinating, and so indicative of how old we were and when. (I loved Spin and Marty, too. I forget which one.) And Dirk Bogarde! And Frank Langella in Dracula--and Compromising Positions? Whoo.
And it's incredibly interesting, and indicative of the times, to see who we chose. Back then. My mom told me she skipped a day in junior high to see Frank Sinatra. It'd be SO different now, right? Anyone know anyone who's 10? Who would they choose?
But for my hearthrob, I chose the poetic, intellectual, brilliant Paul Simon. I was so sad and unpopular, and when he sang I am a rock, I thought, I'll be a rock. too! And he's still my idol.
How about you, dear Reds?