Leif Garrett was a gorgeous blonde boy who graced the covers of most teen magazines in the mid to late 70′s. He also graced most of the walls of my bedroom. I’m not really sure if he was an actor who sang or a singer who acted. He seemed to be mediocre at both, but it didn’t really matter because he was gorgeous. I first noticed him in my Tiger Beat magazine. I was into Tony DeFranco at the time but he was getting older (he was pushing 18) and I was still just a young thing. Leif was on a TV show called Three for the Road which also featured another blonde hottie, Vincent Van Patten. FYI, Vincent is the son of Dick Van Patten from Eight is Enough. Vince is married to Eileen Davidson who played Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless and Kristen DiMera on Days of Our Lives. Anyway, back to my sweetie Leif.
As Leif became more popular with the teens, he decided to give singing a try. I’m not saying that Leif didn’t have talent, but you don’t really need talent to sell an album. You need a huge fan base. Leif would have been successful selling toilet paper. Anyway, I remember going to my local record store and seeing a life-size cardboard figure of Leif promoting his self-titled album. I remember hearing the workers at the store making fun of him. I heard them laugh and sarcastically say “Isn’t he sexy?” Hey! Screw you guys! I thought he was sexy. He wore a white suit and had his hands in his pockets, his shirt open exposing the smooth chest of a 15 year old. I bought his album and memorized all the songs. I didn’t realize until much later that most of them were Beach Boys songs.
I was lucky enough to see Leif perform in concert in 1979 at the Concord Pavilion in the San Francisco area. My older sister took me for a birthday present. We sat in the 4th row and I thought Leif was just something else. I took pictures with my groovy Polaroid camera. I still have and love those pictures even though they aren’t of the greatest quality.
I saw Leif in concert again in 2007 at the state fair. He was on a tour with a bunch of other teen idols. The concert consisted of Leif, Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch, Bo Donaldson, The Cowsills, and Ian Mitchell from The Bay City Rollers. Although Leif filled out his jeans quite nicely and looked extremely yummy (he had a great butt), it made me very sad to see him. He obviously didn’t want to be there. He wore dark glasses the entire time even though it was an outdoors concert at night. He couldn’t remember the words to Surfin’ USA. He didn’t come out at the end with the other performers for the encore. He was supposedly off drugs at that time, but I had my suspicions. I really wish I hadn’t gone to that concert. I want to remember the Leif that adorned my bedroom walls all those years ago.
Leif appeared in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. If Dr. Drew has a sense of humor, he is the sexiest man in the world. He’s handsome, smart, and sensitive. He has it all if he’s funny. If he’s not funny, then…….well, balls. Anyway, I thought Leif did a nice job of presenting himself on that show. He was one of the more mature people on the show. I’m not saying he’s old. It’s just he wasn’t one of those acting like an immature little baby with all the name calling. He seemed like a very cool guy. He said on the show that he hadn’t been sober since he was 14. Sad. It seemed like Leif was working on his sobriety mainly for his mom who is very sick. I’m thinking he’ll go crazy and relapse once she dies. I’m hoping I don’t have to update this blog in the future with details of his death.
Justin Bieber reminds me a lot of Leif. He’s talented, gorgeous, parents aren’t married, and he seems to have gotten himself into drugs. Leif actually warned Justin publicly last month not to believe his own publicity. I hope The Biebs can learn from Leif’s mistakes.
I hope the Leif Garrett’s of today (Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, One Direction, etc.) have strong people surrounding them. I wish there had been someone around with a strong moral fiber to protect little boy Leif 35 years ago. Who knows what could have been.