The Cowsills In Books

Alanis Morissette : A Biography
by Paul Cantin
St. Martin's Press March 15, 1998


on Page 110:
"... taping, and jokingly mopped the brow of the band's guitarist Jeffrey Hatcher.

She turned to the quartet's forty-five-year-old singer, Billy Cowsill, whose craggy features prompted one writer to describe him as looking like something Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards would wear on his knuckle. About twenty-six year earlier, Cowsill had been a member, along with his mother Barbara and his younger siblings, of The "

on Page 111:
Cowsills, America's "first family of music," and the group sold millions of sunny pop records, like the 1967 smash "The Rain,The Park and Other Things. During a stint in Vegas, Cowsill grew restless and quit to embark on an odyssey of high and low living that took him to Oklahoma, Texas, and the Northwest Territories, before settling in Vancouver and eventually linking up with Hatcher to form The Blue Shadows.

“So,” Alanis said turning her telegenic gaze to Cowsill, “I understand you’ve been doing this for a long time."

Cowsill chuckled and shook his head, and the hostess immediately recognized the unintentional suggestion: ooops, that makes you sound like Granddaddy Rock.

“I mean that as far as the experience onstage,” she stumbled to recover from the unintended slight. “Great band,” she said of The Cowsills although their heyday predated her birth by seven years. “And from what I understand, The Cowsills inspired The Partridge Family,” she added, referring to the suggestions that the fictional pop ensemble was loosely based on The Cowsills’ career. He mutter in the affirmative, adding that his life was apparently the basis for seventies teen heart-throb David Cassidy’s character Keith.

“Oh darling,” she gushed. “I’m not worthy!”

For all the talk-show breeziness of the interview, in hindsight, one can’t help but wonder if Alanis didn’t notice the parallels between herself and Cowsill. Both were adolescent stars who enjoyed a brief, early flash of fame. Both were trying to forge a new identity with newer, more substantial music. Both were having trouble being considered by the music business, which seemed determined to freeze them in that early, limited frivolous role. The main difference between them was that Alanis has only been at the task of reestablishing herself for a matter of months. Cowsill had been at it for more than two decades.

on Page 114:
"During the taping of that final episode, Alanis had her eye on a member of The Blue Shadows, but it wasn't Cowsill. Before the show, as the group was in the makeup room, she walked up behind bassist Barry Muir, who was ..."

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