The following is just some scattered observations (and here are my favorite photos), mostly relating to the first time I met each of The Cowsills:
The only time I saw The Cowsills perform live (in their height of popularity) was in Manhattan, Kansas in October of 1970 at Parent's Day. Performing that day was: Barb, Bob, Paul, Barry, John and Susan. I never got close enough to meet them. I saved that till I was in my 40's (so I could appreciate it right? hee hee).
Bill: I guess I still haven't "met" Bill. I saw him for the first time at CM IV - Taste of Rhode Island, September 23-24, 2000. My very first view of him came at Yesterday's on the Friday night when I thought I'd found a back way out from the bathroom. Then I saw him again at the Meet and Greet, and of course on stage. I had expected Bill to look totally hard, to have that "no life" look in his eyes. I was wrong. Bill was wonderfully handsome. He just has a presence about him. He doesn't talk a lot (something else that surprised me - I thought he'd resume the leadership role) but his presence on stage is leadership. Bill's voice has only gotten better with age. I'll admit to being star-stuck.
Rich: The first time I met Richard was in his apartment on September 25, 1998. We were late for dinner (hey I was waiting on Salia) and he was hungry! Off to the restaurant we went. Rich had the whole place in stitches (and again at Mario's the next night). Rich is the charmer and has all the Cowsill good looks to help it along. Rich could sell the devil some matches, I think. He was very gracious to us all weekend long, taking us on driving and walking tours of Newport and the surrounding area. He even took us up to Halidon Hall where we got chased away by the bikini lady. I don't think I've ever heard Rich say anything bad about his siblings, even though I might have expected that, given all the history.
Bob: My first view of Bob came in Cable's Restaurant on Saturday, December 5th, 1997. Bob came running down the aisle towards a group of women he didn't know if we were there to hug him or kill him. (Jason was worried we were internet stalkers.) Bob was dressed in his winter coat (hey Bob this is California - I didn't even have a sweater on that night), jeans and a red plaid shirt. Bob immediately made us all feel so at ease. He has a way of doing that. It's not just charm. He's just down home, quick-witted, and a very inviting guy.
Paul: Yes, another Cowsill Marathon. CM III is where I met Paul. Paul comes bounding in with more energy than I think I've had my whole life put together. He brings in his toy (percussion instruments) box and off he goes. Some of the TV interviews that followed the next couple years, I think gave Paul a bad rap. Ask my Mom. But at CM IV, Paul came up and sat at the table with Mom and started talking as he ate pizza (whole pieces at a time LOL). Mom saw that it's his energy and his "go get 'em" attitude that made him come across that way and not that he's some horrible guy. Paul is funny and so fun to watch!!
Barry: I met Barry for the first time at Kerry's Irish Pub on Friday, August 27, 1999. I know that ended up being a different night then those of us present had expected, but it was a most wonderful night in reality. Barry is so real. He's very open, honest and has a heart of gold. I know there are those that look at a surface and decide someone's worth (I've been there!!) but the best and most glorious part of Barry is his soul. He's simply precious. I was also impressed with Barry's intelligence. I remember him talking about books he'd read - knew what grade he'd read them in and all - and how he'd thought for years about the meaning of them. Barry was always the entertainer and he sure still is. Barry is a poet. I will admit to not understanding some of the lyrics to the songs he writes, but that's because I don't have the creative brain to think through them. He does, obviously, and is a great poet. I will never forget my hug from him and telling him how I loved him just the way he was. (Funny thing was that exactly a month before that night, I had a dream, involving a different Cowsill. The events of that night were almost the same as that dream. So strange to me.) Again I say, Barry has a precious and very special soul. Click here for a little more info on Barry.
John: Where do I begin? Always the John fan, I went to LA in 1997 expecting to see John, along with Bob. At Cable's Bob told us he didn't think John would be coming. I would have thought I would be crushed, but I remember thinking "Oh well, such is life. No biggie." But you could have knocked me over with a feather when John walked into the Pub later on. I remember during one of the breaks he came over to chat and said to me, "And you are?"
After thinking of changing my name quick, I said, "Becky." He then said, "You look really familiar." I just gave him this "I don't know" look, but inside I was shouting, "I promise I haven't seen you in 27 years!!" I could just see him thinking I'd been stalking him!! LOL John has never been anything but kind, nice and gracious to me, something I appreciate. Again Mom changed her mind, a little, about him in Newport 2000 when he took the time to speak. John remains as gorgeous as ever (although I like him with short hair). He NEVER ceases to amaze me with his talent. Even when I think he can't blow me away again, he does something new and I'm in awe again. I could listen to that voice for hours and never get tired of it. I have created a fantasy CD song list for John even (as if he needs suggestions hee hee). I've gotten to see him perform with the Beach Boys several times and it's been so fun to watch John the entertainer (I mean out from behind the drums). I guess I
never thought of John as being funny, but he's quite entertaining with his background antics (like doing 10 fingers while Mike sings "Two girls for every boy". Two is never enough, right John? hee hee) It's been fun to see the progression as he gets more comfortable being a piano man and now a guitar guy. I love seeing him do something that he seems so happy doing !! Click here for a little more info on John.
Susan: I met Susan at the Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans on Tuesday, September 24, 1999. I had gone down early (before meeting my friends) so I was alone that night at the Wolf. Susan came out front for a few minutes to listen to the warm up band so I got to chat a little with her and share pictures of Jennifer's wedding. (Susan was supposed to sing at the wedding but the Drifters got an European tour at the same time.) I got to see Susan again at the Back To The Beach Festival the following Saturday. It was fun there to see her as a mother. She's great with her daughter. Susan - to me - is just cool. She looks cool, stands cool, sings cool, and plays cool. Click here for a little more info on Susan.