Idol Talk

Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives


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About the Book

In the midst of acne, social anxiety and training bras are the teen idols that make adolescent life a little more bearable. Whether their cutouts are plastered on bedroom walls or hidden behind locker doors, there is no denying the impact of these stars on young women. This collection of new essays explores with tenderness and humor the teen crushes of the past 50 years—from Elvis to John Lennon to Diana Ross—who have influenced the choices of women, romantically or otherwise, well into adulthood.

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Searle is the author of five books of fiction. Her show Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera has been widely produced and has drawn national media attention. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA.

Tamra Wilson is a fiction writer, essayist and Road Scholar speaker for the North Carolina Humanities Council. She lives in Newton, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson

Foreword by Peter Noone

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 70 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6912-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3244-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Peter Noone 1
Introduction: The Truth Behind the Sighs (Tamra Wilson) 2

Always on My Mind
Love Me Tender (Judy Goldman) 5
The Hands of Time: A Paul Newman Love Story (Nancy Swan) 10
Twisting the Night Away: I’m Sorry, Sam Cooke (Breena Clarke) 16

Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat
Back to Hermania (Tamra Wilson) 24
P.S. I Love You (B.A. Shapiro) 32
Love Is the Ultimate Trip (Michelle Soucy) 38
Meeting Mark Lindsay: A Story of Friends and Fandom (Amy Rogers) 45

Here’s Lookin’ at You
Bogie and the Boys: Humphrey Bogart and Bobby Sherman (Elizabeth Searle) 50
Beneath the Surface (Ann Harleman) 56
My Horrible Celebrity Crush (Linda K. Sienkiewicz) 60
This Crush Is My Crush (Janice Eidus) 65

Three Stars Will Shine Tonight
Parallel Secrets (Katharine Davis) 71
When I Stumbled Over Rob Petrie (Jill McCorkle) 77
Cowboy Jesus (Marianne Leone) 82

She Loves You
Yeah Yeah Yeah: John, the Thinking Girl’s Beatle (Susan Lilley) 86
Now I Need a Place to Hide Away (Ann Hood) 90
George (Lise Haines) 93
Groovy’s Hat (Marianne Gingher) 97

Loves Me Like a Rock
The Stuff Daydreams Are Made Of (Hank Phillippi Ryan) 102
When I Fell for Dylan (Susan Shapiro) 107
Dear Miss Joni Mitchell (Marjorie Hudson) 111
Followed by a Moonshadow: My Secret Life with Cat Stevens (Morgan Callan Rogers) 119

I Got You Babe
Cher Bliss (Lesléa Newman) 122
Piece of My Heart (Leslie Lawrence) 126
Bobby Orr (Suzanne Strempek Shea) 133
What Would Chrissie Do? (Katie Hafner) 136

Endless Love
Pretty Brown Girl with Big Brown Eyes (Darlene R. Taylor) 139
Good Guys (Lisa Williams Kline) 145
Julie on My Mind (Mary Granfield) 150
Rescue Me (Leslie Pietrzyk) 154

Rock with You
I Should Have Married Michael Jackson (Susan Woodring) 160
Cry, Baby (Kate Kastelein) 166
Confessions of a ­Would-Be Duran Duran Groupie (Caitlin McCarthy) 170

Can’t Smile Without You
Songs That Make the Young Girls Cry: My Life with Manilow (Stephanie Powell Watts) 174
Oh, Misha (Ann Rosenquist Fee) 178
What a Feeling (Lee J. Kahrs) 183
Dear MJ: A Love Letter, Late (Shara McCallum) 186

I Will Always Love You
Sending My Representative: Whitney Houston and ­Black-Girl Perfectionism (Dolen Perkins-Valdez) 192
“Digging for Fire”: 1990s’ Nostalgia and the Pixies (Heather Duerre Humann) 198
Distiple: An Obsession in Ten Albums (Lisa Borders) 202

My Heart Will Go On
I’ll Never Let You Go (Mary Sullivan) 208
“Bowie” (Diana Goetsch) 213
Mary Sue in Search of Lemons (Emlyn Meredith Dornemann) 214
We Were All in Love with Michael Jackson (Susan Straight) 219

About the Contributors 223
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

• Finalist, Eric Hoffer Book Award
• “Idol Talk offers fun, distinctly unique stories of the right-of-passage experience of celebrity ‘puppy love’ and celebrates how these crushes changed these former teenyboppers’ lives from a more mature perspective.”–Ann Moses, former editor of TIGER BEAT and author of Meow! My Groovy Life with TIGER BEAT’s Teen Idols.