Show business can be cruel and heartless even for the very lucky. But those those who aren’t lucky it can be extremely devastating. With that in mind today I interview Jeremy Gelbwaks, the first drummer for the Partridge family and learn his tragic story.
MI: Good afternoon Jeremy. How are you?
JG: You told me over the phone you’d give me 100 bucks if I spoke to you. Where’s my money?
MI: You’ll get it after the interview. So tell me about the Partridge family.
JG: I was there from the beginning. I saved their asses. They needed a drummer for a gig in New Hamburg, New York but didn’t have any. So they hired me.
MI: You were with them for two years. They must have liked your drumming.
JG: I created the Partridge family sound. My drumming brought them attention. I had my own style. I called it the “Jeremy Gelbwaks atomic beat.” It drove the band to greater heights musically.
MI: You were there when the Partridge family was discovered and got their first big break.
JG: Yeah, some rich guy named Ruben Kincaid found us. We were playing a block from his record store. People used to go in and ask for our records so he came to see us. He signed us right after that.
MI: He got you the TV show on ABC.
JG: Yep. We were in the big time. Fame and fortune. I tell you I was getting more pussy than Jimmy Page.
MI: Did you get along with the other members of the Partridge family?
JG: I was closest to Shirley Jones. She was a sweetheart. I never liked David Cassidy. He was jealous of my looks and was afraid I was getting more girls than he did.
MI: So you’re riding high and after the first year what happened?
JG: Reuben called me and asked me to meet him in his office. I thought I was going to get a raise, being the most popular member you know. Instead he says “Jeremy the family has spoken. They want you out and Brian Forster in.”
I was devastated. I felt like I had been stabbed in the back. How could they do this to me. I’m a better drummer than Brian. Everybody knows that.
MI: Did the other members of the Partridge family ever give you any explanation?
JG: No. I never heard from any of them again.
MI: So what have you done since you left the band?
JG: I formed my own band, the Jeremy Gelbwaks Combo. We toured for a couple years but didn’t have any success. So we split up. After that I tried to kill myself by putting my head in an oven. Fortunately since I had no money the gas had been turned off. Then I got a job at Burger King. It’s good, honest work and I get all the free fries I want. I like fries.
MI: I see.
JG: I’m up for a promotion to assistant manager. I hope I get it. Maybe if I become a manager the girls will like me again. Chicks dig assistant managers you know.
MI: Well that’s about all the time I have.
JG: Hey, where’s my money.
[Manhattan Infidel gives him 100 dollars]
JG: Thanks. This will come in handy. I need to buy some new bed sheets. To impress the ladies you see.
MI: Right. Well thank you for meeting with me.
JG: No problem. Oh and tell David Cassidy that if I ever see him I’ll kick his pretty boy ass.
And so ended my interview with the slightly tragic Jeremy Gelbwaks. I leave you with the Partridge family (with Jeremy Gelbwaks not Brian Forster) in all their glory. I for one feel that Gelbwaks atomic beat drove the band.