Friday, June 14, 2013

Leif: '70s Pop Phenom

Long before the Bieb, way back in the mid-1970s, was a teen singer and pop star named Leif Garrett. With his flowing blond locks (styled in the male version of the Farrah flip), big soulful eyes and sweet plaintive voice, Leif captured the hearts of millions of tween-age girls of the time.

Leif’s image was carefully manufactured to appeal to the masses--he was given cover versions of surefire hits to sing (including the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” and “Surfin’ USA”) and the publicity machine worked overtime to plaster his image all over the pages of pop mags like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat.   

Leif was talented, and developed into an exciting live performer. He could act, too, and appeared in a few films and TV series. He began to write his own music (he prefers hard rock, blues and funk), take the reins of his own career and chart a new direction.

But drugs, alcohol and the dangerous curves of a Hollywood life in the fast lane stalled his career too soon. Leif was driving under the influence and crashed his car, leaving a close friend confined to a wheelchair. Leif’s drug use worsened, and he became addicted to heroin. He has been struggling personally and professionally ever since.

Leif’s cautionary tale was chronicled in the VH-1 series Behind the Music--the highest-rated-ever episode of the popular show. In and out of rehabs ever since (including a stint on Dr. Drew’s reality show), Leif continues to fight his demons, make music and entertain his fans.  

Leif, we wish you well!

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