January 24th, 2011
I don’t often talk about it, but I married a former teen idol.
His real name wasn’t commercial enough for fame and fortune in 1963, so they called him Billy Kidd. His first and only 45 rpm single record was made on the LarBell label — owned by the founders of The Four Preps — and features a very young Glen Campbell on guitar! Unlike many teen idols who only possessed a pretty face, mine was also a poet. He wrote both songs on the record:
Side A — “A Letter to Hayley”
“A Letter to Hayley” was later released by the aforementioned Four Preps (with some minor lyric changes) as “A Letter to the Beatles” and enjoyed a brief run on the pop charts before Brian Epstein got it pulled. In the early 2000’s, a Swedish concern released a compilation album of ‘forgotten’ teen idol tracks and included “A Letter to Hayley.”
Side B — “I Got Better Things to Do”
Less than a year after Billy Kidd made his debut, the Beatles landed in America and the world of popular music changed forever. By the Summer of Love (1967), the Kidd had transformed into a beautiful, bearded bard of the San Francisco folk-rock scene. Luckily for me, he was only passing through that world as well — on his way to a Greenwich Village garret, me, and whatever else is still waiting around the corner.