Hail The White Rhinoceros Part One (of Three): Shaun Partridge

Posted by on February 21st, 2011 at 12:01 AM

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Mome Vol. 19 opens with a little black child catching the strong scent of “racial magic” in the shape of a rainbow-colored INHALE sound effect. He guides readers as they are smacked in the face by the story’s title page: bolts of rainbows surround “The White Rhinoceros,” hovering over soft green hillocks. This is a story that sits on the opposite end of the spectrum of fiction from works that emphasize the sentiment, “Humanity’s fucked.”

Writer Shaun “The Partridge in the Pear Tree” Partridge and artist Josh Simmons tell a story about the world seen with, as Partridge puts it, “rosy glasses on.” A meditation on the inherent emptiness of racist language seen from another perspective, in another context, in another world, The White Rhinoceros avoids being didactic by tempering the weight of its subject with far-out fantasy. It asks: “Which world do you want to live in?” Neither is “false” nor “bad,” but there is a difference between the two. Each has its own positives and negatives.

I interviewed both Partridge and Simmons in separate sessions in early January. The White Rhinoceros is perhaps a description of Shaun Partridge’s take on life itself, and his interview gives insight into its philosophy. Josh Simmons, whose full-color artwork lends clarity to a frenetic comic, also played an essential role as architect of the fictional locale of The White Rhinoceros Racelandia, and, as you’ll see in his interview, which will be posted later, Simmons’ initial designs for the racial characters helped The White Rhinoceros become more than just speculation on a message board.

I sincerely thank both creators for their time and effort.

Ian Burns


IAN BURNS: I wanted to start by talking about your interest in alchemy. What it is to you and how you do you apply it?

SHAUN PARTRIDGE: I think everything comes back to alchemy. It’s one of those things I was never remotely interested in, and years ago, I went through a session where … I was raised Catholic and was really into Jesus. I was a Jesus freak for years. It was really fun. And then one day, I realized that it didn’t exist, and so I stopped being turned on by that trip. And I actually ended up being a complete asshole [Burns laughs],’cause if there’s no such thing as God, and you just die, who cares? You should just do everything to laugh. Which I still basically believe is true. I think fun is the law. You should really enjoy life and laugh. That’s what comedy’s all about. Which is also alchemical, because you’re taking something that is unpleasant and making jokes about it. You know, Dave Chappelle’s a master alchemist. Larry David’s an alchemist.

But what happened was, I had this really, really weird dream like back in ’98, and I’ve always had fun dreams, but this dream was so specific. I woke up the next day. “That was weird.” As if it was trying to show me something. So it was a slow process, but I had a few more of these dreams. Then later I was reading some Jung book, and you know he’s all into alchemy, and he mentions specific things, and it was like this light bulb went on. And at the time I thought it was really, really weird. “Why am I dreaming about alchemy of all things?” You know? So I just became really interested in it.

BURNS: So you got introduced to it through your dreams?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, really specifically. And that’s when I started getting back into God. I sat there for weeks, depressed.“You know, I don’t believe in God, this doesn’t make any sense.” So I go, “Something clearly is trying to contact me with these weird symbolic dreams. This is strange. Is it my mind? If it’s my mind, why would my mind be doing this?” It seemed like there was an order, an intelligence, was happening. I mean so specifically, too long to even discuss: just really strange things.

I think one of the simple ones … I was in a house, and there was this guy who was in a black robe, and these people in white robes killed him. “Oh, that’s horrible.” And then all the sudden, I came back into the room, and the room was all white. All of the sudden all of the white robed people with white candles disappeared, and then the entire room turned rose red, and all the candles became red. So right there you have the three stages of alchemy: the black stage, the white stage; the red stage. Really specific things I didn’t realize I was dreaming about for another five years. It was one of those things that you get into and it changes your entire life.

BURNS: Over the years have you explored any other forms of gnosis?

PARTRIDGE: That’s the whole thing. I’m a member of The Partridge Family Temple, which is a religion based on fun, but it’s a gateway cult. It leads you to all these different things. We recognize the Partridge Family members as different archetypes, but it leads me … in a sense truth is one. It’s all one. I think that people respond to certain things better than others. I realized later. “Why did alchemy come to me?” Well, I like fantasy. Alchemy has all these great creatures like unicorns, green and red lions, beings with the Sun and the Moon for their head, dragons and wonderful stuff like that.

BURNS: So you seek enlightenment through all of this?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah … it’s a pop-culture kind of trip in a way. I believe that God is the author of all things, and I think that life is God and that everything is symbolic. You know Emmanuel Swedenborg?

BURNS: I’ve heard the name but I haven’t read anything.

PARTRIDGE: He was this genius scientist, and when he was like 50 he had this revelation of Christ at the foot of his bed or something like that. He started having heavy, spiritual visions. Then he started decoding the Bible, seeing that it was symbolic. I’ve kind of entered that stage in my own life but with TV shows and stuff like that: fast food franchises. In a sense it’s a comforting thing. It sounds like you’ve gone crazy, but it’s actually comforting. ’Cause you look around and all you see is God. Everything is turned on.

BURNS: Right. Everything has meaning again.

PARTRIDGE: Yeah. And that was the thing when I wasn’t into the God scene. I didn’t see any meaning to anything. There was no order. And the order that I did see just seemed like slow and ponderous and unpleasant.

BURNS: Do you have a definition of enlightenment? I know that’s kind of hard to answer, but do you have a goal that you seek?

PARTRIDGE: I think that everyone is born with lead boots; the goal is to have a golden head. To be totally turned on. I think everyone has their own session, you know what I mean? Everyone has their own inner magic kingdom. I think that in a sense we come to this planet … basically it’s school. We go through these weird different trips and learn things, or don’t learn things. I think this is what it comes down to: it’s all about being perfected. And the goal, if you believe in the whole karma trip, you know, coming back — which, I do and I don’t. I have no proof of this … I don’t want to come back here. I don’t like this place. I think it’s a real drag. But there’s interesting things also here. So I think in a weird way, you come here, you learn things, and then you take all the groovy stuff, and you go somewhere with it. I think if God is fair, the goal is to become God, and create your own magic kingdom. You know what I mean? Don’t you want to create your own Disneyland? Your own Ianland that’s really far-out with all the rides you want and the best restaurants in the world. In a sense, God owes you a solid. You dig?

BURNS: But the point is to make it out of the world you’re given, in your own head?


(The Partridge in the Pear Tree. Photo taken by K is for Kaleidoscope.)

Growing Up with Serial Killers

BURNS: You were born in Albany, New York in 1968. Is that correct?

PARTRIDGE: Yes, that’s correct. The year my favorite movie, The Yellow Submarine, came out.

BURNS: Could you talk about your childhood? Where you grew up and what your parents did?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, just really mellow. I was born in Albany, but we moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin when I was 2, and those were the holy years for me. From ’70-’74.  I really dig the ’60s and early ’70s, so I have this weird memory when things were still magical. Early ’70s, I remember when things just started shifting and becoming ugly and depressing. But living in La Crosse, Wisconsin, it was like everything was magic. You’d go into the A&P and there’d be Koogle peanut butter, and all this cool stuff that doesn’t exist anymore. All the TV shows were brilliant. Everything was great in the early ’70s. And then also these other shows were being repeated like The Monkees and stuff like that. So everything was super psychedelic as a child. Basically, the hippy scene just trickled down into the little kiddie scene,’cause I grew up, and everyone else my age grew up basically being bombarded by LSD without actually doing it. In a sense, TV was like some pure Owsley [Stanley] with different channels. So that had a huge influence on me. But then basically we moved to Colorado and that’s where I lived for many, many years. But my parents, they’re funny people. They’re characters. But I’m not sure really what you want to know.

BURNS: Well, what did they do, what were their professions?

PARTRIDGE: My dad was an engineer on the railroad for years. He retired a few years ago. He’s been having a lot of fun being retired. He bought a hookah and seems happy. My mom did the stay-at-home scene. That meant she would take us to McDonald’s and Casa Bonita quite frequently.

BURNS: As you’ve grown and developed and pursued some of these strange alleyways, what’s been their reaction?

PARTRIDGE: My parents have always been freaks, really. They’ve always been really mellow. It’s funny. I have the best parents, because my father’s really hyper-realistic about things — no bullshit. My mom’s really into psychic things. So I have the best of both worlds. Also, even with food, my dad’s into really good food, my mom was into really weird fast-food stuff. Like a gourmet of fast food. I experienced both and can enjoy both. But yeah, my dad’s hyper-realistic, so it’s a nice balance. At a very young age my mom would always obsessively tell me stories about: “You can heal yourself if you have cancer”; “People can talk to angels”; of out-of-body experiences. So all this really weird stuff was always filtered into my head-trip. So it was good. She denies this now, but the funny thing about my mother was that she was constantly telling me about child abuse and serial killers [laughter] this horrible stuff. It got to the point — I remember in seventh grade she once frightened me and my best friend so bad on 4th of July that we didn’t go three blocks to our friends house because she kept talking about John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy.

BURNS: Oh, God.

PARTRIDGE: With such detail, I mean seriously I think we were 13 at the time. We were like, “We’re going back in the house.” And she denies this. She’s like, “I’m only the nice, sweet one, Shaun. I’m not anything like that.”

But seriously … I used to go outside and go, “Every block has one house that a kid is being abused in, which house is it?” I mean I was obsessed with child abuse because that’s all she talked about. She said she was trying to make me and my sister cautious and aware, but she ended up making me and my sister nervous wrecks [laughs]. We were always wondering about this stuff, and if it wasn’t that it was that all these horrible things are going to happen to you, you know? Like accidents and weird ways to die.

BURNS: [Laughs.] Did the Catholic influence come from her?

PARTRIDGE: We were really loose Catholics. I don’t know how you were raised, but we’d only go to church on holidays. But the thing is, I’m not bitter at all about this stuff. There’s a lot of those bitter people. To me, I actually have a very comforting memory. I was obsessed as a young kid with the ’50s, and I liked the old times, and I liked the idea of, you go to church and you say hello to your pastor. And I always would wave at cops when I was a kid. So I liked the idea of the neighborhood. “How ya doin’ Mr. Police Man!” I always liked that idea. I wanted to live in a ’50s TV show. So church wasn’t a bad trip at all. It was boring to me. The weird trip was that of course you’re just going to be always hyper-paranoid. I was always worrying. My mom would tell me, “If we get in a car accident, Shaun, say this prayer, you’ll go to Heaven. If you don’t say this prayer, you’ll go to Hell.” So, I was terrified because I’m thinking, “How am I going to remember to say a whole prayer when I’m flying through the window of a car?” So that stuff was the weird stuff that made you paranoid.

BURNS: So what eventually led to the realization that this wasn’t real?

PARTRIDGE: Well, what happened was, when I was a teenager, I would wear a Ben Cooper punk rock Halloween costume. You know, just having fun. The thing is, I was very obsessive compulsive. I was a lot like Tiny Tim. I remember we met Tiny Tim years later and it freaked me out because it brought back all these weird memories. But when I was a teenager I would like walk down the street, stop and just pray. Close my eyes and say, “I love you Jesus Christ, I love you Jesus Christ, Praise God.” And all my friends thought I was insane because I would do that but then I would be doing things like spray-painting houses and blowing things up and doing all this obnoxious fun teenage stuff. But at the same time I would never take the Lord in vain. I had these weird rules, these weird obsessive-compulsive Christian rules I lived by.

LSD and Christians

BURNS: Some strange double standards.

PARTRIDGE: Yeah. Then I started getting out of it, and when I was 17 I met these people in Colorado. They were a few years older than me that were cool. They were in this band. They all ended up being Christians, and I moved in with them and I was like, “That’s weird.” And that was one of the most psychedelic experiences of my life because one of the guys did acid. We started doing tons of LSD. And then we got everyone in the house to start doing LSD and smoking grass. And they were all Christians, so it was really weird. Looking back now I feel like I lived in the early ’70s in Boulder, Colorado. We were all wearing groovy clothes and moccasins, doing acid, reading the Bible. We’d go up in the mountains and play music. We were totally turned on to the whole Jesus scene. Then, a friend of ours went crazy and so we stopped doing acid and drugs. And that was when things got really cosmic, because the only way you can describe it is I guess the Holy Spirit … Everyone was high constantly. And people would come to our house and go, “What’s going on here?” They all thought we were a cult, which was, you know, kind of like groundwork later for The Partridge Family Temple, basically. But yeah those were really fond memories.

BURNS: Were you guys having, I don’t want to call them illusions, but were you having waking states of visions, or … ?

PARTRIDGE: Nothing like that. We just were really happy. It was one of those things, when it was happening it was groovy, and then I got out of it. And then over time, looking back, I realized what a magically strange time that was. We were just extremely happy. We met these old hippies, actually, that were hippies in the ’60s, and used to do acid and drugs, and they were older now, and they were Christians, and they were really laid back and cool. And we started having Bible study. And it was really cosmic. We would sit around and play music, have drums and guitars; it was really like a psychedelic scene. And these old hippies, they weren’t burn-outs, they were like professional, cool older hippies. And they were like, “This is so insane! This is like the ’60s. Wow!” They were really turned on to the whole scene, so that was a really fun time.

BURNS: When you say: when you die you don’t want to come back here, does that … I guess I’ve read some things where you mention distaste for most people.

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, it’s weird. Me and my old lady were talking: it’s like, as we become more turned on spiritually, in a sense our hatred for the human race grows. But it’s a different kind of trip now. It’s not like where you actually want to engage human beings, you know? I don’t even know what human beings are anymore. I think they play roles. I think some people are real, and I think some people are just sort of agents that serve some certain purpose. I meditated on it a lot. “What is this person?” I ride the bus, “What is this creature in front of me? This dimwitted animal. Does he have a soul?” And in a sense I think that’s what the trip is. I think we experience all these lives, you know? Again, I have absolutely no proof of this. It’s just weird insights that Mother Shirley blows in my mind.

The Partridge Family Temple

BURNS: When you were a kid, and you had your Christian faith, then grew out of that, did you have any of those inklings of, “You know, maybe I just don’t really like people?”

PARTRIDGE: I don’t like people that are uptight. Obviously, I like groovy people. I mean like attracts like, right? Also, this is something that I think is funny. People get real bent out of shape if you say you dislike people. But these people dislike people. I live in Portland. The hatred for Conservatives is a number-one smash hit at the top of the charts. Everyone hates someone. And if you’re Turned-On, you try and have fun with it. It’s material. And good material is Comedy Gold.

BURNS: It seems like you’re turned off by more closed-mindedness than anything else.

PARTRIDGE: I went through this phase in the early ’90s. The whole politically correct scene was so overbearing … I started hanging around these liberal colleges, and I got really turned on to their fun’n’games. I always kind of identified with the left, and then I’d see the left being these kind of uptight, square Hitler mustaches. You know I was living in San Francisco and I would walk up and down the street, and there were these posters of some guy being gagged by an American flag, and it said like, “Censorship is Un-American,” and as I was living there I would see all these people in San Francisco censoring things constantly that they didn’t like. “We’re gonna shut this down! This artist is horrible!” And I was like, “Don’t you get it?” It was all the same trip. I’ve always loved freedom and fun things, so I was just kind of like, “Wait, this goes both ways.” So I kind of took their game and ran with it. Basically just projected it back at them. Though I don’t think they realized that we were playing the same game. Maybe because I was always hitting home runs out of the stands and they were always fumbling their ball of confusion.

BURNS: Talk about how you met Adam Sleek, who was the person who introduced you to the Partridge music, right?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah yeah yeah. And that was a heavy scene, because the people I lived with, he was Slim’s friend, and Slim was almost embarrassed by him. They were childhood friends and Slim was my roommate. Adam was one of the most intense people I’ve ever met in my life, just overwhelming. So Adam Sleek moved in with us, and it was this weird thing where no one really wanted him to move in, but he did. He was just this entity, he just shows up. So he moved in, and I remember sitting there one day looking at his record collection, and I saw The Partridge Family, and I hated The Partridge Family when I was a kid. I never liked them for some reason. I have an aversion to red-headed freckled people, especially when I was a kid. They freaked me out. So Danny Bonaduce just gave me the creeps. [Burns laughs]. So I’m looking at this record, and I’m going, “Does Adam listen to The Partridge Family?”

And Slim goes, “Yes. He listens to some really weird music.”

And then Adam heard me. “Yes. Have you heard them lately?”

I go, “I just don’t like The Partridge Family.”

Have you heard them lately?”

He was really intense about it. Then a couple years later, we had moved to Boston, I came back. We went to this coffee house, and on the juke box was a 45 of The Partridge Family, and so Adam would play it over and over again. They would unplug the jukebox, people would get angry and kick it [Burns laughs]: this one guy tried getting it off the jukebox. But the thing is, it was the best thing in the world, one day it just clicked, and I was like, “This music is fucking beyond perfect. This is the most psychedelic music.”

All of the sudden me and my friend Dan got totally turned on to it. We started listening to it constantly. This is the best music. I go, “This is truly an incarnation of the divine.” That was the seed of The Partridge Family Temple, so Adam Sleek sowed that seed and it took root and grew.

BURNS: And so you and Dan—

PARTRIDGE: Well he goes by “The Second Coming of Keith Partridge” now.

BURNS: The Second Coming of Keith Partridge, now? He’s had a couple different names, right?

PARTRIDGE: His names mutate and change occasionally.

BURNS: As do yours, I understand.

PARTRIDGE: I have many names. I’m like Gandalf. I have many, many names. But my main temple name is “The Partridge in the Pear Tree.” I also am “The Umbrella Man,” which is another temple name, but I’m mainly The Partridge in the Pear Tree.

(From left to right: K is for Kaleidoscope, The Partridge in the Pear Tree, Quan Partridge. Photo taken by Amanda Kill.)

BURNS: You guys co-founded The Partridge Family Temple in 1988, is that right?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah it was the summer of 1988.

BURNS: Now, in The Partridge Family Temple, a temple just means … a city in which a member has a residence, or …

PARTRIDGE: Basically what it is, your body’s the temple. But you can have temples, you can have temple sessions. We call them bus stops. So wherever other turned on Temple freaks are it’s a temple. And you know, we collect Partridge Family records and CDs and stuff like that, and people donate them to us, so we always have a nice stock, so when we meet the Now people we want to turn them on to the Temple, we have extra stuff, we have extra records. My brother just sent me a Christmas record: a Partridge Family Christmas record, and I already have some, but that’s beautiful because someone else is going to get that CD and be turned on.

BURNS: Do you know how many temples there are now? I think I read that you guys had one in London now.

PARTRIDGE: I don’t know … My sister might know more about that. She does a lot more of the dealing with contacts and stuff like that. One thing we found with the temples, when you start something like this, people, like they do with churches, people want something from you. And sometimes you can’t give it to them. So at a certain point I became just disconnected to that. You know, people contact me, “Oh yeah lets hang out. Let’s do this.” I have no real interest in that anymore. It’s sort of like, “If you’re still into The Partridge Family Temple five years from now, then I’ll talk to you. Because then I know that you’re sincere.” We’ve had people that want to hang out and they get angry, like “Oh you’re not turning me onto anything interesting.” Or they’re needy. So that trip is just uptight. That’s not what we want: we don’t want passengers, we want bus drivers.

BURNS: Let’s just talk about the central belief system of the Temple. I use the term tenet here just to give a definition, but I would say one of the central tenets would be Fun is the Law, right?

PARTRIDGE: Fun is the main trip, yeah. And it still is, because I think everything should be fun. And that applies to everything in my life, all the ugly stuff too. And that’s what The White Rhino is about, too. To take things that are unpleasant and look at the fun aspect: to be light-hearted and laugh. Laughter really and truly is the best medicine. They’ve done studies that laughter is really good for you. There’s a new study my mom turned me on to … laughter can lower cholesterol or something like that [laughs]. So laughter is great. I think it comes down to, and we’ve always believed this in The Temple, to me my true enemies are those without laughter — people that don’t have a sense of humor. They’re the ones that are really uptight. So fun is good. Fun is a really good thing.

BURNS: With the characters from the show, you believe they’re incarnations or archetypes?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah. Definitely. I think they are human embodiments of divine characters. You know, Keith is Jesus, he’s Krishna: he’s beautiful. Shirley’s Isis. All the gods and goddesses flow through them. And again, that’s also alchemical. For instance, in The Partridge Family, the TV show, in the beginning there’s a little brown haired boy: the original Christopher. And then later there’s a little blond-haired one. And that’s because Shirley did an alchemical transformation. The brown haired boy represented lead, and then the second Christopher was gold.

BURNS: Do you take lessons from old shows and try to apply them to everyday, or is it more what you just said, looking for alchemical connections …

PARTRIDGE: It just goes everywhere. I was just thinking the other day about the TV show My Three Sons. I go, “That sounds weird and occult …” And then you look it up and it is. It’s some weird thing about my three Suns. Different occult practices talk about the three Suns. And they mean different things. One of the simple ones is the three Suns, the early Sun of your life, the middle of your life, and your death, so there’s all different ways. And that’s just a ’60s TV show. You wouldn’t think about it. I mean, I Love Lucy, the heart is like a solar symbol. And “Lucy” means light. “I Love Light.” So it’s all there. Leave it to Beaver: the great goddess, the mother giving birth, the beaver. The Honeymooners, when Ralph Kramden says, “One of these days, Alice! Straight to the moon.”

He’s explaining to her, one day if we’re lucky, we’ll reach the Silver Stage of the Great Work. It’s all cosmic. All the TV shows are there, it’s amazing. Three’s Company: “Come and knock on my door, we’ve been waiting for you.”

Keith Partridge says, “Knock on my door and I will open it.”

And of course Three’s Company is the holy trinity, you know? In all occult systems there’s always been magic number three. It’s just amazing.

BURNS: And there are seven Partridges, aren’t there?

PARTRIDGE: There are six, actually: But the other character that’s super important is Bobby Sherman. And he was on the last episode of the first season of The Partridge Family. They launched him. And his stuff is so amazing, and so … I don’t know if you’ve heard of Bobby Sherman …

BURNS: I haven’t, no.

PARTRIDGE: Well you live in Seattle. He had a show called Here Come the Brides, and he had a song called “In Seattle.” You should listen to it. Whenever me and my old lady go up to Seattle we put that on right when we get into town. It’s a beautiful song. And Bobby Sherman was wonderful. He was amazing. But he was also like The Partridge Family, an early ’70s pop star. But his lyrics are so strange. You have to think of his target audience, like young kids. He had a song called “Time.”

“We all die from time. No matter who you are you answer to time. And I’ll bet you a [year we all run] out of time.”

Heavy, heavy, heavy stuff: He has a song in fact saying, “Let your mind be the captain. Let your body be the ship. You have to be your own Jesus.”

I mean can you imagine being 10 years old and listening to lyrics like that? So, in a sense he’s like the seventh. At the same time, The Partridge Family has the dog. Simone the dog, and so that ties in too with the seventh. And they represent the seven planets and the seven chakras. And the dog is the guide. And I guess “Simone” means “to listen.”

BURNS: So, do you think it’s all divine incarnations, or do you think there’s any merit to the idea that these are things that are coming out of human culture, and there’s something divine about human culture creating these patterns?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, it’s a weird trip because, for instance, I think that people are just vessels. I don’t think anyone has their own ideas, you know what I mean? I’ve noticed that people have very similar ideas to mine, and I almost think certain people are just more receptive to it, and they pool up in certain people, and certain people can implement it and certain people can’t. But there’s a theory that … you’ve heard all this weird stuff about our astral bodies or something like that, or our higher selves in another realm kind of feed these thoughts to us here. So in a sense that’s what it’s like. This divine light, this wisdom comes down to us and hopefully we can turn onto it. In a sense it’s like C.S. Lewis, there’s like a shadow realm. It’s kind of an imperfect example of what is to be.

BURNS: The other side of the mirror.

PARTRIDGE: Yeah. The slow-matter scene.

Arrested in Connecticut

BURNS: I want to read a quote of David Cassidy who played Keith Partridge. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. He said, “Sometimes I suspect that TV programs and programming have had a little too much impact on people. It was really intended for people’s entertainment and enjoyment, and not to influence them in any way in terms of a lifestyle choice.” What’s your response to that?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, I’ve heard that. It’s funny because he is the one guy who’s really against the Temple.

BURNS: Really?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, I was arrested in Connecticut. Him and Danny Bonaduce were performing and we had stickers and they freaked out. They kicked Dan out, and I went in there and I was being really mellow, and they kicked us out.

BURNS: You and Dan were attending it and you were … outside the arena with stickers?

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, yeah. It was in New Haven Connecticut. It was at this place called Toad’s Place, which is this small club. Dan was kicked out first, and then I went in there and I was being really mellow, but they just knew I was a part of this scene. I had some stickers in my pocket I forgot about, and I go, “I’m not passing these out.” But it was just an excuse for them to kick me out, and then I was really angry and this cop came up. I was talking to him, and he was just a complete prick. I go, “We drove like an hour and half here, we bought our tickets,” and the next thing you know he threw me on the ground and arrested me.

It was just a weird scene. They put me in the jail, there was like these gigantic hulking monsters like, “Put that faggot in there with me, I’m gonna kick his ass!”


PARTRIDGE: But the cops were nice. The fuzz were really pleasant that night. Except for the guy who arrested me. But, you know, sometimes you have to be jailed for your beliefs. And of course, God works in mysterious ways, there ended up being a really good article about it. It spread the word. There’s a calendar someone saw, and I never found it. You know there’s these calendars that have a new word every day? There’s a calendar of like weird happenings, of just weird clips from newspapers. Someone told Dan, “Yeah I have this calendar, and one of the things says, ‘Weird Guy Arrested at David Cassidy Concert.’” [Burns Laughs]. And we never could track it down! We were like, “Oh my God, that’s amazing; it made a calendar.” One of the days, you know? How far out is that?

BURNS: And that was in ’91?

PARTRIDGE: I believe so.

BURNS: You know, speaking of mysterious ways … That lead to a lot of publicity for the Temple, right? You got on The Jon Stewart Show

PARTRIDGE: Yeah, Dan did The Jon Stewart Show. Definitely the word started spreading. Or the bird started spreading its wings. Danny Bonaduce is actually down with the Temple, so it’s really cool. He told my sister, he said, “Yeah, David freaked out. He was just really freaked out by you guys.”

A friend of mine, Boyd, did an interview with Danny Bonaduce years ago, and he’s like, “They were saying that the stickers you were passing out were dipped in LSD.”

And he just totally thought that was groovy. So he’s always been really cool. But yeah, David Cassidy has always been freaked out. He was really disturbed by the Temple.

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One Response to “Hail The White Rhinoceros Part One (of Three): Shaun Partridge”

  1. vollsticks says:

    “Ian Brady the mod existentialist”. Oh you crazy American, you!