The following is a collection of letters from Annette Reynolds to her best friend Ashley Peters. Annette is a 22
year old guitarist and lead singer in a new band, The Rage, based out of Washington DC. After recording their first album,
"Sessions from the Garage", and having their first single release "Crazy in Love" hit # 1 on the Billboard charts, Annettes
band has been invited to perform their hit on the Tonight show.
Jan. 15, 1975
Well we are finally on our way. I still have to pinch myself that we are finally here. I mean, if you had told
me six months ago that our band would be on a plane flying to Los Angeles to be on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, I
would have told you that you were nuts! But like I just said, here we are. Jason sends his love, by the way. I dont know how
we are going to stand him with you not being here to keep him from going crazy. Im sure you miss him as much as he misses
you. Next time we go anywhere on the road, you will have to find a way to be with us. I hope he can keep his mind on his work,
cause we really need his beat on those skins! The rest of the guys say hi also. It seems like I cant write this letter in
Mr. Rockwell, our manager, tells me that one of our other songs, "White Heat" has hit the charts, coming in at
# 31 this week. To have 2 songs in the top 40 from a debut album is a bit of a rarity, according to him. Maybe thats why we
got this invitation to perform on the Tonight Show. I can tell you, Im nervous as hell about it. I mean, when we were playing
high school proms and weddings, that was business, but this is fame and Im scared. I hope we do alright on national television
in front of millions of viewers. I get the willies just thinking about it. Steve is taking this way to calmly for my liking.
Maybe being a bass player, its part of his personality. He says that this is why he formed the band 3 years ago. He always
knew we would make it big. You know I love my brother, but he is a typical musician with an ego to match!
Well the plane is getting ready to land. NBC is putting us up at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We are supposed to have
a limo waiting to take us there. After we get settled, we are scheduled to go to the studio to rehearse on the Tonight Show
sound stage. I hope the guys the station hired to roadie for us will take good care of Baby. You know, I think the most difficult
part of this whole trip is letting some else handle her. I know you think Im way too obsessive with my guitar, but shes been
mine since grade school. I would die if anything happened to her!
Well, Ill close now. Ill write again after the show. Pray for us and make sure you and the gang watch us tonight!
January 16, 1975
Its 4 am and Im so excited, I cant sleep. I decided that if I wrote to you , I might be able to calm down, but
I dont know if I ever will. I know you watched us last night, so you saw what happened on TV, but wait till I tell you the
whole story. You are not going to believe it!
Let me start at the beginning. We arrived at the hotel at 10 am and got settled. The hotel is so fancy and we have
a big suite. I get the room to myself, of course, since Im the only girl, lucky me. After freshening up, we were taken to
NBC. The sound stage that the Tonight Show is taped on is positively huge compared to that TV station we played on two months
ago in DC. The equipment guys were late, so we were asked to wait in the green room. Thats the room where guests of the show
are put in while they wait to go on. They had a lot of good food and drink set out. It was around lunch time, so this delay
was probably a good thing since you know how these guys like to eat. I couldnt touch a bite, cause I was afraid of throwing
up all over Mr. Carson, I was so nervous! It was while we were waiting in there that we got what I thought at the time was
our second piece of disappointing news. Seems Mr. Carson was on vacation and there would be a guest host. I know you saw that
when you watched the show. You probably know how excited I was when we found out who was guest hosting in his place. I could
just picture your face when they announced that Freddie Prinze was the guest host! I need to tell you, he is hotter in person
than on his TV show! Those eyes of his really do pierce right through you! And is he ever tall and lean and... Oh my God,
I cant even describe his voice, soooo sexy! I really thought I was going to lose it when he came over to the band while we
rehearsed. But Im getting ahead of my story.
The guy in charge of the production, the stage manager, I think he is called, came in to tell us our equipment
had arrived and Pedro asked him when we would meet Mr. Carson. Thats when we found out that he would not be there. The stage
manager then took us to the sound stage and we set up our equipment. Pedro had a hard time finding all the pieces to his keyboard,
so rehearsal was delayed again. Thats when Freddie Prinze came in, while we were waiting to get the rest of the keyboard.
He came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. You know how I hate being surprised like that. I swung around with a fist
in the air ready to belt who ever did that and almost hit Freddie Prinze!!! I was sooo embarrassed! He was able to duck before
the punch landed, fortunately. "Boy, shes dangerous," he said to the guys. And my dumb brother answered, "Yea, you have to
watch Annette, shes a real hellcat!" I died 1,000 deaths with that remark, vowing silently I would repay my brother for that
one! I very coyly took Freddies outstretched hand and shook it. "Mr. Prinze", I said to him, " I apologize, I didnt know it
was you standing behind me." "Thats ok, just remind me never to come upon you in a dark alley one night", he answered. And
then he smiled at me, flashing those pretty white teeth and he laughed. God, Ashley, it sounded like bells ringing in my ears
when he laughed. I didnt even care that it was at me! "What brings you over here to this studio," was all I could think to
ask him. "Two reasons, really", he answered. "Im guest hosting the show tonight and I wanted to meet my new favorite band!"
Ashley, he heard of us and he likes our music! I thought the studio floor would open up and swallow me right then and there!
I didnt know what to say. Steve, always the calm one, came over and introduced himself to Freddie. "Im Steve Reynolds, the
founder and bass guitarist." He then introduced the rest of the band. "This is Jason Kendel, our drummer." Jason shook Freddies
hand and Freddie said, "I used to play drums in a band I was in when I was in high school in New York." Next Steve introduced
Pedro. "Pedro Ruiz, our keyboardist." "Que pasa, Freddie", said Pedro and then he and Freddie conversed in Spanish. Ashley,
Freddie speaks Spanish so dreamily! Steve then introduced Kenny. "This is Kenny Price, our lead guitarist. "Nice to meet you
Mr. Prinze", was all our shy Kenny could respond. "Hey, none of that Mr. Prinze jive. Call me Freddie." And then if I hadnt
been humiliated enough, Steve turned to me and said, "And you have already met our resident hellcat. Freddie, this is my baby
sister, Annette, rhythm guitar and sultry lead vocalist." As I turned 25 shades of red, Freddie took my hand into his large
one and brought the back of mine to his soft lips and kissed it saying, "Es un honor de reunirlo, senorita hermosa." Pedro
smirked, being the only one of our group who spoke Spanish. I looked puzzled at him and he translated it for me. "I said it
is an honor to meet you, beautiful lady! I have enjoyed your sexy voice on my record player many times. You are a very talented
woman." He then addressed the whole band and said, "I really dig your music."
After we had our introductions out of the way, the stage manager asked us to start our rehearsal. Pedros missing
keyboard parts were found, so we rehearsed "Crazy in Love". Ashley, Freddies dark eyes never left mine the whole time I sang
the song. I almost messed up several times, but there was something in the way he looked at me that made me feel all calm
inside. It was like he wanted me to sing the song just for him. When I sang the part, Your kisses so sweet, they melt my heart,
he blew a kiss to me! Needless to say, I couldnt concentrate after that and I missed my next cue into the chorus. Steve stopped
the song and was about to lash into me like he always does when one of us messes up his songs, but Freddie came to my defense.
"It wasnt her fault, man. I distracted her." Steve wasnt going to argue with a big star, but I saw the look he gave me that
I would be in for it later. Fortunately what happened next made him forget all about it. Freddie asked Steve if he could sit
in with the band and jam with us after we finished our rehearsal. Even egotist Steve was impressed that a big star like Freddie
would want to jam with us. We got through the rehearsal fine, after Freddie promised my brother he would not distract me anymore.
Ashley, I wish you could have heard Freddie play the drums. I know there is no better drummer in your eyes than
Jason, but thats love blinding you! Only kidding! Freddie not only played the drums, but on a few songs, Kenny lent him his
spare ax and I showed him the chords for "White Heat" and "Crazy in Love". Can Freddie ever play guitar and he has a dreamy
voice that blended perfectly on the harmonies! He told me that he listens to our album all the time and learned the harmonies
while singing to it.
I know you watched the show, so you saw the performance. The band was happy with it and the audience went wild.
Freddie asked us to do "White Heat" as an encore, but you saw that too. Im glad we got to rehearse that one when Freddie was
jamming with us. Steve told us later we could have been better, but thats just Steve, always the perfectionist.
We are going to be going to a recording studio today to cut some new tracks for a possible second album. Mr. Rockwell
thinks he might be able to get us signed with Chrysalis Records. After the performance last night, he says his phone should
start to ring off the hook with record deals.
Well I really do need to try to get some sleep. It is a big day tomorrow and I dont want Steve mad at me for being
too tired to play at the recording studio. Ill write again soon.
January 18, 1975
So much has happened in the past two days. First we were able to lay down 7 new tracks at the recording studio.
The sound engineer said our stuff was hot and should make the charts. Even Steve seemed happy with the session. Mr. Rockwell
did hear back from Chrysalis and we went to their corporate office and signed a 2 year deal with them. They have agreed to
listen to the tracks we had just recorded and Steve is now under the gun to come up with a few more songs to round out our
second album. SECOND ALBUM!!! I cant believe it! We had dinner that night at the Brown Derby to celebrate, and guess who we
ran into there. Freddie Prinze. He was there with some friends and when he saw us he came over and sat down next to me! Steve
told him about the record deal and the new album. Freddie asked us if we had any plans to tour for the first album and he
told Freddie that we had already finished an east coast tour but had not had the chance to book anything on the west coast
yet. Mr. Rockwell has been working on that for us, by the way. Freddie told us that he was going to be doing his stand-up
act at a place in Tahoe in two weeks and asked if we wanted to open for him! Ashley, can you imagine opening for Freddie Prinze!
Have I died and gone to heaven?! Mr. Rockwell said we would love to and asked Freddie to have his manager get in touch with
him. Freddie kissed my hand and said "Hasta luega" to us and left to rejoin his friends.
Chrysalis Records wants us to hang around Los Angeles for a while to promote us, so they have taken over paying
for us to stay at the hotel. Mr. Rockwell heard from Freddies manager and they have set up the Tahoe date. I wish you could
be here for it. Jason really is going nuts here without you. Some of the guys have met some girls out here, but Jason is true
to you and Steve is true to his songwriting. Im thinking of collaborating on a song with him. Ive had this idea for a song
going around in my head for a while and now that we are becoming famous, maybe I can convince Steve to help me write it.
Well I need to get ready for dinner. The guys want to take me out to someplace special tonight since its my birthday.
Ill write again real soon.
January 25, 1975
Boy, that was a nice surprise to see you this past weekend. I know Jason appreciated it. Hes much calmer, but you
will have to see if you can get out here more often and for longer stretches. It really looks as if we are out here to stay
for a while. I do miss DC, but not the weather! You can have the snow.
Mr. Rockwell has set up some concert dates for us in February and March. We fly to Seattle the Tuesday after the
Tahoe date. It will be a grueling two months, but you know I will write and keep you up to date. We have eight cities set
up so far and Chrysalis is trying to set up more. So far we are booked in Seattle for 3 shows, then Denver, Salem, Phoenix,
Tulsa, San Diego, San Francisco, and back to LA for 3 shows each.
It looks as if "White Heat" might make it into the top ten this week. I cant believe that we might have two songs
from our first album make into the top ten. Steve says that doesnt happen very often, so I guess we are hot right now. I just
hope we dont crash and burn going so fast on our first try. I think Steve is starting to feel the pressure from it though.
He has been more moody lately.
I finally have the lyrics to my song down. You know Im better with the music than the lyrics, so it was a challenge.
Its a song about being on the road and not being able to get too close to anyone to form a relationship with them. Im glad
Im not seeing anyone right now. I dont know how you and Jason do it, but I couldnt stand being in love with someone and not
being able to see them. I guess seeing the two of you last weekend was part of the inspiration I needed to write my song.
Now I have to get up the nerve to show it to Steve.
Speaking of relationships, Pedro told me that you told him you saw Tony the other day. How is the SOB. No, maybe
youd better not tell me. Pedro wouldnt say much and that is probably for the better. I really dont know why I let myself get
suckered into that relationship. I know we broke up a year ago, but you know those wounds still run deep. I guess its because
it was my first physical experience with a guy. Well this girl learned her lesson. No more till there is a ring involved and
there is no way Im ready for that to happen! I have too much life to live first! Heck, Im 22 and riding the crest of this
wave right now. Im not going to mess that up with a relationship. Im sorry if this makes you sad because of you and Jason,
but that is different. You guys are really in love. I shouldnt vent to you, but who else can I talk to about this. The guys
dont understand, thats for sure. Their brains are in the wrong part of their body!
Well its getting late and we are going back to the recording studio tomorrow to cut a few more tracks that Steve
has written. Keep your fingers crossed for me because Im going to present my song idea to the band tomorrow at the studio.
I figure if Steve hears the song in front of everyone, he will be less likely to object!
January 28, 1975
I know I only wrote to you a few days ago, but I cant wait to tell you what happened. I was sitting in my hotel
room finishing up the lunch I had room service bring up to me. The band didnt have anything planned for yesterday till 7,
so each of us decided we needed some time to ourselves and I had planned to lounge around the room all day and do nothing.
As I said, I was finishing lunch, when my phone rang. You wont believe this, but it was Freddie. I had not seen him since
that night in the Brown Derby, so I wasnt expecting this call to say the least. He asked me if I was busy and I told him that
actually I was just laying around doing nothing today, but I had a meeting with the record company at 7 that night. He told
me that things were really hectic and he wanted to get away for a few hours and asked if I would like to go for a drive with
him. After I got over the shock, I told him I would love to. He picked me up about 20 minutes later. He has the dreamiest
stingray convertible you have ever seen. It is truly a California car! As he held my door open for me, a true gentleman, he
asked me if I had had the chance to see the coast yet. Since we have spent most of our time in downtown LA, I told him no,
but I would love to. "Great," he answered and we went for a drive up highway 1 along the Pacific coast. Ashley, the Pacific
Ocean is nothing like the Atlantic. It is so calm and blue and peaceful, just like its name. The drive was wonderful. It was
hard to imagine it being January, it was so warm. But that is California for you. We talked the whole time we drove. I asked
him how he was able to get away from the show, since it was midweek and he said they were taking a week off, something about
the mid season writers meeting week. I really didnt understand. I guess this is what TV shows do in January. He told me he
was looking forward to our joint date in Tahoe this weekend and wanted to spend some time with me before we went. I told him
I was glad he called, that he saved me from a boring afternoon.
We shared about our families and told stories about growing up on the east coast. He thought it was neat that I
lived so close to DC and all its history, and I told him I envied him growing up in New York City, with all its culture. He
told me that actually he preferred LA to New York, that the part of New York that he grew up in was nothing to write home
about. We talked and drove for a couple of hours when he found a turn off that led down to the beach. I didnt have a swim
suit with me and, even though it was warm, I didnt think it was that warm to go swimming anyway. We took our shoes off and
rolled up our jeans and waded in the water instead. We had fun splashing each other and acting like a couple of kids. It is
sometimes hard to remember he is only 20, since he talks and acts so mature most of the time.
After our little frolic in the water, we returned to the car and he got a couple of towels out of the back seat.
"I see you came prepared," I remarked to him, and he responded that he thought we might need them if we went where he had
hoped we would go. After drying off and putting our shoes back on, we got back in the car and sat for a while. He invited
me to lean against him and he told me that he had fun getting away from the city for awhile with me. The beach we were at
was deserted except for the sea gulls. It was very peaceful. We sat like that for several minutes, just listening to the waves
and the gulls and not saying anything. After a little while, he shifted his weight and I sat up. Facing me he looked deep
into my eyes with those dark expressive ones of his. He didnt say anything for several minutes, just looked at me. Just as
I though he was going to speak, he reached down instead and placed his warm, full lips against mine and kissed me! Oh, my
God, Ashley, it was wonderful. I know I told you I was not ready to get involved with a guy anytime soon, but Tony is no Freddie,
I can tell you that. Where Tony always was physically aggressive, Freddie is so tender. He gently ended the kiss and seeing
me open my eyes he said, "Did you like that?" He actually asked me how I felt! God, is he ever different from the guys I dated
in DC. I told him that it was wonderful and he put his large hands with those long fingers gently on either side of my face
and brought it up to his again for another kiss. This time he slowly and carefully parted my lips with his tongue. Now you
know how I usually hate French kissing, but I have never been French kissed like this before. It was so natural and sensuous
how he probed my mouth with his long, firm tongue. After a few minutes of this, he again ended the kiss very slowly. This
time he didnt say anything, but began to stroke my cheek and hair with his left hand. I reached up to run my fingers through
his gorgeous long locks but hesitated not knowing if he would let me. He bent his head down slightly so I could reach it.
Wow. His hair is so soft and full. "Mmmm," he said, "That feels good."
He enjoyed this for another few minutes and then leaned back and guided my head into a resting position on his
chest. I could hear the beating of his heart as he stroked my hair. I ventured to rub the part of his chest that my head was
not against with my free hand, since one of them was now wrapped around his ribcage in a half hug. He did not seem to mind,
even when I touched his more sensitive spots. This actually had a desired effect because he began to caress my breasts through
my shirt with his free hand. This was not aggressive in anyway, but gentle and slow, like we had all of eternity to explore
each other. Our caressing went on for a long time before he shifted again and took my face into those large hands again and
indulged his pleasure in another long, passionate kiss. This time after he explored my mouth with his tongue, he took it and
was able to guide my tongue into his mouth. I had never experienced that sensation before. Now I know why guys like to tongue
kiss so much! I dont know if you have ever done this with Jason, but I recommend it highly. It is sooo... I cant describe
it in mere words, Ashley. You will just have to experience it for yourself to understand what Im trying to say.
I really thought that this activity was going to lead further, but Freddie carefully shifted me off of him, very
gently, as he had been all afternoon, and looked at his watch. "I think we need to be heading back, if you are going to be
on time for your meeting." "Noo," was all my brain could answer, but I knew he was right. We straightened ourselves up and
he started the car. We didnt say too much on the drive back, but he did let me lean against him as he drove.
He kissed me goodbye when he dropped me off at the hotel and told me again how he was looking forward to Tahoe.
I told you I didnt want to get involved with any more guys, but I think I might be changing my mind, Ashley. That tender encounter
has made me realize how much I miss the touch of a man and what a man Freddie is! I cant wait to see what might happen this
weekend. I hope we are not so busy with performing and publicity shots and parties and that stuff that Freddie and I wont
be able to steal some time to ourselves. If he asks me to sleep with him, I think I might be inclined to say yes!
Im sorry if this was so detailed and it made you miss Jason. I didnt mean to make you frustrated! I just needed
someone to tell this to and I knew you would understand. Jason tells me you are thinking about quitting your job and coming
on the road with us. I think that is wonderful. I will love having you around. Its hard to talk to the guys about girl stuff.
Hope to see you in Seattle in a couple of weeks. Forever Friends,
February 2, 1975
Hola! Thats Spanish for hello. Forgive me, but Im on cloud nine right now. Ill tell you why in a minute. As always
I need to tell you the whole story! I hope you are not busy doing anything else while you read this, cause you are going to
need lots of time and concentration for this one. Ashley, Im in LOVE!!! But let me tell you what happened from the beginning.
We arrived at the club in Lake Tahoe. It is a beautiful place, with a hotel adjacent to it. We have one of the
biggest guest suites in the place. We got unpacked, and went down to rehearse for the set we were doing that night. After
setting up our equipment, we practiced "Crazy in Love". I guess we were quite loud, cause employees of the club started to
gather to listen to us rehearse. After a few more numbers, Freddie wandered in and some of the band members waved to him.
He came up on stage and gave the guys hugs and slaps on the back. You should have seen it. It was like old home week! After
greeting the guys, he came up to me and gave me a long kiss. The guys all ooohed at us and made crude comments. I didnt tell
them about the drive the other day and I think the kiss took them off guard. I ignored their juvenile behavior and asked Freddie
if he would like to jam with us again, like he did that afternoon on the Tonight Show set. He was happy that I asked him and
we jammed for several hours. He even sang me an old Spanish love song while the guys were on a break. God, Ashley, he is sooo
romantic. After rehearsals, the band and Freddie went out to the pool and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon, as much as
we could with all the fans that were around hounding Freddie for autographs. He told his fans who we were and we even had
to sign autographs too. Seems people are listening to our music, but dont know our faces too well yet. Freddie tells me that
will change as soon as we go on tour. We did manage to have a little fun at the pool. Freddie put sun tan lotion on my back
with those long fingers of his. MMmmm boy, was that nice! Then we went swimming in the pool. The guys wanted to horse around
and chicken fight. Freddie joined them, but I stayed by the side of the pool and watched. He then said it was my turn and
I got on his broad shoulders and we challenged Pedro and Steve to a round. We won! Everyone was sorry to quit the pool and
go in to get ready for the evenings show. Freddie has a suite on the same floor as the band, but on the other side of the
building. He dropped me off at my door and gave me a kiss for luck. I was not too nervous before that, but something in the
way he wished me luck and said good bye started my nerves going.
The guys wanted to catch a bite to eat but I was too nervous to get more than a few bites down. Freddie told me
earlier that we probably would not see him till the show. I wished he was there having dinner with us. Maybe his presence
would have had a calming effect on my stomach!
Im sure Jason told you that our set was fantastic. The audience loved us and we wound up doing three encores! Then
we sat in the audience while Freddie came on and did his act. He is even funnier in person than on his TV show. After the
show, we all were taken to a large room where the club hosted some big shot producer types and we had to mingle and party
with this crowd for a while. Freddie and I were separated for about an hour, talking to people Id never met before. I hated
it, but Steve told me it was good publicity and I should act like I was enjoying myself, since Im the front singer for the
band. He was really getting into this PR stuff, and I know it is important for the band, but Ashley, it was soooo boring.
After about an hour of being introduced to and talking to executive types, Freddie was able to make his way over to me and
whispered to me that we should make the great escape. I couldnt have agreed more. We were able to sneak away to a quieter
corner of the room. He seemed as interested in ditching the party as I was. "Is this always the way it is after a show?",
I asked him. He said pretty much and I better get used to it now that the band were becoming stars. Can you imagine an big
star like Freddie calling us stars!
We made it out to the corridor outside the banquet hall where the party was still going strong. He asked me if
I had supper yet and I told him that I hadnt eaten very much before the show. He said he was tired of all the people and wanted
to go someplace quiet. "Lets go to my room then and order room service," he suggested. I was all for that, being tired of
the crowds myself.
His suite was not as large as ours, but it was as elaborate. He took off his jacket and tie and threw them on the
bed. He phoned down for a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of wine. Then he sat down on the edge of the bed and started rubbing
the back of his neck and moaning. I asked him if his neck hurt. "A little," he answered. "You mind rubbing it for me?", he
asked and I was very glad to oblige. After a couple of minutes of rubbing, he told me that I did that very well. I told him
that I had been studying to become a physical therapist before the bands music career took off. He asked me if I would give
him a back rub. I told him to wait a minute and I went to my room to get the scented oil I always pack to massage my legs
with when I have been on them too long. I returned to the room and room service had brought our order up. We ate first and
then I had Freddie strip to the waist and lay on his stomach across the bed. I prepared the oil in my hands, like I was taught,
swirling it in my palms to warm it. Then I started the massage, his broad shoulders first, and then up and down his spine,
and then back and forth across his ribcage. He moaned in delight as I was able to get his back muscles to relax. He is a very
tense person. At one point, I thought he had gone to sleep on me, he had stopped making any noise. Just as I was about to
get up though, he rolled over and gently pulled me to him and said, "Gracias, mi amor, that was muy maravilloso." I asked
him what that meant and he said very wonderful. Then he kissed me and the next thing I knew we are lying beside each other,
unclothed and enjoying each others caresses and kisses. Foreplay was long, sensuous and wonderful with Freddie. Not at all
like my encounters with Tony. I never knew sex could be this wonderful with the right person. We made love all night, taking
brief internals to sleep.
I dont know if I will be able to stand being separated from him when we go on tour. I can finally see how you and
Jason must feel. For your sake I hope you can meet us in Seattle. Freddie said he would try, but I know how busy he is. We
are getting ready to pack up and head back to LA. Freddie already left this morning. I kissed Freddie goodbye, and he said,
"Not goodbye, Hasta luego." Pedro had told me earlier when Freddie had said that in the Brown Derby, that it meant "till later".
Boy I hope so.
Well I really must end this letter and finish packing. Hope to see you in a week in Seattle.
April 1, 1975
Well its April Fools day an Im the one proving to be the fool. I guess its official now. Freddie has cast me aside
for some one else. And I cant stop crying. When will the hurting stop?
I really thought we could make a go of it. Maybe thats what makes me the biggest fool of all. When you came on
tour, things were going great. I was riding high. Our band was a hit everywhere we toured, I had a man who loved me and nothing
was going wrong. I guess I was too blinded by all the stage lights to see the truth. Now its over.
Im glad for you and Jason. We were sorry to see him leave the band at the end of the tour, but you two have been
away from each other for too long. How did you do it? Be apart and still stay in love? Maybe thats because you were together
longer, I dont know. But I wish I knew your secret!
Your wedding in Las Vegas was beautiful. It was nice that we played there last so you could be married before you
had to leave to go home to DC. I wish you nothing but the best.
I probably should have seen this coming, but I guess I wanted to believe we could be like you and Jason. He used
to call me, you know. Every city, before every show. The last time I saw him, when we were in Seattle, was the biggest hint
I missed about how things were going to be. I wanted to be alone with him so bad after the show, but the reporters and the
fans were hounding us for so long that all we had time for was a quick goodbye. He had taken time out of his busy schedule
to see me and I was not available for him. He told me on the phone later that it was OK and he, above every one, understood
the price you pay when you become famous. But I didnt understand. I still think its unfair that your personal life has to
take a back seat to your public life. My brother is no help. You saw how he was when Jason announced he was leaving the band.
All he sees is the fame and cant figure out why anyone would give that up, especially for love. But I was not ready either,
so I guess I cant judge him too harshly.
Freddies last call to me was right after we finished the Tucson show and we were heading for the Vegas gig. I was
looking forward to winding the tour down and returning to LA and Freddie. He was a little distant. He was so busy with his
public appearances and the show, that he sounded tired. That was another hint I missed. The calls in February were always
full of the plans we were making for after our tour and by March all we did, it seemed, was complain to each other how grueling
this business can be. In that last call, Freddie talked about settling down, but I was still flying high on the tour and told
him I wasnt ready yet. Then he didnt call me when we got to Las Vegas and I really should have gotten the hint. It was that
weekend that he met his new girlfriend, I found out later. The media said it was in Jacksons Hole that they met, but rumor
has it that it might have been right there in Vegas. He wouldnt tell me, and I really dont want to know, cause if he was in
Vegas while we were there and he didnt come to see me... God, Ashley I cant even think about that.
He did call me when I got back to LA on the 29th. He wanted me to know before I read about it in the papers. He
told me again how he was wanting to settle down and he knew that marrying another performer would be too much of a strain
on him. He asked me again if I was ready to settle down, and I told him no. I am still enjoying this first taste of the apple
of fame and it is still sweet. He said he understood, but knew it was time for him find someone he could share his life with.
I cant understand how at 20 anyone could think of settling down, but he has always been mature for his years. He thinks he
has found someone he can do that with, someone who is not a performer. He says she is a sweet person. He told me that he cherishes
the time we had together. He had hoped we could have a relationship that would have lasted. He believed we could when we were
in Tahoe, but the more I was on the road and away from him, the more he began to realize it wasnt going to work. I wished
him happiness and hoped he had found what he was looking for. He told me that they had decided to try living together first
before they would consider getting married, to see if it would work. He wished me success and happiness, too and then he hung
up. I have not stopped crying since. Im not angry at him and I cant really be angry at her. I guess Im angry at this business
and myself for buying into the lifestyle. I hope I do find true happiness one day, the happiness you and Jason have found.
I do know though, that if I ever do fall in love with someone, they will have a tough act to follow.
Well I guess I have cried in your beer long enough. We should be home for Easter for a visit. Hope to see you then
and then we can have a long talk.
June 29, 1975
Well I hope you are feeling better. Youd better take the doctors advice and quit that job and stay home. I am so
happy that you and Jason are starting a family and I dont want to see your health be affected by you working. I was tickled
that you asked me to be the godmother. I would be honored. Jason is making a good salary in that new job of his, that you
can afford to take off for a year. I want you to take good care of that godchild of mine, and yourself. You really need to
watch that blood pressure. Please relax!
Chrysalis records wants us to go on another tour to promote our second album, "Party of Five". I am still tired
from the first tour, but Steve says if we arent out in the public pushing our records, we could be has-beens very quickly
in this business. I guess he is right, but I get weary of it all sometimes. I actually am starting to envy the life you and
Jason have, even though Im still not ready to give this one up yet.
Steve says that we need to start thinking toward another album. I swear he pushes harder that the record company
and our manager put together. I have been working on several new songs and I hope they will prove to be as big a hit as my
first song, "Road Weary" is proving to be. Billboard has it at no.16 this week and it is still climbing. I cant listen to
it, though. It is going to be really hard to play on tour as well. Too many bitter memories.
Speaking of which, I heard a rumor today that floored me, but I guess I shouldnt be surprised. Freddie and his
girlfriend may be pregnant. I guess they will be getting married soon, now that a kid is expected. Actually I dont know if
it is true. The jerk at the record company who told me might have been pulling my chain, seeing as he likes me and he somehow
found out that Freddie and I were and "item". I guess his telling me this is going to make me want to go out with him? Men
are such jerks! Im not sure how he found out this piece of information anyway. He wouldnt tell me that.
Well you take care of yourself and that baby and Ill see you as soon as I can. Give my love to Jason.
Hey hows that new mama to be and my godchild doing! I hope all is going well. It should be down hill from here
on out now. So, do you think it will be a New yYears baby? That would be cool. Think of the publicity! The first bicentennial
baby born in DC! Well I guess you will be glad if it is healthy at least.
I guess you have heard but in case you havent, the "Party of Five" tour is coming to DC in a few weeks. It has
been such a success that we are ready to cut another album when the tour is over the middle of October. Steve has written
nine new songs and I have written four. The guys at Chrysalis really like my stuff and think I might have a couple of more
hits. Some one there has been talking to Mr. Rockwell about a solo album for me, but that is out. I wouldnt do that to the
I hope you feel up to coming to the show when we are in town. I asked Mr. Rockwell if we could have a few days
off to visit family, since we are playing our home town and all, and he said he would see what he could do. I hope to see
I really need to go now and rehearse for tonights show. The road has been tough, but the fans have been wonderful.
I wish I could write more, and I really wish I could talk to you more, but the show has its demands, as you saw when you and
Jason were with us the last time.
Well you take care of yourself and that baby and Ill see you as soon as I can. Give my love to Jason.
October 15, 1975
It was really good to see you and Jason while we were in DC! Im glad Mr. Rockwell was able to get us a few days
to spend together. You are looking soooo pregnant, girl! You are going to make a good mother and Jason is going to be one
I really wish I could have stayed in DC. I need you today to hold on to me so I dont go all to pieces. Im not sure
if it made the news in DC, but its in all the trade papers in LA. Freddie and Kathy finally got married. Seems the information
that jerk at the record company gave me was true. He and his new bride are expecting their baby in March. Some savvy news
paper reporter managed to sneak a picture of the wedding and they do look happy together. I wish I could be. Ashley, I feel
like such a fool. That could have been me and I blew it. I could be the one talking babies with you instead of my feeling
so sad and lonely right now. Is fame really worth the price of happiness. Am I really chasing a rainbow. Everyone says my
career is going through the roof, but I am alone.
The guys I meet are jerks and only want to date me cause Im a rock star and they think making it with a star will
make them big too. I cant take it any more. The executive at the record company want me to see a shrink and the doctors out
here only prescribe Quaaludes to make you feel better. I have some friends who are on them and all I can see are bigger jerks.
I dont want to go that route. Ill quit before they put me on drugs to help me to cope!
Im sorry to dump on you. I guess I should be over Freddie by now, after all its been 9 months since we broke up,
but it still hurts. I need a break. That might make the difference. We cut the new album next week and then I told the record
executives and Mr. Rockwell I want 3 months off. No road tours, no public appearances, nothing. They actually agreed to it!
I think they are worried about my health and think I might benefit from the rest. Steve was a harder sell, but I dont care!
Let him run himself into the ground. I will be home in November and be able to spend the holidays with my family and friends.
And best of all I will be there to see that new godchild of mine! All of this will help me to get my life back into perspective
again I am sure!
I hope to see you really soon! Take care of yourself and that baby and Ill see you as soon as I can. Give my love
March 9, 1976
Hows Tyler? I miss him soo much. I bet he is getting big! Two months already. Where has the time gone? Give him
a big kiss from his godmother for me. You are truly blessed, you and Jason, to have such a beautiful son!
It looks like I no sooner get back to LA and the record company is hounding us to do another tour to promote "Street
Lights", our third album. They say it is not moving as fast as our other two did, but I figure it sometimes takes time for
these things to take off. You cant hit it big with all of them. Steve says we have to go and that is final! I guess I should
be glad they let me have one extra month off. I do feel better and I am anxious to go back out and play for the crowds. Its
better that sitting around here and feeling sorry for myself. Thats the worst part about living in LA, the loneliness. I was
thinking about buying a house in Belaire and getting out of this apartment, but I dont know if Im ready for that kind of commitment.
See I cant even commit to a house, much less a relationship! I guess the tour gets me away from here and all these negative
feelings. I am happier on the road!
Just a side note, even though I had promised you that I wouldnt do this to myself and talk about "you know who"
again, but I just read that they had a boy. He decided to name it after himself. Freddie Prinze Junior! Brother, does that
kid have a name to live up to! (Ok, Ok! I wont say any more!)
Well I have to be going. Steve has set up a PA, thats a public appearance, for this afternoon at a shopping mall.
I hate these, but they are important. Kiss Tyler for me and say Hi to Jason!
June 17, 1976
Steve says I can come home for a short visit before our new tour starts. I know this is a short letter, but really,
nothing is too new around here. No guys to report about, but I have been dating more lately. Its just that LA guys are such
drips! I hear from mom that Tyler is cutting teeth and keeping you up at night! I guess having a kid is not all cute and cuddly.
I do miss him, though, and cant wait to see him and you! I will be home in a week and will be able to stay for two. Then its
off on the "Street Lights" tour. We start in New York on the fourth of July. What a show that should be. We will be with a
whole lot of other famous bands. This was a big one to pull off, but Mr. Rockwell was able to pull some strings and get us
this gig. Im really excited! NYC on the bicentennial fourth! Ought to be a blast!
Well gotta run. See you in a week!
September 12, 1976
Sorry I havent written to you more, but touring is such a grueling grind. You never have a moments peace. I have
been writing songs again and I think Im ready to consider a solo career. Steve is driving me up the wall. Even the other guys
in the band are talking of quitting. I guess it was too good to last. Maybe I should consider going out on my own while the
band is still hot. I really dont think its going to be for very much longer. Three of my songs from the new album have made
it into the top 40 and I think this is bothering Steve, too. I guess its like they say, there is a time and a season for everything.
I loved the pictures you sent me of Tyler. Hes getting to be such a cutie! Hes going to break a lot of hearts when
he grows up! Mom says you and Jason are thinking on starting on no. 2! Have fun with that *wink, wink*.
I have to go again! Keep the pictures of Tyler coming! I have him plastered on my trailer walls! Hes much better
looking than any of the guys Im dating, thats for sure. Hope to see you for the holidays! Love to all and give my baby a big
kiss for me!
December 11, 1976
Sorry I had to cut the holiday visit short, but the record company has agreed to letting me cut a solo album. Steve
was livid, but I think its over for The Rage, anyway. Most of the guys have opted to stay in DC and I dont think they are
coming back to LA. Steve doesnt know this and Im not going to be the one to tell him. Maybe I can get him to produce my album.
He has become quite good at all aspects of the record business, and I think he would make a fine producer if he could see
past the band!
It is ironic that I came back when I did. You are not going to believe who I got a call from the other night. Freddie!
Just like that! Out of the blue. He sounded soo depressed. I had heard through the grape vine that he broke up with his wife.
I didnt mention it to you cause we agreed that this was a topic verboten! But this time its different. I have to tell you
He is living in a hotel/apartment building near the TV studio. When I got to his place, he was very stoned. Seems
he has been abusing prescription Quaaludes and alcohol for a long time now. He didnt make a whole lot of sense and he was
trying to apologize for not waiting for me. He said his life was spiraling out of control lately and he doesnt get to see
his family much. I told him that he needed to get help for his obvious dependence on the drugs, but he said he needed the
ludes to keep him from going crazy. I dont know what was worse, hearing him go on about how miserable his life has been, or
watching him down more pills and drink more wine. I have been around celebrities doing drugs, you almost cant avoid that in
the entertainment business these days, but Ashley, this was beyond having fun with drugs. I mean, I was scared for him. I
kept pleading with him to get help and he said he wanted help, but he thought it was too late. I told him I would look into
somewhere he could go to get straightened out. He said that would be great. He had to go out, so I couldnt stay. As I left,
I had a funny feeling in my gut that I shouldnt have left him alone, but I could not do anything for him at that moment. When
I got back to my apartment, I made a few phone calls, but I didnt tell them who I was inquiring for, cause Freddie asked me
not to. He is so scared someone will find out he has a problem and he will be washed up as an entertainer. Im not sure how
the people around him havent figured out that he has a problem, or why they havent sought help for him. All I know is when
I made my calls, there isnt as much help out there for this problem as you might think. And much of it would be too public
for him to seek, if he is avoiding publicity. I will keep trying though. Maybe he will call me again soon and I will have
an answer for him. God, I hope so.
Well I guess you have had enough of that for one letter. Ill let you know if anything happens. Kiss Tyler for me
and I hope to be home for Christmas. It will be a short one cause I need to be back here for New Years to do a show in Las
Vegas. My first as a solo act. Im so nervous! Ill tell you all about that when I get home.
January 15, 1977
I just came back from the recording studio and it was a great session. I think Steve really enjoys producing as
much as he did playing and recording. I knew he would. Im glad I asked him and he agreed to do it.
The New Years show was a blast. I never thought I could do a solo, but Steve went with me for support and I was
not as nervous as I thought Id be. He really has changed for the better since the band broke up. He has become my loving big
brother again, instead of the grouch he had been the past year.
Im sorry I missed Tylers 1st birthday. I hope he had a good one. I hope you got the gift I sent him and it fits.
I saw that outfit in the store and I couldnt resist it. I bet he looks cute in it!
I hear you just found out you are pregnant again! Congratulations. I hope its a girl this time, but Tyler is such
a cute kid, I guess I could stand you having another boy. I hope you can get a little rest with a toddler on you hands. Tyler
sure gets into things now that he is walking!
Im kind of tired right now from the recording session, so Im going to make this a short one. Ill write you again
January 30, 1977
I can hardly see to put pen to paper to write this letter to you. I know you have seen the news and know about
Freddies death. It made the front pages of all the newspapers here as well as the evening news on all three networks. I cant
stand it. I still cant believe it. Im in such shock right now. I tried to get to the hospital right after the shooting, but
they werent letting anyone in who wasnt family or business related. Why did he do it? Life cant have been that bad for him!
God, Ashley, I should have pressed him harder to seek help, but I guess we all thought he had time. Now hes gone. Im sorry
I cant write any more. Maybe another day. Sorry this is so short. Pray for him and his family and pray for me too. I think
Im going crazy over this.
February 9, 1977
Im sorry I left you to worry about my sanity after that last letter. I am still trying to make sense of this, still
coping with so many conflicting feelings. I couldnt bring myself to attend the funeral, but I went to his grave today. I went
real early in the morning so I could be alone with him. I sat there and stared at the crypt surrounded by the the flowers
people still are sending. I asked him why, but he didnt answer me. I thought about all the songs I have written in my short
career and could see his face in every one. I dont know if I was truly conscious of it or not, but he has been my inspiration;
my muse, if you will. Now that he is gone......
I made a decision while I sat there trying to seek answers. I cant be a part of an industry that can let this happen
to its best and brightest any more. I doubt I will be able to write any more songs anyway, since the light of my inspiration
has flickered and died within me. Im going to the record company today and resigning and then Im coming home to DC for good.
I know Steve will be livid, but hell just have to deal with it. I didnt sign the solo contract yet, I was supposed to this
afternoon. Maybe thats why I waited till today to see Freddie, to say my good bye first and then to turn the deal down and
walk away. Its probably best this way. Im afraid if I continue, I might be another causality. You know Ive been fighting depression
and loneliness. The same two things Freddie told me he was battling and taking the drugs to relieve. I dont want to be like
him. I want a normal life. Im ready to settle down now. I only wish Freddie was still here to settle down with!
Im sorry, I must go now. I will be home soon. And then we can have a good cry together.
These letters were given to me by Ashley a few months after Annettes death from a massive brain tumor. She was
only 49. She had come back to DC and completed her degree in physical therapy. A year after leaving LA, she married a doctor
who worked in the hospital where she did, and raised two children.
Ashley has only shared a few of the nearly hundred letters Annette wrote her over those three years she was on
the road performing. Annette never shared her brief relationship with Freddie Prinze with anyone but Ashley. Ashley knew Annette
never got over Freddie, even though nothing more was said about him between the two friends. Every year, on the anniversaries
of their first meeting, their stay in Tahoe, and his death, Annette would go to her room and keep a quiet vigil. Ashley never
told Evan, Annettes husband, why, only that she needed this time to herself. Evan was a kind man and knew that his wife suffered
from depression. He never questioned Ashley about it.
When Annette was near the end of her battle with her cancer, she told Ashley that it was ok to tell the friends
of Freddie about her love for the man who brought love into her life and the inspiration for the music she made. She told
Ashley that she made peace with Evan about this and that he suspected her depression stemmed from a past relationship. He
told Ashley after Annettes passing that it was ok with him to carry out her last wishes.
Ashley hopes to publish a biography one day honoring her friend and her brief life in show business. Freddie will
surely be a part of that story. In the mean time, Ashley wanted me to have a copy of this little glimpse into the beauty and
tragedy that was Annettes relationship with Freddie Prinze. Ashley knew that I networked with fans around the country and
wanted me to share the story with you. Ashley, who is a fan herself, knows that people are wondering today what kind of a
man Freddie was. Annette always told Ashley that no one was a more gentle or passionate lover than Freddie. And he was a person
who had a great zest for living. Thats how Annette always remembered Freddie, with love in her heart and passion in her soul.
She regretted, till the day she died, not taking him up on his offer to settle down with him. Maybe now she is at peace too.