Bobby Darin & Jo Ann Campbell

"He's All Wrong For Me"


This article appeared in the December 1960
issue of Photoplay Magazine.

If you want to fall in love, you've got to know that some sunny day you can wake up and find it's all over. And that's when you begin to remember every little thing--painfully. And think: Where did I fail? Why did it go wrong? Is there anything we could have done to keep our love from ending like this? Is there anything we can do now to make it up? That's the way it is today for Bobby Darin and Jo-Ann Campbell. They've broken up, but love doesn't end that easily. There's too much to remember .... Jo-Ann had gotten so used to the uneasy, prickling feeling she had when she was with Bobby, that it was almost a friend. And when it warned her that this was bad, she tried to ignore it. Because more than anything, she wanted to be happy. Or try to be. That's why, on their last day together, she could honestly believe that everything was going to be all right. They were together, and that's what counted most.

Smiling playfully, holding on to him, she let his easy charm fill her with assurance. When you love a guy and you know he loves you, how can anything be wrong? And she did love him--even if it was hard sometimes for her to show it. But this once, with all her fears behind her, she'd tell him how she wanted to be with him all the time. How she never felt really good unless he was there. How she was never so happy before in her whole life.

But it couldn't stay that way. Because he was Bobby Darin and she was Jo-Ann Campbell and they just couldn't stay happy together for long. She was close in his arms, and feeling that here was where she belonged. "Jo-Jo" he said, "let's not wait any more. Let's get married right away." There, she felt the prickle again. "Bobby, you know we can't get married now. We both have so much to do yet, and we need time . . . and . . ." This wasn't all of what troubled her, or even the most important part--but it was the easiest to put into words, so she said it. And he argued against it.

"Jo-Jo, forget your career. Come with me." There again--the prickling, uneasy feeling. Tell him now, she knew. Tell him the truth about how you feel, how unhappy you've been, how you know it can never work. "I can't marry you, Bobby. I love you, I really do, but it's not enough. We're just too different. You're . . . you're all wrong for me."

That's how it was--their last day together. Today the uneasy feeling has left her but so has Bobby. She had at last said the words that broke them up, and now she spends much of her time remembering. She remembers the first year of their romance that was so happy and close. And she remembers the last year and a half that was, as she will tell you, "pretty much of a drag."

Most of all, she remembers too many parties.

Every morning Jo-Ann would tell herself, tonight I'm going to see Bobby and tonight I'm going to make him, ask him, to just go for a long drive with me. We've never done a nice, simple thing like that. We'll just drive and talk and talk and drive. The two of us alone for once.

And then Bobby would phone. He'd tell her, "Honey, get out your prettiest dress. Tonight we're going to a very big, very important party." "Oh, Bobby, do we have to? You know I want to be with just you."

"Yes, Honey, it's for business." So she'd go with Bobby and all evening she'd sit off to one side and wait for him to get back to her from all the important people he had to talk to. She sat with a determined smile frozen on her face. You're having a wonderful time, she told herself. But she wasn't.

And when he'd take her home, all during the long trip to Flushing, Long Island, she'd practice the words she wanted to say to him: "I don't like these parties. I don't know any of these people. I don't even think I'd like to know them. You make me force myself to be what I don't want to be. And, Bobby, it's just not fair." But she waited. If she didn't say it, at least this little while alone could be happy. She mustn't say it. Next time she'd tell him. Next time she really would. And then Bobby would go off to Hollywood or Las Vegas or someplace, and they'd be separated again.

He'd seldom write, or call, and Jo-Ann would pick up her morning paper and read that he was dating other girls. She knew he loved her, she was sure of that. But she also knew that he couldn't and didn't resist other girls he met. "Jo-Ann" his friends would tell her, "Bobby's the kind of boy who simply can't be faithful. He never can! Even if you were married he couldn't be any different."

But she'd tell them they had it all wrong. She would never admit how unhappy their words made her.

Weeks would pass and at last she'd hear that he was coming home again. She'd run to the hairdresser and have her hair fixed the way he liked. She'd go out and buy a new dress. This time she'd be so pretty, all he'd want was to be with her. And she'd make plans. "His first day home I'll ask Mama and Papa to go to a movie and we'll stay here. We'll sit in the living room and he'll tell me everything that's happened to him on his trip. Then we'll go out with my friends and laugh a lot and everything will be wonderful. We'll have fun, he'll see how happy we can be together."

Today she thinks back to those plans and says, "That was the big difference between us. I counted the minutes till I could see him, but he didn't care as much about me. Even if we'd been separated for three months, he'd think nothing of breaking a date when something came up about business. That's how it is with Bobby. Twenty-four hours a day of his life is devoted to his work. He puts business before love. I couldn't live that way. I don't want to give my whole life to my career the way he does. So it was a hectic time whenever we were together. Something always got in our way."

And she remembers how her friends were a bone of contention between them. "He didn't flip over the people I liked. My friends were mine and he'd have no part of them, but his friends were ours and we were always with them. That bothered me a lot. Finally, I forced myself to realize that I'd have to become a part of his group if I was going to make him happy.

"But I was lonely. I had no one to talk to."

She couldn't always talk to Bobby either. "If we were together and things went real wrong for him, he'd expect all kinds of sympathy from me. Which I gave, because I loved him. But if things went wrong with me, I couldn't expect the same from Bobby. He never thought my problems were big or important enough. He'd sort of pat me on the head. You know what I mean--'There, there, little girl, it can't be all that bad.' "Maybe I was wrong, but I stopped feeling that I could go to him with my troubles. I stopped expecting he'd have the time to listen to me. "And he never understood that I was unhappy. But I knew the score between us--I gave and he received."

One thing that Bobby wanted that JoAnn couldn't give was her career. Time after time he'd tell her: "Jo-Jo, you've got to quit the business. We'll never be happy unless you get out of show business." But she couldn't do this. "Bobby, if I quit now I'd always have to live with the thought that I didn't succeed," she'd answer, "Give me a chance. Give me a little more time."

Then one day she stopped asking for time. She knew it had run out for them. "I know lots of people can't understand why singing was so important to me," she says. "But I just have to be what I want to be before I'll ever be happy. When Bobby made it impossible for me to have both, I had to choose. If it was only the singing, I don't know if I'd choose the way I did."

"But it was more than that. The truth is that all along the way I've never once really felt we could stay together--even if we were married. When you come right down to it, we didn't have too much in common.

"It's sad. We both needed each other so much, but we didn't know how to help each other. I know Bobby felt it, too. In that last year it wasn't like it used to be, and he was getting fed up." Can they hope to get together again? On Bobby's part, his only comment is, "I just want Jo-Ann to be happy." But from his friends you can get a picture of his feelings about the romance. And Jo-Ann knew what his friends were saying, too.

"Bobby did date other girls, it's true," one said. "But that's how he is. In his own way, he was true to her. Every girl knew that if she wanted to get serious with Bobby, she'd have to fight Jo-Ann. They all knew she was his girl. He really loved her.

"Sure, I know he did things that upset her--all that drive for success, and the way he was so moody, and could get mean to people. But she should have remembered that all his life, ever since he could walk, his mother kept telling him what a success he was going to be-had to be. By now he's so preoccupied with his career that he can't be any other way."

And she tried to understand even when they explained about his moods. "He'd never get in a bad enough mood to say mean things to her, but it did hurt her when he was rough on other people. But what about afterwards, when he'd realize he had gone too far. Did Jo-Ann ever tell how he'd apologize to people then, and do the nicest things to make it up?

"I remember one thing that happened with his secretary, Harriet Wasser. It was between shows at the Copa. There were about forty other celebrities and reporters in his dressing room, back-slapping and carrying on. And in the middle of them all, strumming on a guitar with this real angry face, was Bobby. He was thinking about the last show, worrying about the next one, and brooding over an argument he'd just had with Jo-Ann.

"All of a sudden, he jumped out of his chair. 'Okay,' he said, 'everybody out. That's all for tonight.' Very quietly, Harriet walked over. 'Bobby,' she said, 'if you want to be alone that's okay, but these are big people. Don't offend them. Just politely excuse yourself.'

"Bobby turned to her very slowly and in this icy voice you could hear clear across the room he told her, 'Did you hear what I said, Harriet? Let me do it my way. I'm the boss here.' "Harriet didn't say a word. She just walked away, but we all knew she was very hurt and embarrassed.

"The next show started and she went back to her ringside table, and he started his act. Then in the middle of everything, he stopped singing. 'One of my friends is going to have a birthday in a couple of weeks,' he told the audience, 'and I won't be here to celebrate with her. So let's make tonight one great big birthday party. Happy birthday, Harriet honey. We love you.'

"That was all. He never apologized, and she didn't expect him to. But that was one night she'll never forget. That's why I say, Bobby Darin's far from perfect, but with all his faults he does try very hard.

"He couldn't take Jo-Ann's career, that's true--not for after they were married. He wanted a girl who'd be a wife to him, to have his kids and go wherever he went. He wanted his wife to be completely devoted to him, and to nobody or nothing else. Maybe he was selfish or she was foolish, who knows? That's just the way they were."

Jo-Ann remembers the things that bothered Bobby. "He always used to tell me that I didn't let him know enough how much I loved him. But I felt the same way about him. I wish I could have showed him how much I really cared for him. I always wanted to, but something about the way he held back made me hold back, too.

"I remember one time, it was a few days after he finished at the Copa. He'd gone to Syracuse, and when he got to New York he came straight to my house. It was early in the morning and my parents, his manager and I were still having breakfast, waiting for him. When he came in, his arms were full of packages for me. I wanted to run to the door and kiss him--I wanted to very much--but I couldn't let myself. I just sat there, eating breakfast, and said, 'Hi, Honey.' That's all I did. And he didn't even walk over to me. He stood in the hall and unwrapped the packages. He'd bought me three more stuffed animals for my collection, he'd thought of me on his trip, and what did I do? I sat and ate breakfast! It seems crazy when you love somebody like I loved Bobby to be afraid to show it. But there it was--like a wall between us. And that last year the wall just got too high for both of us.

"The next day he took me aside and said, 'Jo-Jo, why do you act the way you do?' He told me he felt very bad about the way I acted. I wanted to tell him that I felt the same way, that I thought he didn't give his all to me, either. But I couldn't.

"I guess I never did come on as strong with Bobby as he needed. I wanted to--but I had this feeling he wouldn't like it. Maybe I was wrong--just as I never realized, either, how much he did care for me. It's sad to think that neither of us knew how to show a beautiful thing like love."

Would marriage have eased matters? Jo-Ann doesn't seem to think it would. "I think most of the trouble between us was that he wasn't any more ready for marriage than I was. He says he wants to get married, but at the same time I can see that he really doesn't."

One of Bobby's closest friends agrees with Jo-Ann: "I don't think he's met the girl he's going to marry yet. He's too wrapped up in his career right now. I know he'd like to get married--he wants to have children very badly--but he doesn't act like a man ready for marriage. Do you know how he defines love? He told me, 'Love is a con job. There's no ding, ding, ding electricity like they tell you. This is love: A guy sees a girl with a good body and he goes after her. Then he's got to call it something, so he rationalizes and names it love.'

"Does that sound like a man who knows what love is? He may have changed his mind since he said that, but I'm ready to bet that once he stops running so hard he'll really learn about love. And I don't think he's going to let up on that drive until he proves himself an all-round entertainer. When he says he wants to knock over every field he enters, he means it. That I can tell you."

What about the next time? How much of a chance can Bobby and Jo-Ann take on another love? Jo-Ann says, "We both feel there's too much in life to spend time grieving. We'll each fall in love again--but not with each other. I'll marry a man who'll understand me better than Bobby did. He'll help me when I need help. Maybe I won't love him as much as I loved Bobby, but I'll be happier because I'll be more relaxed.

"And Bobby will find a girl who won't have any career that would distract her from him. She'll be intelligent and independent and pretty. She'll know how to give him lots of love and affection and she'll be able to devote herself to him completely, yet keep his respect. He couldn't stand any girl he could just walk all over.

"There must be a girl around who can give him that. "I only wish I could have . . ."


---MICKI SIEGEL



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