Hollywood, April 24 (AP) -- It's only a brief time until that day of days - Bobby Darin's 25th birthday.
May 14 is the date he has said he would like to be a legend.
Lest you hold your breath, hear his admission: "I won't make it. How can anyone be a legend when he has been exposed to the public only two and a half years? More people in the world don't know who I am than know who I am. That doesn't make me a legend."
But will he make it eventually?
"Absolutely," he replied. "And might I add to my statement: I would like to be a legend by 25, and an institution by 30."
Such statements make work more difficult for the Let's Try to Understand Bobby Darin Society. Non-members of the society take the easy way out. Like the wag who commented about Will Rogers: He said he never met a man he didn't like, but then he never met Bobby Darin.
Darin won't be cast aside so flippantly. You can try it, but he's still there, starring in important movies like Too Late Blues and selling records, though admittedly not in the same quantities as before -- "nobody is."
Since he seems to be with us, let us try to understand. This matter about the legend, for example. I asked for examples of show biz legends and he could name only three dead and one living: Al Jolson, W. C. Fields, Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra. Are any of them his particular idol?
His reply: "I am my own idol."
There he goes, making the society's work difficult again. He went on to explain:
"I'm no different from anyone else. We all set goal for ourselves, aiming for what we want to achieve in life.
Therefore we follow our own ambitions. It happens that mine are high."
Does he consider that he has had bad publicity?
"Not in the least," he said. "I haven't been arrested for speeding. I haven't taken dope, I haven't been seen drunk in public - in fact, I don't even drink. So my publicity isn't bad."
But isn't there a public conception of him as being, uh--brash and over-assured?
"Perhaps so, but that is because writers make omissions," he said. "Writers take part of what I say, but they omit certain things, or they don't convey the tone in which I said things.
"If the public conception of me isn't all good, perhaps that is part of a new wave in publicity ... I don't try to hide anything; I'd say that 97 per cent of my publicity is true. Perhaps we are entering a new phase in which the public conception of a star doesn't have to be that he is completely nice."
Let's see, have I omitted anything? Just Bobby Darin's explanation of how he got that way:
"1. I was virtually an only child; my sister was 17 years older; 2. I was sick (a 56-pound weakling at 11) and didn't know if I would live past 15;
3. I was half orphaned, my father dying before I was born; 4. I was poor."
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