On Tour With Donny & Marie and the Osmonds

Yes I read this book. On Tour With Donny & Marie and the Osmonds by Lynn and Lisa Roeder is Lynn’s detailed diary about her summer in 1976 spent hanging around with the Osmonds during their American tour. It was only Lynn, 16, who wrote the book and it reads like a gushy teen account of being caught up in the hectic life of being on the road with the most popular boy band of 36 years ago. The book was hyped as an insider’s tell-all but the truth is, the Roeders spent most of their time backstage catching only fleeting glimpses of the Osmonds and their concerts whenever there was a gap in the curtains. They hung around watching the shows from behind, missing all the frontline action. So their only bragging rights are their intimate acquaintances with the Osmonds’ derrieres.

Donny & Marie

Lynn does away with exclamation marks yet she is painfully detailed about certain aspects of the Osmonds’ day-to-day lives. On Tour With Donny & Marie reads like the diary of an obsessive-compulsive: 

“Starting at the front of the bus from the door, the seating arrangement went like this: Jim Morey, Donny, Marie, Wayne and Kathy, and Jimmy. The rest of the seats on the right side of the bus were taken up by some of the musicians. The seating arrangement on the opposite side of the bus from the driver back went like this: Mr. Osmond, Mrs. Osmond, Mom and Dad, Lisa and me, Jay, Alan, and Merrill.”  

The scary thing is that I can see myself in this style of writing, when I wrote about my first Beatles experiences in my own diary. I’d list every inconsequential tidbit in order to paint a perfect picture in my mind’s eye, for fear that I’d forget anything. 

Lynn’s account of kissing Donny Osmond shows not only how conscientious she was in transcribing everything he said in order to document the experience, but also how much potential she has in writing scripts for porn: 

“This summer I was close enough to give Donny a kiss on the cheek…and what a kiss! I almost passed out! Donny said, ‘Well, All Right! Oh, Yeah! All Right!'” 

On Tour With Donny & Marie was a trip back in time and I wonder if I would have written a similar book had I been given backstage access during Paul McCartney’s Wings tour of 1976.

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