But while performing and making music undoubtedlyremain as some of my greatest joys,when I was youngI wanted more than anything else to be a typical littleboy.I wanted to build tree houses, have water balloonfights, and play hide and seek with my friends. But fatehad it otherwise and all I could do was envy thelaughter and playtime that seemed to be going on allaround me.
There was no respite from my professional life.But on Sundays I would go Pioneering, the termused for the missionary work that Jehovah's Witnesses do.And it was then that I was able to seethe magic of other people's childhood.
Since I was already a celebrity, I would have to don a disguise of fat suit, wig, beard and glassesand we would spend the day in the suburbs of Southern California, going door-to-door or makingthe rounds of shopping malls, distributing our Watchtower magazine. I loved to set foot in all thoseregular suburban houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy armchairs with kids playingMonopoly and grandmas baby-sitting and all those wonderful, ordinary and starry scenes ofeveryday life.Many, I know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me theywere mesmerizing.
I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeedthere were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings.