Toni Tennille made beautiful music with her husband Daryl Dragon in the 1970s, but the “Love Will Keep Us Together” singer says behind the scenes their marriage was falling apart. People posted an excerpt from Tennille’s new self-titled memoir in which she writes about her troubled marriage to her Captain and Tennille musical partner.
While Toni, 75, admits that the Captain “was the one” and that she has “never met another man I thought could measure up to him,” she revealed that there was a major disconnect in their personal life.
“It was never tender, it was never emotional, it was never a joining of two hearts. Sex is not love. That’s why I eventually said, ‘To heck with this.’ “
Tennille told People that her keyboard playing husband was emotionally distant, and that she tried to reach out to him through her song lyrics. Some of Toni’s biggest songs, including “Do That to Me One More Time” and “The Way I Want to Touch You,” were written to try to get her husband to open up to her.
“I felt that he just didn’t know what love was. I thought if I showed him what it was, if I were able to give it to him, that he would open up like a flower. It never happened.”
Toni also detailed personal tidbits about her marriage in her tell-all, like the fact that a failed hair transplant left Daryl so self-conscious that he never took off his signature captain’s hat — not even in bed.
Toni Tennille told the magazine that Daryl suffers from anxiety and has difficulty connecting with others, which put a huge strain on their 39-year marriage. Dragon, now 73, also suffers from a neurological disorder that causes him to have tremors. Daryl Dragon declined to comment to People about his ex-wife’s new book.
The Grammy-winning duo became bona fide superstars in the ’70s, with big hits like “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “Muskrat Love.” During the height of their fame, the Captain and Tennille even landed an ABC variety show and hosted several networks specials. But the couple’s golden years proved that love—or the hope for it— couldn’t keep them together.
In 2014, Toni filed for divorce from her husband, which apparently blindsided him. Dragon told TMZ he didn’t know why his wife wanted a divorce.
“I don’t know why she filed. I gotta figure it out for myself first.”
While the couple put on a happy front for the cameras, in a post on her official blog in 2014, Toni Tennille wrote that her marriage was never what it seemed like to the public.
“Our marriage was never what it might have seemed to the casual observer, but I tried hard for over three decades to make our relationship all that I had dreamed it would be. Neither Daryl nor I ever cheated on each other. You would not have found either of us in rehab or going to wild parties. There was nothing obvious about our marriage that would have made great fodder for the tabloids. It is just that our music was the ONLY thing that bound us together. Other than that, we simply could not find our way into each other’s heart.”
Toni Tennille has said that her divorce was amicable. Despite Daryl’s initial shock over their divorce, Toni says she still talks to her ex-husband on a regular basis. They may have a lot more to talk about now that Toni has published her tell-all book.
Take a look at the throwback video below to see Toni Tennille interviewing her husband. The interview is interesting to look back at now that Tennille has opened up about her rocky relationship.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]