September 30, 2002 12:00 PM

With a dad like Alan Thicke, who practiced family management on the ’80s sitcom Growing Pains, you can expect lots of useful, sincere advice. Like: Don’t follow your dreams. “I still wish he would’ve become a dentist,” says Alan about his musician son Robin, whose funky soul tune “When I Get You Alone,” from the CD Cherry Blue Skies, is being played on MTV2. “Music is fleeting. Gum disease is forever.”

Just kidding. Alan, 55 (who was divorced from Days of Our Lives star Gloria Loring when Robin was 7), heartily supports his son, who records under the name Thicke and has built on his father’s musical accomplishments. Alan wrote 45 TV theme songs, including the one for Diff’rent Strokes. At 25, Robin, who once “ran around the set chasing girls” with Growing Pains cast member Leonardo DiCaprio, is a veteran songwriter: Brandy, Marc Anthony and Christina Aguilera have recorded his tunes. While finishing high school in a home-tutored program, “I spent every minute making music,” says Thicke, who lives in L.A. with his girlfriend Paula Patton, 26, a documentary filmmaker.

Dad and Robin (brother Brennan, 27, is an L.A. real estate developer) are still tight, and when Alan collapsed while visiting his son’s recording studio § last year, Robin feared that “this could be the last time I see him.” Doctors later diagnosed mere dehydration. 5 “What made it cool as I held him,” recalls Robin, “was that there was nothing unresolved. I just wanted him to know how much I loved him.”

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