I was going to finally complete my thoughts on the cruise that Sunshine and I were on last month, but last night I was hit with some sad news. One of the musical icons that I grew up with, Dick Clark, passed away at the age of 82.
I say “musical icon” because I’m one of the people who actually remember growing up to American Bandstand and watching Dick Clark on my television every single Saturday afternoon.
Now mind you, I never really got to know him until the early 80’s…but man that was a VERY influential time for me. I don’t think any artist was truly BIG unless they were on American Bandstand.
It’s funny…there are always two performances that have always stuck out for me: one by Slade and one by Wang Chung. And wouldn’t you know it, I was able to find BOTH on YouTube!
The Wang Chung “performance” always stayed with me because they didn’t even attempt to make it appear they were performing live, like most of the other acts did on the show. No…they were 100% proud to be lip-syncing as they didn’t have any microphones. Years before Milli Vanilli would be vilified for doing the same thing, here is that very performance (with Dick doing a great job trying to get a good interview going with the band beforehand):
The Slade performance has always stood out to me as my all-time favorite. I remember (vividly, for some reason) staying up late the night before to watch Friday Night Videos and seeing “Run Runaway” for the first time. I was absolutely blown away. Then the very next afternoon, here was the same band jumping around and playing this incredible rock song that to this day is on my iPod “driving around the city” playlist. I’m so happy to have been able to find this American Bandstand performance (with Dick doing another great job interviewing in between songs):
Dick Clark will go down in history as one of the most important and influential men in the entertainment business over the course of the past 50 years. Remember the $20,000 Pyramid? Or better yet, can you imagine December 31st without a Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve? And no offense to Ryan Seacrest, but no amount of star power will ever take away from Dick Clark’s ability to host a show and make everybody feel welcome.
So goodbye, Mr. Clark. You will always be remembered for your amazing contributions. Rest in peace and enjoy the music wherever you are.