Wednesday, April 18, 2012
R.I.P. Dick Clark
Every generation found him cool, from the boomers of the ‘50s and ‘60s who danced to AMERICAN BANDSTAND every afternoon, to the kids of the ‘70s-‘90s who know him through game shows and blooper specials, and everyone else who couldn’t usher in a new year without Dick counting down the final seconds. He was a mainstay in our lives, projecting a calm personable presence that put us all at ease at a time when everything else was making us crazy.
And his on-air work was just the tip of the iceberg. Behind-the-scenes, Dick Clark was a giant in the music industry. His influence on Rock n’ Roll was immeasurable. He provided exposure to so many artists and championed so many emerging music styles that the line of musicians, arrangers, song writers, and music executives who owe him a great debt could stretch from the Capitol Records building in Hollywood to the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
It was a shock to all of us when Clark suffered a stroke in 2004. His first year back on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was heartbreaking but courageous. He had really made a statement for coping with disabilities with grace and dignity. I always winced the subsequent years seeing him on the show because I feared that’s how people were going to remember him. Please don’t.
Remember Dick Clark as a vibrant personality -- boyish and totally together. The Fonz in a suit. The man who for fifty years drank from the Soda Fountain of Youth.
I will miss him… year after year after year.