Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Rockin' Eve: The Dick Clark Tribute

In a word:   

Disappointing ...   

and in a MAJOR, MAJOR way.  

For the past seven decades, Dick Clark has generated BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars for ABC by way of programs like American Bandstand, Where The Action Is, The American Music Awards, New Year's Rockin' Eve, his Bloopers Specials and Pyramid game shows ... BILLIONS!  

And then, under the pretense of saluting this broadcasting legend, who passed away last year at the age of 82, they put together a two-hour "tribute" show, spotlighting the "Top 30 Acts" that Dick Clark helped introduce to America.  

The list itself was a joke ... how they ranked these artists (many of whom appeared on major prime time network shows prior to lip-synching their latest hit on Bandstand) is beyond me.  

And "legendary status"???  INXS? Run-DMC? Toni Basil? The Bangles? Singing sensation John Travolta?!?!?  

But if the countdown list was a joke, the entire premise was an insult. Most of the 30 acts featured got all of a 30-second clip. Do the math, people ... that's a grand total of 15 minutes out of a two hour program dedicated to what this special was SUPPOSED to be about!   

The rest of the time was spent featuring co-hosts Jenny McCarthy and Fergie primping and posing for the camera, while babbling utter nonsense. Sure, they featured a few of the current acts (which is OK, since Dick would have done the same thing had he still been around to do so) ... but selling the program as a TRIBUTE to the legacy of Dick Clark was a MAJOR example of false advertising.   

C'mon, ABC ... this man deserves better. He created the perfect marriage of television and rock and roll ... put together a DECENT clip show tribute ... and have somebody credible and respectable host the damn thing.   

The little outtake / blooper clips were great ... show segments from ALL of the TV Shows he helped to create. (The Bandstand Era itself was COMPLETELY ignored ... where were all the Philly artists that helped launch this iconic program in the first place??? In the montage at the end where I think I caught a millisecond glance of Freddy Cannon [who holds the record for Bandstand appearances] and a half-second shot of Clark planting a kiss on the cheek of Chubby Checker?)  

There are several hundred people here on this list alone, reading this right now, who could put together a more fitting tribute.  

Do It Right ... Do the man justice. Forget the craziness of a New Year's Eve tie-in (although it COULD have been the perfect time and place to do this had somebody with an ounce of creativity put this thing together) and honor this man accordingly. PLEASE!!! (kk)   

Lots of focus on The Rolling Stones lately ... the deluxe GRRR! CD Box Set ... the Pay-Per-View live concert television special ... recent films, documentaries and books celebrating their 50th Year in show business ...  

But who can forget the time front man Mick Jagger lent his vocal talents to a Michael Jackson and the Jacksons single?!?!  (Nearly everybody, I'll bet!!!)   

When is the last time you heard "State Of Shock", a #3 Hit Single from 1984?  A preposterous-sounding concept at the time, with the benefit of nearly thirty years of hindsight this Michael Jackson-penned tune really does have a Jagger-sound to it.  (Of course, Michael was doing his own "moves like Jagger" for many, many years by this point!)

We watched Michael's live, two-hour 1989 concert from Bucharest over the long holiday weekend.  Billed as the "Dangerous" tour, Jackson was in top form for this performance ... showmanship unmatched by any ... and a massive loving, devoted (as well as crying and fainting) audience was on hand to devour The King Of Pop.