Dick Clark, music pioneer and legend, died yesterday after a massive heart attack. He was 82. Everyone in America -- and probably the rest of the world -- knows Dick Clark. People like my parents (you know, baby boomers) watched Clark host American Bandstand, a show that launched countless music careers. People of my generation know Clark for New Year's Rockin' Eve. And he had his hand in countless other types of shows like TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes and a slew of award shows like the Golden Globes. Dick Clark productions was also behind one of my most favorite television series of all time: American Dreams.
Clark had diabetes and suffered a stroke in 2004. That stroke badly damaged him... and me too I think. He returned to host his New Year's Eve party show for a couple years after that stroke, but he looked and sounded so bad, it upset me to the point where I had to give the show up. In recent years, Ryan Seacrest took over the hosting duties, with Clark just doing the midnight countdown. I couldn't even watch that part -- and the past couple of years, I even did my best to avoid Twitter right after midnight because I couldn't bear to read the comments from insensitive people that don't understand the complexity that strokes and aging in general have on the human body.
American Bandstand wasn't just for pop stars. Dick Clark just loved music and he featured lots of glam bands we count as our faves like Def Leppard and KISS.