Leftridge: The Incredible Lightness of Dick Clark

Look, I’m sorry that you’re gone; really, I am. You had a lot of family members probably and this is inevitable at 82 years old and I’m sure that a handful of them are sorry that you’re gone (except those that stood to inherit something. I’m sure they’re probably pretty stoked, and why not?). Point being, you’re dead.

But what did you add, really?

Oh sure, I remember Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve throughout my youth. I remember a man aesthetically youthful beyond his years, a virtual teen foraging deep into his 60’s, as it were and then a 70 year old, and then, unsurprisingly, an octogenarian riddled uncomfortable by a stroke and the damage of time.

You kept giving it your best, however, whether you were under pressure from the Stroke League of America (I’ve seriously heard that this was an issue) or from simple vanity.

Regardless, there you were, struggling through yet another year-end telecast, making us all uncomfortable. Godbless. All we wanted was another pre-midnight swig from the bottle of Mad Dog, and there you were, reminding us of our secret/disgrace grandpa.

God-fucking-damn-bless-you, Dick Clark, World’s Oldest Teenager, or whatever in the fuck you were called.

You were worthless, quite honestly. A trained chimp could have lived your life from the $25,000 Pyramid to your pointless mic-throws on New Years Eve, you did nothing.

And yet you managed to make a fortune out of ridiculousness, and for that, I salute you. Who else but Dick Clark could have stood there with a microphone asking if the interviewee was happy that a New Year was approaching?

Jesus shit, life used to be so much simpler. And you’re lucky for that.

I’m fairly certain your follow-up question was always, "So what’s it like to be in Times Square on New Years?" You know the real answer to that, Dick? It’s so much more pleasant to be dead.

Congrats, buddy. You lived the life of the eternal teen, but you died a discarded old man, just as most of us do. Nobody’s special, really, we’re all just judged by what we’ve done in life.

Pretty cool that you hosted the $25,000 Pyramid. Nice job.

Now I’ll just go back to confusing you with Frankie Avalon; I can’t control my brain
All I know is that sounds really fucking good right now.

AND– if we took an HONEST look at history– all nostalgia aside– no one would be impressed with your life. No offense. History isn’t kind, Dick. Sorry.

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31 Responses to Leftridge: The Incredible Lightness of Dick Clark

  1. balbonis moleskine says:

    The power of Pyramids
    bombing out the comments is another conspiracy by “the man” so I can’t get my Smartman wine!

  2. kcobserver says:

    Senseless
    A pointless, baseless attempt at journalism would include the following:

    1. Select a National icon from an older generation.
    2. Make no attempt to understand that icon in the context of his generation.
    3. Diminish the accomplishments of that icon.
    4. Rely on obscenities in lieu of taking time to actually think through one’s thoughts or opinions.

    Congratulations! You are four for four!

  3. xxMillerTimexx says:

    Let me guess Kcobserver
    You are really, really old. Like Glazer old right?

  4. Smartman says:

    Deja vu all over again
    As I recall Randy Raley started it off with a brilliant post telling Brandon how wrong he was. I agreed with what Randy said. Glazer chimed in telling Brandon he was an idiot and that even though he has fake hair it’s the best fake hair and he gets lots of hotties cause he’s a stud. I think Chuck and Mark X may have posted something poignant too.

    Balboni, offer still stands for the FPPN.

  5. balbonis moleskine says:

    Post up an email addy throwaway or otherwise….I don’t dare post home address here.

    Thanks SMARTMAN!

  6. rkcal says:

    Like that bad chimichanga…
    this post keeps coming back.

  7. chuck says:

    I am old and don’t see very well.
    I thought this article was about Tony Botello.

    “The Incredible Lightness Of Beans.”

  8. Leftridge says:

    To All:
    Yeah, I took the post down yesterday because after some introspection, I realized it was in poor taste. Hearne was upset because we don

  9. Mark X says:

    … geez
    “But what did you add, really?”

    Indeed, Leftridge … what do YOU add, really?

  10. Leftridge says:

    Clearly…
    I add insensitive, thoughtless obituaries.

    And again, I apologize for that. It was a mistake that I didn’t think would see the light of day and I attempted a retraction that was unsuccessful.

    I really do feel bad about it.

    Thanks.

  11. mark smith says:

    give credit
    at least the kid had the balls to admit he dropped a turd in the nostalgia punch bowl. His post blew, unlike the 9 out of 10 other blowski posts on this site, he at least admited as much.

  12. Hearne says:

    To which I would like to add…
    I think Brandon’s point – after all he did author the post and accept my praise for bringing another perspective to the table – is that for a number of people who are younger, this is how they saw Dick Clark.

    As a geezer soldiering on as a pretend teenager long after the time for pretending had passed. Running meaningless TV game shows and asking empty questions to random people on New Year’s Eve.

    And to younger eyes that weren’t around watching TV in the 1960s and 70s, that seemed a little odd and at times bizarre. I think he made that point.

    Was it harsh? Sure but it was real. And it was worth sharing because I seriously doubt that he’s the only 20 or 30-something out there who holds that perspective.

    It’s not a definitive argument – a who’s wrong and who’s right deal. Just another point of view. And that’s one thing KCC is all about

  13. Mark X says:


    Well, if the apology is sincere, then accepted.

  14. Super Dave says:

    Well one can see that the Glazer style of writing is starting to wear off a little on a writer who was doing some good stuff.

    Least unlike Glazer, Brandon can be a man about it and admit maybe he went a little too far and for that Brandon still has my respect. Just too bad Hearne didn

  15. Leftridge says:

    Thanks, SD….
    …but this one is completely on me. Hearne technically has no obligation to delete. I’m the idiot who wrote it, so I suppose I need to suck it up and live with it. Lesson learned.

  16. Orphan of the Road says:

    Dick Clark’s legacy
    Wages of Spin is a documentary on the Payola scandal of the 50s. Clark was up to his eyeballs in it and if you signed over rights to your songs, he made you. If you didn’t or you stood up to his “revenue stream”, you were cut down without a chance. Just ask Charlie Grace what happened when he asked where the money was from his hit song, Butterfly. “Somehow” Clark’s name was on the song and the $4000 Clark took was the foundation of Cameo-Parkway records.

    Charlie took Cameo to court and won. But he was black listed on radio for daring to confront Clark.

    The song American Pie is as much about the music Clark brought to rock n roll following Elvis’ induction into the service and Holly’s death.

    Hank Ballard wouldn’t give up The Twist so Clark invented Chubby Checker.

    And when people say Clark brought integration to rock n roll, well just know West Catholic HS always received the invitations but West Philadelphia HS never did.

    If you loved Dick Clark, then the Power & Light District is your kind of place.

  17. Craig Glazer says:

    Thanks For Comparing Me To Dick Clark???
    First off, I have total respect for what Dick Clark did with his life. He was a winner, huge! He never acted ‘crazy’ like the standard DJ we saw in the movie Grease, played by Ed Burns(Cookie from 77 Sunset Strip, see how old we got?). Dick was a major Hollywood player. The guy made millions in a tough town, and impossible business. He lasted decades. I see what Hearne and Brandon are tryng to say..THE WORLDS YOUNGEST TEEN-AGER thing. Just a hype. I can’t fault the man for trying to look younger than his years, its not a crime, its normal in Hollywood and now just normal. How many big stars and local hotties have boob jobs? Almost ALL! Most ladies and some men, dye their hair, have extensions on and on….hey why even shave or take a bath if you want to be REAL? Huh. So the fact Dick did the face thing, so what. Fake hair, lets see, Sean Connery, Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne(not a good one there) and a hundred more BIG STARS…so I am a ‘dick’ for doing the same(and looking better for it?).

    I just don’t think Dick Clark is a guy you pull out of line and dump on…he was a conservative, do gooder. Hey not my cup of tea frankly. I was not a big fan…but I respect the work he did and his being a life long winner. Tough, tough road to win, he did that.

    So I see why young Brandon, not yet 30, thinks he’s just an old geezer, face lift guy, but Brandon didn’t see all that Dick accomplished and that he was enjoyed by millions for decades. Give the man a little credit. Hey Johnny Dare did not like my comparing him to even a local Dick Clark, he felt it was over the top. So people in this biz give Dick lots of props…the man earned them. I guess some people want to live life in the quiet lane. That’s fine, but man let the few who want to entertain have their moments as well. “We need the eggs”….Woody Allen…

  18. kcfred says:

    Where’s Randy’s comment?
    He nailed it.
    Dick Clark was the most important non musician in the history of rock and roll.
    I saw a tribute to him yesterday when The Beastie Boys played on Bandstand.
    From Elvis to the Beastie Boys, Dick played it and actually put black people on TV when it was an incredible risk to do so.
    Nothing is more constant than the changing of the generations, but at least my generation respected and knew the accomplishments of the previous one.
    This generation, not so much. We’re just geezers.

  19. mike says:

    @glaze
    I pretty much agree with what you are saying here. The other day when I commented on your article comparing Dare and Clark, it wasn’t to diminish Dare’s accomplishments but to say I thought they were not anything alike. It sounds like Dare even thinks they are not all that much alike. One has to be true to who they are to be sucessful whether it be Clark, Dare, Stern, Limbaugh etc. That is one area they do have in common.

  20. the dude says:

    Clark didn’t integrate shit,
    look to orphan of the road’s legacy comment, spot on.
    Clark was just another corporate TV and record leech, plain and simple.

  21. paulwilsonkc says:

    Brandon, while not in total agreement, I enjoyed the piece!
    I may not have approved of all the wording and comparisons, sometimes I like a contrarian, over the top explanation of a topic. But you make the same point I was trying to when commenting on another article about that cute teenage boy, Maddow. It never ceases to amaze me what we follow, what we make idols and celebrities from when, on balance, they

  22. Hearne says:

    Would love to have Randy repost his comment but…
    When Lefty bug zapped the original story – he’s right, that’s a pretty big no-no – he also killed off all the comments.

    I was able (barely) to resurrect the column but not the comments.

    And while I respect Brandon’s sincerity in being sensitive to readers feelings, he did tell me after killing it, that he still stood by what he had written. And again, I think he made some excellent points.

  23. paulwilsonkc says:

    I agree
    totally

  24. Leftridge says:

    Yes…
    I stand by my sentiment, but I expressed myself in a grossly ineloquent, disrespectful manner. That’s what I had a problem with, and that’s why I took the story down.

  25. Hearne says:

    Fair enough but…
    But once we publish, we don’t take stories down. If anything, we explain things in the comments section perhaps. Like right here, right now.

    Remember Craig’s “scoop” on Missie B’s?

    We corrected it, we didn’t try and simply erase the mistake as though it never happened.

  26. paulwilsonkc says:

    I’m thankful Hearnes never had to explain anything I SAID!!
    OR that I’ve ever said anything that needed an apology or explanation.
    That would be embarrassing…..
    (I have to now dislodge my tongue from my cheek and join a conference call…..)

  27. Hearne says:

    Frankly, I wouldn’t know where to begin…
    explaining some of the things you’ve said here lately.

    I’m happy to leave you to wriggle out of them all by your lonesome

  28. paulwilsonkc says:

    I agree, Hearne, no wriggle was needed
    I’m still standing, Im still here. I think that tells, as Paul Harvey was prone to say……. the….. rest…..of…….the…. story.
    But, much like Dick Clark, he’s dead.
    Dick Clark
    Paul Harvey
    Lee Harvey
    Harvey Milk
    Generalissimo Francisco Franco… still dead.

  29. the dude says:

    Not true,
    Franco is alive and well and was last seen catching a yuk yuk show at Stanford’s wearing a fine chinese rug and dancing with go-go girls.

  30. paulwilsonkc says:

    DAMN, dude, I try to be current on all my thoughts
    and you blow me out of the water!!

    Now I have to find some OTHER dead person I can disrespect and catch up with Brandon!!

    Thanks again, Dude…

  31. balbonis moleskine says:

    hey smartman dude
    email me at kccreader@gmail.com , I’ll give you the addy for the FPPN. THANKS!

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