Remind me not to be sitting at a bar with a 24 year old the next time someone famous over the age of 40 dies. I was doing just that at about 9 pm on April 18, 2012 when I saw Dick Clark's face on a muted TV and commented, Oh, he finally looks old. Which drew no response from my cohort. I said he looked the same age for decades but now since his stroke he has finally aged. No discernible response. Then the words Dick Clark dies at 82 come up on the screen. A wave of sadness comes over me. I loudly, impulsively say Dick Clark died. To which my friend replies, Oh.
Oh. And then he returns to talking about what ever banality he was speaking of. Then we get caught up in the game of trivia that was going on around us, and the moment is lost.
Michal Jackson dies and the country gasps and the internet has a stroke. Whitney Houston dies and no one can speak of anything else for 2 weeks. Dick Clark dies and no one under 35 even notices. Dick Clark may have never written a song, or recorded one, but almost single handedly did more for American music, especially Rock N Roll that almost anyone else. He kept in on the radio and more importantly kept it on TV. The youth of today watches music videos constantly now, mostly on You Tube I suppose, but there was a time when you could see new bands and performers LIVE, daily from 1957 until 1963, and then weekly for another 24 years. Live bands. Every week. Why that doesn't exist today is hard to fathom. The presumption would be our lack of attention span.
I mourn the loss of not just Dick Clark, but a generation, and a culture.
Long live Rock-n-Roll.
Long live Dick Clark.
When planning your life just make sure it has a good beat and you can dance to it.