Tag Archives: Dick Clark

Some thoughts on the AMA’s from a confused, out-of-touch fan. The Jets look like a real football team! And a Twinkie commercial from the ’70s

I know almost nothing about current music.
I follow it very little, and most of what I learn is from my fiancee, who has introduced me to cool bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, and my friend Bill Werde on Twitter (he runs Billboard magazine), who at least teaches me one or two things a week.

Still, I’m really naive and uninformed when it comes to current tunes. Yet, I have fond childhood memories of the American Music Awards, watching Paula Abdul (my all-time No. 1 childhood celebrity crush), Boyz II Men, and Guns N’ Roses perform.

So I watched a little of Sunday night’s show, and herewith, my snap judgments:

– Was Justin Bieber trying to look like Vanilla Ice Sunday, or was that just a happy accident? I get that he’s trying to be like Usher but man, he looked kinda silly in the backwards hat. And stop grabbing your crotch so much, son. Only Michael Jackson looked cool doing that.

– I thought Pink and her whole “performance art” thing was pretty cool, and the song “Try” is definitely one of the best on her new album.
–Really, Carly Rae Jepson gets “Best New Artist?” For her one song? Somewhere, even Milli Vanilli are laughing.
–Gwen Stefani still looks amazing, and her voice was as good as ever. Always happy to see her perform.
— Whereas Nikki Minaj makes Lady Gaga look like a shy, reserved wallflower.
— Finally, the AMA’s made me miss Dick Clark, who founded them. Great to see Stevie Wonder do a little tribute to the man who was so influential in music history.

**The New York Jets looked like a real football team Sunday, and that was only about the fourth-most surprising thing that happened on a crazy-exciting day in the NFL.
Proves you never can tell what you’re going to get in this league: At 1 p.m. it looked like a pretty bad slate of games, and yet at 3:55 p.m. I had my head on a swivel at the sports bar, watching three games go into overtime.
First, a few words on my Jets. It’d been 35 long days since they’d won. And thankfully, they were playing St. Louis, who isn’t very good, either.

But there were lots of good things for the green and white Sunday: Mark Sanchez played mistake-free, efficient football, they ran the ball well, and the defense, after the opening drive, was outstanding.
I still expect Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum to get canned after the season, and for the team to finish 5-11, but it was nice to see the Jets actually play a complete game for once.

Elsewhere in the NFL…

– Insane shootout between Jacksonville and Houston. Andre Johnson, you are an incredible football player. 273 receiving yards and the game-winning TD in OT? Beautiful. But that Texans defense ought to be ashamed, giving up 37 points to Chad Henne.
— Everyone in the bar was rooting like hell for Cleveland to knock off the Cowboys, and they almost did it before falling in OT. “Almost” is a word Browns fans have heard for a long time, but they really killed themselves with penalties in the fourth quarter.
— If I’m an Atlanta Falcons fan, I’d be really nervous right now.
— So glad the Steelers again wore the ugliest uniforms in the history of the world Sunday night (above).
— Finally, not NFL but a college football thought: So Kansas State and Oregon lost, and now Notre Dame and one-loss Alabama are the top 2 teams. Once again,   if someone can explain to me why one-loss ‘Bama is more deserving of a national title shot than one-loss Oregon, I’m all ears. College football is such a mess when it comes to determining a champion.

**Finally today, as you surely have heard by now, Hostess is going out of business, and the world will no longer get to enjoy the delicious goodness that are Twinkies.
It’s hilarious that people are buying up boxes of Twinkies and selling them on eBay, like they’re a real collector’s item.
Saw this commercial on the Web this weekend and made me want one more. Just one more, though, because as a grown-up I realize how gross they are.

Two legends leave the stage: R.I.P., Dick Clark, and farewell, Pat Summitt. And a “wet willy” in the NBA? Yep.

The annals of music history in the 1950s and ’60s are littered with tales of legends.

Elvis. The Beatles. The Beach Boys.
I think one man was as important, culturally, as all of them.
Dick Clark didn’t invent rock and roll music, and he didn’t invent dancing, and he didn’t invent teenagers having a good time.
But he sure as hell put them all together and started a phenomenon. Through the 1950s and 60s, then well into the 70s and 80s, Dick Clark and “American Bandstand” were permanently ensconced in American pop culture.
I grew up hearing stories from my grandparents about how my mom and Aunt would come home from school every day, throw their books down, and boogie in front of the TV to whatever music “Bandstand” was playing that day.

The show changed American culture, exposing millions to music they’d never heard before. He also put African-Americans and whites on TV together at a time when that just wasn’t done.

And Clark, who sadly died of a heart attack Wednesday at 82, was at the center of it all.
The man never seemed to age, seemed to appeal to every demographic, and was a bonafide star-maker. He was a terrific TV show host as well (“25,000 Pyramid” is my favorite game show ever), and New Year’s Eve was a showcase for him for so many years. It wasn’t midnight without him.

Clark lived a tremendous life, filled with a little scandal (he was touched by the payola scandal of the late 1950s) and even after his stroke robbed him of speech a few years back, he still came out on New Year’s Eve.
We needed to see him, and he clearly loved the audience. His passing is a tremendous loss to the world.
But man, what a life he lived.

**The other sad news Wednesday was a little more predictable, unfortunately. One of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, the legendary Pat Summitt of Tennessee, officially stepped down as head coach Wednesday. Summitt has been suffering from early-onset dementia for the past year, but still coached the Volunteer team this past season, leading them to the Elite 8.
But now, she is stepping down, and her longtime assistant, Holly Barlick, is taking over.

It’s truly the end of an era. Summitt was a pioneer in women’s basketball, and a brilliant coach who motivated her players (through fear and other means) and helped so many women reach their potential.

Christine Brennan, the fine USA Today sportswriter, has penned a great tribute to Summitt. Check it out here.

**Finally, while I wonder how my Rangers let another game slip away against Ottawa last night (the series is tied 2-2 and I’m officially worried), and laugh at the Penguins’ 10-3 win over the Flyers (apparently Ben Roethlisberger threw a late touchdown in that one; seriously, TEN goals, Philly lets up?), I was amused by this play that happened in the NBA the other night.

Delonte West gave opposing player Gordon Hayward (he was the dude from Butler who just missed beating Duke with a half-court shot in the national title game in 2010) a Wet Willy. That’s right, West licked his finger and put it in Hayward’s ear during a stoppage of play.

Seriously dude, a wet willy? What was the next idea, to give him a wedgie, followed by a purple nurple (those really hurt, you know).
This just cracks me up every time I watch it.