Last week "the world’s oldest teenager" Dick Clark died. Talk about the end of an era.
Clark was the epitome of establishing a brand that will not be equaled for years to come. American Bandstand was a local show in Philadelphia he convinced ABC to make into a national show.
Clark was in a market where he realized the power he held with this show. More importantly, he put a white, less threatening face on rock and roll. Dick personalized the music the kids of America had discovered and that was becoming an important part of their lives.
My connection with Dick Clark began in 1973 when I was Disco Tex with the Sexolettes (7 million seller) and had done Bert Sugarman’s Midnight Express. But the impact Dick Clark and Bandstand had for me took the record to new heights. With him behind you, you knew his backing was that of a musical leprechaun.
For those of us lucky enough to be anointed by DC, you had the blessing of the musical Pope of America. No biases whether black, gay, disco or whatever. Talent was rewarded and encouraged. You had not arrived in the recording industry until you did Bandstand.
Clark "discovered" James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Chubby Checker and Lionel Ritchie (among others) who had careers but were made acceptable and approachable on a wider stage by DC. He brought that wild musical form into our living rooms every day. Thus, a new and important cultural interaction was born.
Dick was also an entrepreneur who brought us the Golden Globes, the Pyramid game shows (all iterations), New Year’s Rocking Eve – and don’t forget The Bloopers that came decades before YouTube. He wrote the tune (or accepted it anyway) that was to become the theme song for America. He will be greatly missed.
One of the most pleasantly surprising, unbelievable evenings at the MGM was Mike Tyson’s Undisputed Truth. We’ve got to thank and give kudos to Kiki Tyson, and of course the writer/collaborator on the script, Randy Johnson.
I went back on closing night and was pleasantly surprised by Tyson’s humanity, his candid recalling of the bad, the good and the ugly side of his life. Some of it was indeed dark. He makes no apologies except when it comes to Robin Givens and Brad Pitt.
So, Robin, you just missed being Angelina Jolie (who by the way is really a Jon Voight girl with more liberal tendencies)! Again, my bows to producer Adam Steck for having the vision and courage to experiment on an unknown theatrical person (though, otherwise terribly notorious). It was a very good evening.
Before taking this show to New York and other locations, I have a few suggestions – more video, film and photographs. Maybe add an intermission. It’s hard to sit for over two hours without a break. In my estimation it will do well in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major cities. Just a thought!!
Steck, a fan and friend of this columnist, has always been a supporter of my brand. Just think of Human Nature, Thunder From Down Under, the Australian Bee Gees show, the Frank Marino Divas show and, of course, there’s also American Storm, Night School 4 Girls, Sylvia Browns, Pawn Stars – Gold & Silver Road Show, etc.
This guy knows Vegas and what will work here. This is his crowning achievement as a producer, taking a show like The Undisputed Truth to a new level of theater – working with a controversial personality, creating a one-man show and bringing it all to life. Vince Neil (Motley Crue) and a host of others too numerous to name attended the performance.
If I went, you know it had to be big!
We enjoyed a lovely evening and opening at Tropicana. First was dinner at Bacia’s restaurant presented by Chef Carla Pellegrino. We dined on exquisitely prepared salmon, shrimp scampi, pasta primavera and delightful artisan breads and salads. We shared a wonderful tiramisu, which was almost floating due to its lightness and delicacy.
We licked our spoons. Then it was off to see Dancing with the Stars and it did not disappoint. A well-oiled production starring Carson Kressley and Stacey Schwimmer with Joey Fatone and other past contestants. All the judges were pleasingly positive.
The dancing was beyond great, the staging brilliant. Give it up to AEG for having this wonderful production at Tropicana, which needed a hit show. I will go back to see this production because I wasn’t feeling well with all the filming, photographing and other duties related to my new album.
It is so hard to be me. These comebacks are killers, probably to you as well as me. Being "Queen of Vegas" is a real job!
Las Vegas, as in many other areas of our nation, supports many animal rights movements. The Nevada SPCA is putting on its 2nd annual "Animals In Wonderland Champagne and High Tea" this Thursday at the Spanish Trail Country Club. The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a red carpet arrival, silent auction and a raffle for a pair of diamond studs.
The event will honor senior dogs that will be up for adoption. They will be escorted down the red carpet and presented on stage by local celebrities, such as former Mayor Oscar Goodman and Chrissi Scinta of the Scintas. Tony award-winner Anthony Crivello of Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular and some of his co-stars will perform. Call 496-0248 for tickets. For more information go online to www.nevadaspca.org.
Then we have the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, which is holding a fund-raising benefit May 5. This organization works on helping to control Nevada’s domesticated animal population. For more information please call 702-227-5555 or visit www.hcws.org.
The American Heart Association and Go Red for Women will help raise funds in the fight against heart disease among women. Net revenue from Zipline rides at the Fremont Street Experience on April 30 from noon to midnight will be donated to this worthy organization. For additional information please call 702-410-7999 or visit www.flightlinezfremont.com.
Our good friend Patrick "Pat" Mascola, the owner/publisher of Around Town – the bible of what’s going on with South Florida’s night life – has written his first novel after 50 years as a journalist, columnist and publicist centering on the entertainment industry.
Hell on East Rock has been very well received and already garnered two Hollywood film offers. The story is filled with enough love, mystery, betrayal and revenge to entertain us all. The book is available at Amazon.com or call 954-978-2191.
The Rev has left the stage. Read safely.