I’m sure everyone, at least those here in America have heard that Dick Clark died yesterday at the age of 82 from a heart attack. Dick Clark was many things, but for me personally he was the host of my favorite Saturday morning TV show – American Bandstand. I can still sing the theme song from the show. (Not well, and no, you will not find a video of me singing it on YouTube or any where else, thankyouverymuch) I find that I tend to romanticize the images I have of people from my childhood, and Dick Clark is certainly no different. Much to my mom’s chagrin, I would stop everything I was doing in order to stand and watch the show before she would come down the hall or out of the kitchen to shoo me away from the TV in order to do my chores. I can remember watching videos or hearing music from Duran Duran, Madonna, Romeo Void, Janet Jackson…and many, many others on the show were interviewed and performed. To me at that age, Dick Clark was a bit of a hero simply because he was able to meet so many of the people I was so interested in. I paid zero attention to his life away from American Bandstand, although I knew he had created the AMA’s and had his own production company. I simply didn’t care because he was “Dick Clark of American Bandstand”, and later as I grew up he became “Dick Clark of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” I was much sadder when he had his stroke than I was yesterday because for me, his era ended back when he gave up the helm of Rockin’ Eve to Ryan Seacrest. It pains me to think that for my kids – Ryan Seacrest is liable to be their Dick Clark, but I suppose that’s how it is all meant to work.
Anybody ever heard of Greg Ham? Greg was the flautist for a group called Men At Work. He was found dead today in his home at the age of 58. The saddest thing about Greg was that he feared that he would only be remembered for the law suit involving the flute melody from “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”. Reality? I only remember him for being one of a mere handful of woodwind musicians that made it in a rock band, which makes him a hero to me. Yes, he played a beautiful flute melody for a song that I dearly loved as a kid. I’ve never cared about that lawsuit, although sure – many did. I’ve seen many an interview with Mr. Ham over the years, and he never struck me as intentionally copying the melody, even though I can’t deny how similar it really sounds.