Friends, you know how I’ve mentioned in the past that music wasn’t really part of my household in my youth – I didn’t actually start amassing a collection of tapes and then CDs until 1989 – courtesy of the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t fortunate enough to get book and record sets or a cassette tape now and again – although almost all of it was related to the likes of Star Wars, Pac-Man, or The Transformers, etc. That all changed however around 1985 after I was able to hear Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It” – his well known parody of the late Michael Jackson’s 1982 “Beat It”, the latter being one of the best selling singles of all time, with over 7 million copies sold. What changed is that I happened to receive a portable tape player for my birthday and I quite frankly needed tapes to play on it – having heard “Eat It” I managed to pick up Weird Al’s 1984 album “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D… and I played that tape until it sadly broke. I have some rather fond memories of my Cousins and myself dancing to “The Brady Bunch” and “Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)” over at my Grandparents house too. Of course it’s not like Weird Al’s albums are full of parodies – he always included originals, on “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D my favorite happens to be “Midnight Star”.
I suppose it would be truthful to say that Weird Al Yankovic was the first musician I followed. And it also kind of opened the door to staying up on the weekends and watching the likes of Night Tracks on WTBS.
Which brings us to the subject of this article, the popular and long running American Bandstand on ABC – hosted by Dick Clark. While American Bandstand got it’s start all the way back in 1950 – the show as most of us remember it actually began in 1952 – with Dick Clark taking over hosting duties in 1956 and remaining until the series ended 33 years later.
Even though I was watching the likes of Night Tracks or even Nick Rocks – for some reason I never watched Dick Clark’s show… in fact I always saw it on Saturday as signaling the end of Saturday Morning cartoons. Which I guess is why I missed Weird Al Yankovic performing 1985’s “Dare to Be Stupid” on American Bandstand as well as this interview with Clark and Al afterwards.