Dick Clark, This One's For You
Dear Dick Clark,
A lot of stories I'll read about you today will be about where you were born, your long career and blah, blah, blah.
All that stuff doesn't hold a candle to what you've meant to my life.
You were all about the music. And there was nothing fake about you. You weren't like the coast-to-coast host who would ooze cheese when making long-distance dedications. No offense, Casey Kasem.
Uh-uh. You were the guy who was responsible for introducing me to Tommy James, The Shangri-Las and Curtis Mayfield.
When I was still wearing bell-bottomed jeans and red turtlenecks and going to Boulevard Heights Elementary School your "20 Years of Rock N' Roll" was the soundtrack of my life.
I would dance around the house to Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser." And feel the yearning of the Shirelle's "Soldier Boy," as I sang along, way too young to fully grasp what it meant. I kept a metal MIA bracelet I found at Fletcher Park, never knowing whatever happened to that soldier.
And every time Van Morrison sang, "Brown-Eyed Girl," I just knew he was singing to me.
I know you didn't know it, but for many years on New Year's Eve, you were my date, because my dad didn't want me to be out with "all the drunks" on those nights. We watched the ball drop in Times Square, together.
I'll never forget you, Dick Clark. And how can I ever thank you for filling my life with music?