The ABC Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve 06 show was one of the saddest things I’ve seen in a while, with Dick Clark showing up for hosting duties again after missing last year due to a December 6, 2004 stroke. He hadn’t been doing any public appearances, so this was his coming out party, as it were.
“Last year I had a stroke,” he explained. “It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It’s been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I’m getting there.”
Frankly, it would have been better for him to stay home. I appreciate the fighting spirit, but he obviously does not need to be doing this. It was rather depressing to watch him slurring his speech, his arm apparently immobile. It was just NOT a good way to celebrate a New Year. Maybe some kind of little sit down interview another time would be ok, but not this.
Some folk have taken exception to my expression that getting shot was not the worst way that John Lennon could have gone. Dick Clark’s appearance- struggling valiantly- only re-confirmed my thought. John got shot, but he thankfully never had to face anything like this.
OK, Dick Clark had a stroke to account for his performance, but what was Mariah Carey’s excuse? This was a highly billed appearance by the biggest selling US artist of 2005, and Clark was trying to whoop up enthusiasm that this was a big first. I haven’t paid close attention to this event over the years, but this was supposedly the first time in all these shows that he’s had a live musical performance actually on Times Square- if I was understanding Clark’s speech right.
Except that it was really pushing the point to call this a “live” performance. After the big buildup and diva entrance, she’s there with a DJ and a handful of dancers. Unless I missed somethng, there were NO live musicians present for this historical live musical performance.
Basically, Mariah Carey was doing karaoke- and not especially good karaoke at that. The actual songs from this damned Mimi album are pretty bland and interchangeable to start with, and by the time she mashed the things together and sped it up a bit, there was just nothing left of them. The whole effect of this struck me as just surprisingly lame, even for Mariah Carey.
The whole NYC scene was so depressing that Hillary Duff was clearly a relief. Obviously this little teeny bopper isn’t a serious musician. For my part, her biggest artistic accomplishment to date has been inspiring a line in an Eminem song. But wherever exactly she was performing from when she came on after midnight, she was a significant improvement. Just that she was a healthy young woman with an actual band trying to make a real live musical performance put her ahead of the Times Square nonsense.
But if the physical decline of the world’s oldest living teenager wasn’t sad enough, Dick Clark’s production company has officially signed Ryan Seacrest to take over the reins when Dick’s no longer able to do it.