Today I received another in a frequent series of amusing e-mails from my brother-in-law Jeff in the Twin Cities, who is at least as much an omnivorous observer of pop culture and the absurdity of the passing scene as I am. This time, Jeff alerted me to this story in the Huffington Post about the inevitably fast-approaching apocalypse of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2009,” featuring this teaser:
ABC-TV’s 3½-hour live extravaganza will include performances by Natasha Bedingfield, Fall Out Boy, Jesse McCartney, Ne-Yo, Pussycat Dolls, Solange and Robin Thicke. Fergie hosts the Hollywood segments.
To this, Jeff (who is eight years younger than me, by the way) appended simply, “WHO?”
I suppose [I replied] you can consider yourself officially out of the Desired Demographic when you don’t recognize a single one of the “names” on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. (In truth, the names Natasha Bedingfield, Jesse McCartney, Pussycat Dolls and Fergie ring vague bells, although I couldn’t name one of their songs or tell you what they sounded like if my life depended on it).
In any event, I was amused by the quote from Dick Clark (who is now four years older than my parents’ favorite Guy Lombardo was at his death, and is, as the headline put it, is “still ‘rockin'” (definitely in quotes) despite walker, wheelchair”) about the musical entertainment he prefers to take in in his off-hours:
“My wife and I may join friends for dinner at a restaurant, attend a movie or just grab a bite to eat by ourselves away from home,” Clark wrote. “Occasionally, we’ll attend a music concert. Recently we’ve seen Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Frankie Valli and Cher.”
Now that’s cutting edge for you (I also appreciated Clark’s qualifying word “music” before “concert,” to distinguish it from, say, a trigonometry concert). As for me, I’m old enough to have seen Guy Lombardo in person, though not on New Year’s Eve — it was one summer in the mid-70s at the Jones Beach Marine Theater on Long Island, at which he would arrive in his boat, and post-show, lead his orchestra in a few dance favorites for his myriad of fans in an adjoining tent. I’ve long forgotten even the name of the show we saw, but Guy on the bandstand lives on in my memory.
It may have been at this concert, or a similar one, that I picked out a middle-aged man strolling back to his car and asked him for his autograph. He protested that he was not with the show (as I well knew), but finally relented and signed my program. Walking away, I heard the guy’s wife exclaiming to him, “You’re crazy!” Wish I still had the program signed by the distinguished Mr. Cohen, but time’s a bitch.
Back in real time, almost four-year-old Luka, on my lap, is ready to play the “movers game” and also informs me that “I’m ready for my hula dance” and “I’ll fix your head.” (And not a moment too soon.)
Happy New Year, and see you around the aether in ’09.