Dick Clark’s (not) Rockin’ New Year’s Eve

The best reason to get out of the house on New Year’s Eve was to avoid listening to Ryan Seacrest. Watching him host what used to be Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with the sound off, and only looking at the screen at 11:59:30 pm, was slightly less painful.

My radio colleague Eddie Trunk tweeted, “Can’t wait to see how many ‘rockin” New Year’s Eve shows will actually feature real rock.”

The first RNE in 1973 was actually called Three Dog Night’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. Hosted by that group and featuring Dick Clark as a roving reporter. Guessing TDN brought in ’74 in a Joy to the World kind of way but they were more of a rock band than Imagine Dragons will ever be. Those aren’t Khaleesi’s dragons. Now that band would rock! Then again, we can blame the perennially clueless Grammy voters.

“Are they a rock band?”

“Maybe, look at the photos and videos. They’re holding electric guitars.”

Okay, check the sales and download charts and genuine rock bands are hard to find among the likes of Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheehan and those fiery dragons who are no doubt causing parents to say, turn that down! You’ll go deaf listening to that noise. What’s the song called? Thunder? My ears!

Thunder actually sounds like it could have been done by Ariana Grande. And better.

No power chords. No pounding drums. It’s more ABBA than AC/DC.

I don’t expect Ryan and crew to give us Green Day, Metallica or Foo Fighters. They’ve been around for two decades or more and will soon be considered classic rock. Maybe they already are. I’m sure Eddie Trunk would love to see current, honest to goodness rock acts like Monster Truck, Texas Hippy Coalition or Santa Cruz (actually a hard rock band from Finland) on TV.

Me too.

Dick Clark’s annual party has featured Linda Ronstadt, The Doobie Brothers, Blondie, Melissa Etheridge and Avril Lavigne. My fellow Canadian Avril’s Sk8ter Boi rocks harder than all the recent Grammy “rock” nominees combined.

If there isn’t going to be any real thunder, played live or lip-synced to, just change the name of the show. Rock and roll topped the charts when Clark hosted American Bandstand but that has not been the case for many years.

Then again, even the top pop and R&B performers were not on the bill last night. Mariah, Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears? Did Seacrest put us in a time machine and transport us back to 2007?

I spent the final hour of 2017 at Don Cherry’s Sports Bar in Wasaga Beach. Listening to a live blues band with classics played on electric guitars, bass, keyboards and real drums…and occasionally glancing at the TV to see smilin’ Ryan and his non-rockin’ New Year’s Eve friends.

About johnnymaraca

host of Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot, the rockingest show on the radio. 60 years of rockin' rhythm and blues, from the late '40s pioneers like Louis Jordan to Elvis, Chuck Berry, CCR, Stray Cats, Ramones and tons more. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 on 97.7 the Beach, listen live at http://977thebeach.ca, and WRSG in Middlebourne, West Virginia, Tuesdays 6-8 pm.
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