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Dick Clark's American Bandstand was obviously an important and inescapable pop-music institution, the importance of which will no doubt be analyzed and mulled over in light of Clark's passing a couple days ago. The one drawback of the show, and its numerous imitators and descendents for that matter, was its insistence of its musical acts miming their performances to a studio recording, a practice that results in considerable frustration when digging deep for live footage of certain under-documented bands of yesteryear.
Still, although it's pretty obvious those stacks in the background aren't allowed the opportunity to immolate the teeny-boppers in the stands, it's nice to have proto-metal legends Blue Cheer tearing it up on TV, even if it's all a put-on of sorts. While many in my circle, in light of Clark's passing, have rightly been posting the infamous and ingenious Public Image Ltd. performance that saw the Metal Box-era lineup taking advantage of the artifice of Bandstand to jovially chaotic ends (that's not even mentioning the total mindfuck of having the band at their most sonically confrontational being pumped into the homes of no-doubt terrified suburbanites), it's almost as equally surreal to see the LOUDLOUDLOUD burbling fuzz and grime of Cheer taking the young-in's for baptism by fire.
Stay for the spectacularly stoned-out interview between the always-chipper Clark and the Cheer boys. In spite of Clark's relative enthusiasm, this interview with the late Cheer mainstay Dickie Peterson notes that there was definite contention off-screen:
"At the time, we were being managed by 'Gut' Terkl, who'd been a Hell's Angel, and Gut and I were sitting in the dressing room smoking a bowl of hash, and Dick Clark walked in, and looked at us, and he says, 'PEOPLE LIKE YOU GIVE ROCK 'n' Roll A BAD NAME!' We looked back at him, and we said, "Thank you very much!" That was the last time we were ever on Bandstand."