Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still Rotten

On one hand, how could your band refuse a chance to appear on American Bandstand? It's reach was monstrous, its path as mainstream as it got, and its cred totally corporate. Later in his career Dick Clark marketed himself as America's oldest teenager. Truth was, he was more America's youngest oldster. Hip on culture Dick never was––he always came across more as a friend of the parents than of the Now Generation––but on business Dick was mogulsville, baby. (Dick Clark Productions just sold in September for an estimated $370-$385 million.) American Bandstand, while never a significant organ of the music industry, did have stamina and that accounts for something. While the guest list didn't often stray far the most middling of the mainstream (Barry Manilow didn't do its theme song for nothing, you know) you'd think for a band like Public Image Ltd (PiL) it might've been an honor to get such national air time. But when your leader and figurehead is Johnny Rotten/Lydon, a personage whose brain always seemed deprived of serotonin, well, to borrow a line from Hubert Selby: You didn't really expect him to behave, did you?

"Something interesting and special" indeed.

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