Monday, March 11, 2013

BandStand Grill Is A Blast From The Past

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

I have two more confessions to make. And I'm not going to apologize for this. I love American Bandstand. And Dick Clark, who passed away last year, is on my shortlist of business people I admired most.

So I found myself in Phoenix's Skyharbor Airport recently and before I go through the TSA Security checkpoint I'm looking for a place to eat breakfast and there it is like a beacon in the harbor...ok it's a skyharbor, but nevertheless a harbor...Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill. Oh man, I just had to be there.

I was not disappointed. I love what Dick has done with the place.

First of all, there is authentic memorabilia from Dick Clark's personal collection here in Phoenix. There is a case of stuff from the Monkees for instance...Mike Nesmith shirt, Davey Jones shirt, a model of the Monkeemobile and more. Then there is the case that I thought was Neil Sedaka's stuff but turns out it was items from Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Turns out Johnny looked a lot like Neil back in the beginning of his career. There is also a Motown case as well with Mary Wells dress, Smokey Robinson's shirt and more. There are other memorabilia cases as well but I'll let you explore for yourself.

The interesting thing are the several video monitors throughout the restaurant rolling footage of old Bandstand shows. I and I think almost everybody in the place was mesmerized by the footage. And there he was...Dick Clark looking as young as ever introducing the music and the kids and the dances. Most of the footage, in fact, everything I saw, was from around the mid-70's. I wanted to see some footage from the 50's and 60's and maybe it was coming later. There are large blowup photos of Black and White from the early Bandstand shows though and huge graphics of old hit 45 records on the ceiling. My biggest question that was running through my head when Dick Clark was introducing the kids..."I wonder where they are now and what they are doing?"

The breakfast food was not too bad. I had a Breakfast Burrito and some ham. The food is of course American cuisine. I understand the Burgers and other items off the grill are great. I could have had one of the burgers at the ABG in Salt Lake City later on when I was there but I was still full from breakfast. I also liked the sports bar too. This day tennis and Soccer final filled the screens.

And herein lies the genius of Dick Clark. I do not see Dick Clark's restaurants in the Los Angeles area. There might well be one but I haven't seen it yet. By putting these restaurants in places like airports he has a captive audience. Los Angeles and the rest of the world comes to him. And happily. Brilliant.

Photo Credits: Dick Clark Productions Archives

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