Nearly two years after a stroke, “American Bandstand” icon Dick Clark has recounted the stunning moment he realized his right side was paralyzed.
“It was a complete surprise,” Clark told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday after his daily two-hour therapy session, which he said left him feeling “pooped.”
Clark, who turns 77 on Nov. 30, knew there was something wrong when he awoke Dec. 6, 2004.
“I woke up in the morning and my right side didn’t work. I thought a dog had slept on my side,” said Clark, who sounded upbeat and could be clearly understood. “My wife said, ‘I think you had a stroke,’ and she drove me to the hospital.”
Doctors at Burbank’s Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center kept him hospitalized for weeks. Rehabilitation therapy sessions have continued ever since.
“Your life changes overnight,” he said.
Recently, Clark has been busy promoting the Dec. 5-6 auction of his memorabilia at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The self-professed pack rat plans to attend.
“I keep everything. It’s one of my problems. I’m a saver,” he said.
Throughout his rehabilitation, Clark’s wife, Kari, has been at his side. “She’s one of a kind, thank God,” Clark said.
Besides preparing a Thanksgiving Day meal for 18 relatives, Kari Clark was organizing an after-party for the American Music Awards show Tuesday night.
“I watch it,” said Clark, who has produced the show for decades. “Sure, I’m interested. I created that thing 34 years ago. You can’t just dismiss it [from your life].”
He’s also produced the Academy of Country Music Awards and Golden Globe Awards shows for years.
Next month’s auction includes some prized mementos from Clark’s “American Bandstand” years, including the microphone he used July 9, 1956, when he kicked off the rock ’n’ roll show that made him famous.
Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s auction house, has said he expects the sale to fetch between $10,000 and $100,000.
Other items to be sold include a bass guitar that Paul McCartney played when he was a Beatle, a beaded glove worn by Michael Jackson and the harmonica Bob Dylan played in “The Last Waltz.”
Clark has a 28,000-square-foot warehouse full of stuff.
“I didn’t want to get rid of any of it. But there comes a time to clean the closet,” Clark said, adding there had been some thought to creating a Dick Clark Museum.
Much of the auction profits will go to the T.J. Martell Foundation, which was founded by the music industry to raise money for research on cancer and AIDS, Ettinger has said.