Dick Clark may have been the dean of the pop-music scene for more than five decades, but that doesn’t mean he’s any better at picking winners than your average armchair critic.
Case in point, the American Music Awards—which he himself founded in 1973.
In an interview with Milling About host Robin Milling from New Year’s Eve 1992—which has never before aired anywhere—the cultural icon chatted about wrangling nominees into the theater for the event.
“Years ago I talked to [Madonna‘s then-manager] Freddy DeMann. I said, ‘Madonna must be here— she’s up for two awards. I mean, you must know in your heart that she’s going to win those awards. She’s a runaway smash hit,” he said of the 1991 AMAs, while the Material Girl was filming A League of Their Own.
“They arranged a convoy and strategic air command sort of thing and got police and escorted her from a movie set and screaming down the freeway.
“And they pull up breathlessly, they come in to the backstage as the first award comes up in her category. And the winner is… not Madonna!
“Freddy looked at me with this look I never want to see in a man’s eyes again. And if I could have, I would have disappeared.
“Fortunately, Madonna won the second award.”
Dick also recalled a similar incident with ‘80s pop idol Rick Springfield, who scored a No. 1 hit with Jessie’s Girl while playing Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.
“Rick called me one year. He was up for Best Male Vocalist, and said, ‘I’m real beat up and on the road. ‘Do I have to be there?’ as if to say, Do I know anything that he should know,” he said of the 1983 AMAs.
“And I said, ‘Rick, lets face it, look at the competition in your category. I mean, you’re my friend, you don’t got a prayer. Don’t bother.
“Stay down in the desert. Relax. We’ll do it another time.
“He won—and I talked him out of appearing!”
To hear Dick Clark’s full lost interview, click here.