[Editor's Note: The following, never-before-published interview (Part 1 here) was conducted via telephone on December 23, 1993 by the late Jim Mitteager. The tape, part of a much larger collection bequeathed to Hollywood private eye Paul Barresi, was only recently discovered and graciously provided to FishbowlLA. Our thanks to Barresi for allowing us to share this great bit of nostalgia with our readers, on the anniversary of Clark's April 18, 2012 death.]
Mitteager: Has MTV impacted in a negative way on talent? There’s a lot of packaging that’s going on now that involves skills other than the ability to sing and write good songs. Is it impacting on new talent as opposed to the old days?
Clark: I wouldn’t blame it all on MTV. I’d blame it on the consolidation of the music business, between five or six nationally owned companies. You’ve got all of these big debts that they’ve got to pay. They’ve got them on a timetable, and that includes videos and personal appearances and promotions and all of that. So some new guy, it makes it very difficult to get launched. That’s the whole thing about what’s wrong with the business these days. It’s tough to break through.
Mitteager: What would be your best advice to an aspiring artist out there that is in that pickle right now, that have no representation and has some talent?
Clark: I would try to get to one of the cities where people find talent, LA, New York, Nashville, Seattle… Get out there and showcase yourself.
Mitteager: I want to rack your brain about people that got there start on Bandstand, or with you in general and have now become award winners on the American Music Awards.
Clark: New Edition, they debuted on Bandstand.