Prince Stonewalls Dick Clark on 'American Bandstand' (January 26th, 1980)
The Eighties were just weeks old when Prince took the stage of American Bandstand for the first time, but the artist took command and pointed the way for the decade to come. Fey and coy, the 21-year-old relative unknown lies to Dick Clark by saying he's only 19, then tells Clark he turned down numerous major-label record deals because, simply, "they wouldn't let me produce myself." It's not a boast, just a statement of intent. Then, when asked how many instruments he plays, Prince gazes at his shoes for a moment before answering, "Thousands." Paired with striking lip-synched performances of "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" – in which Prince prances in gold lamé pants, André Cymone goes full Rick James and Dez Dickerson taps into his inner Sid Vicious – his multi-racial, multi-styled band left disco in the dust and paved the way for pop's future.