Thursday, December 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES — Dick Dodd, a Mouseketeer on Disney’s original “Mickey Mouse Club” who went on to become a surf music pioneer and a youth-quaking garage rock showman, died Friday in a Fountain Valley, Calif., hospital, said his close friend, Tim Ferrill. Dodd was 68.
Dodd announced earlier this year on his website that he had stage 4 cancer. Born Joseph Richard Dodd Jr. on Oct. 27, 1945, in Hermosa Beach, Calif., Dodd cultivated an interest in singing, dancing and performing as a young boy. In 1955, at the age of 9, he was cast on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” the beloved television variety show that came to epitomize postwar America, alongside series regulars such as Annette Funicello and Cubby O’Brien. On the show, he was the Mouseketeer known as Dickie.
“It was the best training I could have had as a kid,” Dodd told the Los Angeles Times in 1990.
In the early 1960s, Dodd was a member of two of the earliest and most influential surf rock bands — the Bel-Airs and Eddie and the Showmen. Dodd also went on to be a dancer in the 1963 film version of the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”
But in 1964, Dodd took a musical left turn out of the mainstream to become drummer-vocalist in the garage rock band the Standells, known primarily for their popular single “Dirty Water.”
Recorded in 1965, it became the Standells’ first and only hit, peaking at No. 11 on the national singles chart.
And with its unforgettable refrain, “Boston, you’re my home,” the song held a special renown in Beantown where it’s still an anthem for its sports teams, including the Red Sox baseball team and hockey-playing Bruins.