By Annie Barrett
Updated December 28, 2011 at 04:15 PM EST
Credit: Dennis Plehn/Getty Images

This year’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest (10 p.m. ET, ABC) will mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic holiday show from host and executive producer Dick Clark. Cohosts Clark and Seacrest will be joined by Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae, the Band Perry, blink-182, Christina Perri, Florence + the Machine, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, and Whew!

In Friday’s issue of EW, Clark runs down some of his favorite New Year’s Rockin’ Eve memories — like the time his camera crew was, unbeknownst to him, “being entertained by an office full of naked celebrants” in a building high atop Times Square. “When we started in 1972, I was perched on top of a Times Square building accompanied by my wife and a lone cameraman,” Clark writes. It’s certainly grown since then. Look for more from Clark in the new issue of EW, on stands Friday Dec. 30.

Now tune your clock to “ABC Time” and let’s relive a few choice NYRE moments….

1974: The Beach Boys sing “Darlin,” backed by Chicago.

1985: Tears For Fears perform “Shout” and hope all of our dreams came true in 1986. The woman in the tinfoil dress is my hero.

1987 brought this hilarious New Year’s Rockin’ Eve promo, immortalized on YouTube.

1989: “Goodbye to the 1980s.” (Hello to Twin Peaks.)

1997: It’s the Spice Girls’ world; we just lived in it.

2001: “Not the happiest year of America’s life, but [New Yorkers] are pressing on.”

2010: NKOTBSB performs all the right stuff to get everyone psyched for their 2011 tour.

….and Christina Aguilera holds a high note not nearly as long as Dick Clark’s career on “Candyman.”

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