Monday, June 20, 2011

farewell, Big Man

I read it in the paper Sunday morning, and the tears started coming.  Clarence Clemons had passed away.

Danny Clinch

Now, you may think it silly for me to shed tears over a musician, but Clarence has always been there, in the E Street Band, providing the soundtrack for the relationship Mike and I have had for nearly 31 years.

On Memorial Day weekend, Mike set up a movie theater in our driveway and we watched the 1978 Springsteen concert in Houston, Texas with some dear friends.  As usual, when the first notes of "Jungleland" began, I got goose bumps.  And when Clarence and his saxophone played their solo, I nearly wept with emotion.

Here is what Bruce had to say about Clarence's passing (borrowed from, as was the above photo):

It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.

As always, Bruce knows how to tell the story of a life better than anyone I know.

I am so very glad that Charlie got to experience two Springsteen concerts with all of the E Street Band together-before they lost Danny, and now Clarence.  A moment in musical history I hope he will never forget.

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