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I have been so out of it with preparing for this proofreading workshop and dealing with my dad, the contractor, and some terrible news about a friend that I hadn't even heard my beloved Clarence Clemons had had a stroke. And now today I saw in [personal profile] batdina's journal that the Big Man has passed away, and I am as devastated as if he was my own friend. I always felt like he was. There was just something about him that made you feel like, if you'd seen him in concert or had the chance to catch him at the stage door (as I did once) and say hey, you knew him and he was your best buddy.

My favorite story moments with Bruce and the E Street Band when they performed live were always the tall tales he'd spin about the Big Man. And Clarence always played that up, too. He took that natural ability to perform and used it in film, too, with appearances in some movies and a small role on The Wire.

I wrote a bit about my love for a quiet performance of Thunder Road back in November. You can hear Clarence on the triangle in it, but otherwise it's just Bruce and Roy Bittan. It was always the big blowout numbers where the Big Man shined the most. That sax has meant so much to me over the years. That great, deep voice has too. The world was sure a better place for having him in it.

Here, have a little Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out. I love that 40 years later, these guys are still doing such a great job. Every time I saw this performed, Clarence did something on the "kid you better get the picture" line, often pointing at him, or wagging his finger, or something. Damn.

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lost2mercy
Jun. 19th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
I've been on the verge of tears all day...
gwyn_r
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
I know. I still am. I start going about my business, and then I remember, and I feel like crying.
varina8
Jun. 19th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Man, break my heart. You found the perfect clip. Time also had a nice clip from Jungleland, one of my all-time favorites.
gwyn_r
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Oh, that's a beautiful performance of Jungleland. That whole album is just all favorites, but Jungleland has such a special place in my heart. I spent so much time trying to learn that piano part.
varina8
Jun. 21st, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
New York City Serenade too. It was one of my favorites for late night listening when I was in college. That sweet minor key, the solo piano...and the sax coming in as it builds to the end.

...all dressed up in satin, walkin' past the alley...he's singin', singin', singin', singin'...oh, yeah, watchin' for your junkman...watch out..."
kirbyfest
Jun. 19th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
I am so sad about this. He was a wonderful guy and a terrific musician.
gwyn_r
Jun. 21st, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
I know -- he was just a mensch, a true mensch.
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