Good-night, sweet prince … RIP Clarence Clemons
Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Rest in peace Clarence.
Rest in peace Big Man.
Last week we all found out that Clarence Clemons had a stroke in his home in Florida. It took us all by surprise. We all thought he was invincible. Indestructible. Super-human. He’s the BIG MAN! Then comes that moment of terrified realization. Our heroes are only flesh and blood. They are susceptible. They are fallible. In a word. Human.
We prayed. We negotiated. We denied. We poured out or hearts and our feelings in support of the Big Man. And they were met with the greatest of all inevitabilities. Death. Yesterday our hero, our friend, our dad, our guru, our mentor, our sax player, shuffled off this mortal coil. Is he in a better place? Who’s to say. Until we shuffle off to Buffalo ourselves.
I’m not here to write his eulogy. There are plenty who will do that in the coming weeks. Months. Years. I’m hear to just say thank you to the “music gods” for joining together brothers in arms. Brothers in music. Brothers in life. Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons. Without that crossing of paths on that night at the Student Prince in 1971 … would there have been a “Big Man”? Would there have been a “Boss”? No matter. Though heavily “mythologized” … it did happen. And thank our lucky stars it did. It changed the course of many lives in the doing. In the meeting. And in the subsequent fruits of the collaboration via the E Street Band.
We all listened privately in our rooms, in our cars. We all came together at the shows. We prayed at the alter of Rock & Roll. We were baptized in the energy and love that shown from their faces, and the truth, humility and humanity in the music that made us dream, made us see, made us one. We were all blessed. And when it was over we went forth and spread the word. We became better people for the experience and interaction.
We all have our own stories. Our own memories. What he meant to us. How he influenced us. How he moved us. It will all come pouring out in the days to come.
Condolences to Clarences family, to Bruce and his family, to the entire E Street Band, their families and every person who made them all part of our family. We all will miss him greatly.
To finish, I just want to say Thank You Clarence! Thank you for all the joy, love, comfort, energy, and music you shared with us. We love you and will miss you.
Rest In Peace … Big Man!
Bruce Springsteen @ Prudential Center Newark NJ 5.2.2012
Rock & Roll Tour Of The Jersey Shore Volume 4
Joe Grushecky & Bruce Springsteen @ Wonder Bar – Asbury Park NJ – 7.18.2015