No--say it isn't so--my words when I learned of the death of Big Man, Clarence Clemons. I knew he had suffered a major stroke last week and that the media was reporting that it didn't look good, but I was hopeful. He had come back from other health issues, and I just knew that he would recover from the stroke as well. But that wasn't in the master plan; he lost his battle, we lost an amazing musician, and the lights have gone out on E Street.
Of course, Big Man was so much more than a musician. He was an icon, a presence, a faithful friend, a hero, the "master of disaster," the "king of the universe."
Just what is it about Big Man that his death has caused my heart to bleed? Well . . .
His friendship with Bruce--stories which Bruce has shared with his fans through his music, through his stories on stage, and Clarence's own versions of the same stories in a much more exaggerated style.
His magical presence when on stage with Bruce and the E Street Band. When the spotlight was on Big Man or when he was center stage with Bruce, I just smiled from ear to ear--that kind of smile that makes my cheeks hurt.
Bruce introducing Big Man--always saving him for last and sometimes telling the story of how they met. I and the rest of the crowd would go wild.
That saxophone--oh so recognizable even when not playing with Bruce. "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," "Born to Run," "Jungleland" just can't be the same without Big Man.
I can't imagine going to a Bruce concert and not deliriously waiting for Big Man to shine. Oh sure, Bruce will go on, and maybe even the E Street Band will go on, but it won't be the same.
I'm just so glad that "the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band," and I got to see his magic in person.
|Waiting for Bruce @ Pepsi Center 4/09|
|dancing to "Glory Days"|
|Micki and Jill dancing at the Bruce concert|
|Johnny 99--Woo hoo|
|A blurry Bruce and Big Man @ the Pepsi Center|