June 19, 2011

As we take our stand, down in Jungleland

Most of my earliest memories involve music. I was raised on everything from The Sex Pistols to Marvin Gaye, Wynton Marsalis to Steve Earle. My musical taste has changed over the years, first veering as far off course from the music of my parents as humanly possible and then coming back to to my musical roots. But there has been one constant throughout the life.

The Boss.

From the time I was young, I can remember listening to "Born to Run" and "The Darkness on The Edge of Town" as my peers listened to Backstreet boys and N*Sync. I saw my first Springsteen concert in middle school and my second a few years later. I was in awe watching Bruce, belt the lyrics till the veins popped out of his neck, while his band surrounded him, producing some of the most powerful music I had encountered up to the that point. Max on drums, Lil' Steven and Patti on guitar, and The Big Man, Clarence Clemons on sax. Sitting in the audience, I would get chills as he played the solo to "Jungleland", the notes careening out of this saxophone. At times, he was the perfect accompaniment to everyone else on the stage, and during those powerful solos, he was dangerously close to stealing the show. If I closed my eyes, I could block out everything except what was going on in that moment.

When they performed live, Bruce would introduce his band and when he got to Clarence, he would inevitably ask "Do I even have to say his name!?!?!" and the crowd would scream "No!", because everyone knew exactly who he was, but Bruce did it anyway.

The love between them radiated into the crowd-their passion both for the music they were creating and for each other was palpable.

A few weeks ago, I told my father that if Bruce toured again, I was going to go, no matter the cost. He laughed and said he doubted it would happen, but "more power to ya."

With the death of Clarence, I am sad to say that I may never get a chance to see Bruce live again. But I am eternally grateful that I was able to experience two of the most moving concerts I've ever been to and have been able to enjoy the music that shaped me as a child and will continue to hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life.

R.I.P. Big Man.

In response to The Lightening and The Bightening Bug: Flicker of Inspiration #4-
Song Worth a Thousand Words


Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

The passion you feel for The Boss reminds me a lot of my passion for Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi Moore, DMB's saxophonist, recently died, too, and with his passing, some of the soul of the band died as well. It'll never be the same. I'm happy to say I was able to see LeRoi twice in concert...I know I will probably see DMB again, but I'll always miss the lovely sound of that sax, belting passionate tunes out above the chaotic perfection of the rest of the band.

Anyway, I'm pretty obsessed if you can't tell! I loved this tribute to your favorite band and Clarence. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing this!

Slidecutter said...

As an avid follower of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, I can appreciate your love of Springsteen.

When the "Born in the U.S.A." tour made its second round in the US, back in 1985, at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, my hubs and I went with friends who had two extra tickets...for absolute front row seating. And, I managed to sneak-in my 35mm camera under my shirt while my g/f hid my huge zoom lens under hers. It was an incredible concert and Clarence came to the edge of the stage and reached down to shake my hand.

Hearing of the Big Man's passing saddened me greatly; Clarence was a gentleman and fabulous talent. He was the grounding factor in the E-Street Band and, as Katie from CNG said, his passion brought a completeness to Bruce's music.

Terrific post!

Anonymous said...

RIP Clarence. This was sad news to hear today.

I grew up near Patty and close enought to Jersey to love me some Bruce! One of my all time favs was on rotation today. I'm on Fire. I could listen to that song every single day. Over and over.

I wouldn't count Bruce out. Maybe not the same without Clarence, but he'll tour again. I just know it!

Anonymous said...

One, I think you just might be my musical soulmate, and two, this propt was STELALR. My dad and I always bonded over music, especially Bruce. One of the first songs I ever sung was his live version of Santa Claus Is Commin To Town. When I heard another version, I told my parents that they were singing it wrong. lol With fathers day Sunday, and reading this today I was sad. I miss my dad, and it's so sad to hear that Clarence has passed. I would have loved to see them live.

Blessings, Kisses & Coladas
Jenny @ Jems From Jenny

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