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RIP Big Man and thank you

June 19, 2011

” from the churches to the jails, tonight there’s a silence in the world ”

this morning I woke to the news that Clarence Clemons had died as a result of complications from the stroke he suffered 10 day or so ago … my friend Jake, Clarence’s nephew had been staying with me (how rude of me putting a rock star on the sofa) a week earlier and we talked so often of love or respect and of joy … three things Clarence had in abundance.

Typing this in a very numb inarticulate autopilot but wanting to just note this sad sad news.

Pretty much every Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band show I saw (if I was lucky enough to make it to the front) from Clarence’s feet … looking up at that mighty big man … the smile, the warmth, the mischief and the magical music … and those hands … the gold nail varnished enormous hands that could wring the most haunting, soulful notes from the saxophone.

Not sure where I’ll stand now …

but I know that the world is a sadder place without the hope of hearing Clarence singing ‘ho ho ho’ at the end of Santa Claus is Coming to Town or making my arm hair stand on end and my eyes well up at the majesty of his solo in Jungleland.

The Spaniard is listening to alot of Sax today. I met Clarence a few times over the years … once he found out I was poorly … his eyes welled up and he gave me quite the biggest hug I’ve ever had and said in that huge gentle sonorous voice,  “I’ll be praying for you”

This is the picture someone took after that moment … 

I went to church this morning and so many people came up and asked me to pass their respects on to Jake .. he played a gig there just 3 Sunday’s ago … sang a story of Clarence’s early heartbreak at the hands of a callous girl and warmed their hearts with his own sax playing. My prayers and condolences are with theirs Jake and sent to you with love.

The Big Man inspired and uplifted so many people with his world changing, time shifting talent … the music will live on … just now it feels a little silent somehow … this world.

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