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Friday, July 1, 2011

Like I tried to say

Many years back, when I was writing about Bruce Springsteen's beloved saxophone player, Clarence Clemons, I undertook to explain this, with imperfect results. But Bruce himself summed it up at Clarence's memorial service:

Standing next to Clarence was like standing next to the baddest ass on the planet. You were proud, you were strong, you were excited and laughing with what might happen, with what together, you might be able to do. You felt like no matter what the day or the night brought, nothing was going to touch you. Clarence could be fragile but he also emanated power and safety, and in some funny way we became each other's protectors; I think perhaps I protected "C" from a world where it still wasn't so easy to be big and black. Racism was ever present and over the years together, we saw it. Clarence's celebrity and size did not make him immune. I think perhaps "C" protected me from a world where it wasn't always so easy to be an insecure, weird and skinny white boy either. But, standing together we were badass, on any given night, on our turf, some of the baddest asses on the planet. We were united, we were strong, we were righteous, we were unmovable, we were funny, we were corny as hell and as serious as death itself. And we were coming to your town to shake you and to wake you up.
Yes, indeed.

Comments (4)

This needs a "Like" button. What a great tribute!

I saw Bruce and Clarence in Paris years ago. I did not have tickets to a concert; they came into a cafe where I was having a coffee at a cafe on the Left Bank.
There was no entourage, just 2 men sitting a at table outside. C didn't fit too well on those little bistro chairs though.

Thanks Jack.A large light has gone out in this world.

Thanks Jack. Drewbob is right. A large light has gone out.

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