Clarence Clemons 1942-2011

Clarence Clemons 1942-2011

Bruce's minnetale for Clarence Clemons.
Dette er minnetalen Bruce holdt under minnestunden.
(Bruce har omskrevet den litt):

I've been sitting here listening to everyone talk about Clarence and staring at that photo of the two of us right there. It's a picture of Scooter and The Big Man, people who we were sometimes. As you can see in this particular photo, Clarence is admiring his muscles and I'm pretending to be nonchalant while leaning upon him. I leaned on Clarence a lot; I made a career out of it in some ways.

Those of us who shared Clarence's life, shared with him his love and his confusion. Though "C" mellowed with age, he was always a wild and unpredictable ride. Today I see his sons Nicky, Chuck, Christopher and Jarod sitting here and I see in them the reflection of a lot of C's qualities. I see his light, his darkness, his sweetness, his roughness, his gentleness, his anger, his brilliance, his handsomeness, and his goodness. But, as you boys know your pop was a not a day at the beach. "C" lived a life where he did what he wanted to do and he let the chips, human and otherwise, fall where they may. Like a lot of us your pop was capable of great magic and also of making quite an amazing mess. This was just the nature of your daddy and my beautiful friend. Clarence's unconditional love, which was very real, came with a lot of conditions. Your pop was a major project and always a work in progress. "C" never approached anything linearly, life never proceeded in a straight line. He never went A... B.... C.... D. It was always A... J.... C.... Z... Q... I....! That was the way Clarence lived and made his way through the world. I know that can lead to a lot of confusion and hurt, but your father also carried a lot of love with him, and I know he loved each of you very very dearly.

It took a village to take care of Clarence Clemons. Tina, I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for taking care of my friend, for loving him. Victoria, you've been a loving, kind and caring wife to Clarence and you made a huge difference in his life at a time when the going was not always easy. To all of "C's" vast support network, names too numerous to mention, you know who you are and we thank you. Your rewards await you at the pearly gates. My pal was a tough act but he brought things into your life that were unique and when he turned on that love light, it illuminated your world. I was lucky enough to stand in that light for almost 40 years, near Clarence's heart, in the Temple of Soul.

So a little bit of history: from the early days when Clarence and I traveled together, we'd pull up to the evening's lodgings and within minutes "C" would transform his room into a world of his own. Out came the colored scarves to be draped over the lamps, the scented candles, the incense, the patchouli oil, the herbs, the music, the day would be banished, entertainment would come and go, and Clarence the Shaman would reign and work his magic, night after night. Clarence's ability to enjoy Clarence was incredible. By 69, he'd had a good run, because he'd already lived about 10 lives, 690 years in the life of an average man. Every night, in every place, the magic came flying out of C's suitcase. As soon as success allowed, his dressing room would take on the same trappings as his hotel room until a visit there was like a trip to a sovereign nation that had just struck huge oil reserves. "C" always knew how to live. Long before Prince was out of his diapers, an air of raunchy mysticism ruled in the Big Man's world. I'd wander in from my dressing room, which contained several fine couches and some athletic lockers, and wonder what I was doing wrong! Somewhere along the way all of this was christened the Temple of Soul; and "C" presided smilingly over its secrets, and its pleasures. Being allowed admittance to the Temple's wonders was a lovely thing.

As a young child my son Sam became enchanted with the Big Man... no surprise. To a child Clarence was a towering fairy tale figure, out of some very exotic storybook. He was a dreadlocked giant, with great hands and a deep mellifluous voice sugared with kindness and regard. And... to Sammy, who was just a little white boy, he was deeply and mysteriously black. In Sammy's eyes, "C" must have appeared as all of the African continent, shot through with American cool, rolled into one welcoming and loving figure. So... Sammy decided to pass on my work shirts and became fascinated by Clarence's suits and his royal robes. He declined a seat in dad's van and opted for "C's" stretch limousine, sitting by his side on the slow cruise to the show. He decided dinner in front of the hometown locker just wouldn't do, and he'd saunter up the hall and disappear into the Temple of Soul.

Of course, also enchanted was Sam's dad, from the first time I saw my pal striding out of the shadows of a half empty bar in Asbury Park, a path opening up before him; here comes my brother, here comes my sax man, my inspiration, my partner, my lifelong friend. 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. Together, we told an older, richer story about the possibilities of friendship that transcended those I'd written in my songs and in my music. Clarence carried it in his heart. It was a story where the Scooter and the Big Man not only busted the city in half, but we kicked ass and remade the city, shaping it into the kind of place where our friendship would not be such an anomaly. And that... that's what I'm gonna miss. The chance to renew that vow and double down on that story on a nightly basis, because that is something, that is the thing that we did together... the two of us. Clarence was big, and he made me feel, and think, and love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man? Too fucking big to die. And that's just the facts. You can put it on his grave stone, you can tattoo it over your heart. Accept it... it's the New World.

Clarence doesn't leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.

So, I'll miss my friend, his sax, the force of nature his sound was, his glory, his foolishness, his accomplishments, his face, his hands, his humor, his skin, his noise, his confusion, his power, his peace. But his love and his story, the story that he gave me, that he whispered in my ear, that he allowed me to tell... and that he gave to you... is gonna carry on. I'm no mystic, but the undertow, the mystery and power of Clarence and my friendship leads me to believe we must have stood together in other, older times, along other rivers, in other cities, in other fields, doing our modest version of god's work... work that's still unfinished. So I won't say goodbye to my brother, I'll simply say, see you in the next life, further on up the road, where we will once again pick up that work, and get it done.

Big Man, thank you for your kindness, your strength, your dedication, your work, your story. Thanks for the miracle... and for letting a little white boy slip through the side door of the Temple of Soul.


I'm gonna leave you today with a quote from the Big Man himself, which he shared on the plane ride home from Buffalo, the last show of the last tour. As we celebrated in the front cabin congratulating one another and telling tales of the many epic shows, rocking nights and good times we'd shared, "C" sat quietly, taking it all in, then he raised his glass, smiled and said to all gathered, "This could be the start of something big."

Love you, "C".

2. juli 2011.
Overalt hylles Clarence Clemons
Som jeg har skrevet om tidligere så har Clarence Clemons død har gjort inntrykk på en hel musikk verden. Overalt hylles han av både artister, politikere, kjente tv personligheter, fans og av andre medie folk.

U2 hadde en spesiell hyllest til Clarence samme kveld som han døde. Bono fremførte utdrag av "jungleland" under siste konsertens siste låt.
Bon Jovi fremførte "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" kvelden etter det ble kjent at Clarence var død. Dette skjedde under konserten i Danmark.

Bon Jovi med hyllest til "The Big Man"

Det finnes utallige artikler og tribute videoer om "The Big Man" som er laget etter hans død. Det er liten tvil om at hans død har gjort inntrykk på folk over hele verden og at man har mistet en legende innen rock'n Roll. Han vil alltid bli husket som noe helt unikt og spesielt som Springsteens høyre hånd gjennom nesten fire tiår.

Fotograf Barbara Pyle, som tok veldig mange bilder av bandet på midten av 70-tallet, har laget en flott fotomontasje av Clarence Clemons akkompagnert av saksofonsoloen på "Jungleland". 

A Tribute to Clarence Clemons

Video: Barbara Pyle

Diverse Clarence Clemons saker:
The New Yorker: Blood Brother A Tour Of Clarence Clemons... Provokes Music World Response
Huffington Post: Why CC Matters To Race Realations
WMMR: Radio tribute for Clarence Clemons
The Guardian: CC Obituary
Salon: Teardrops On The City
The Telegraph: The Devil's Horn Always Plays The Best Tunes
Asbury Park Press: Clemons Integrated Rock Scene
USA Today: E Street Sax Player Clarence Clemons Dies
Star Ledger: CC Dies Of...
New York Times: Clarence Clemons Dies at 69
New York Times: The Big Man
Star-Tribune: Rip Clarence Clemons
Oakland Press: CC Mourned By Springsteen
Rolling Stone: Remembering Clarence Clemons
Point Blank: Clarence Clemons Special (bilder)
Associated Press: E Street Band Sax Player Dies (video)

1. juli 2011.
Fansen samles utenfor Stone Pony
Samtidig som en hel musikkverden sørger over tapet av verdens mest kjente rocke-saksofonist, valfarter fansen til Stone Pony i Asbury Park for å hylle "The Big Man". Her legger de ned blomster og hilsninger langs veggen. Inne på Stone Pony er det opprettet en minnetavle med bilder av Clarence.

Minneplakater for Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons

Foto: Hans O. Torgersen

Jeg har fått en mail fra Springsteen-fansen Hans O. Torgersen som ankom USA samme dag som Clarence Clemons døde. I går besøkte han Stone Pony og la ned sin hilsning sammen med de andre utenfor Stone Pony.
Klikk på
linken for å se flere bilder fra Hans O. besøk på Stone Pony.


Little Steven snakker om fremtiden til The E Street Band
Det har vært mange spekulasjoner om hva som vil skje med "The E Street Band" nå som Clarence Clemons er borte. Jeg skrev tidligere at min oppfatning er at bandet vil fortsette å spille videre, selv uten Bruce Springsteens høyre hånd.
Nå bekrefter langt på vei også Little Steven dette. Under det spesial sendte radioshowet på
Underground Garage, til ære for Clarence, snakker han ut om hva han tror vil skje videre med bandet. Her sier han blant annet:
"We will continue to make music and perform. Let's face it, that's all we really know how to do. But it will be very different without him".

Klikk på linken for å lese mer om dette og for og høre radioshowet som gikk på luften den 26. juni. For å høre radioshowet må man registrere seg, men dette er kun en formalitet.

Tribute show for Clarence Clemons

23. juni 2011.
Saying Goodbye To Clarence Clemons "The Big Man"
Dagen etter Clarence Clemons døde viste "NBC Nightly News" et innslag på tv til minne om Clarence. Her får vi et flott innblikk av en stor legende som for øyeblikket hylles over en hel musikk verden.
Innslaget er laget av Brian Williams.

NBC (20. juni 2011)

22. juni 2011.
Minnestund for Clarence Clemons
I går ble det holdt en privat minnestund for Clarence Clemons i "Royal Poinciana Chapel" i Palm Beach, Florida.
Seremonien ble arrangert for de aller nærmeste vennene og familien til Clarence. I alt var det ca 150 stykker samlet i under minnestunden.

Minnestunden til "The Big Man" i Florida (21/6-11)

Klikk på bildet for større bilde

Asken til Clarence Clemons skal, etter eget ønske, bli spredt utover et spesielt sted på Hawaii av sin enke Victoria og sine tidligere ekskoner. Tre av de fire tidligere ekskonene var også til stede under minnestunden.
Av mer kjente personligheter var Bruce Springsteen og The E Street band til stede sammen med Jackson Brown, som Clarence hadde et nært vennskap til. De hadde forøvrig en kjempe hit sammen med låten You're A Friend Of Mine i 1985.
På minnestunden var også Eric Meola, som tok bildene av Bruce og Clemons til "Born to Run" albumet, og hans lege Dr. David Dodson.

Bruce og Patti på vei til den private mottakelsen

Bruce Springsteen tilbragte de siste dagene ved Clarence sin sykeseng i Florida. Han var også til stede da han døde og tar naturligvis tapet av sin gode venn veldig tungt.
Under seremonien sang han en dempet versjon av låten "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out", som beskriver det første møtet mellom de to gode vennene. 
Bruce holdt også en rørende tale hvor han hadde problemer med å holde tårene tilbake.
"Clarence was a man of unconditional love, but his love came with a lot of conditions. He was a complex guy … an ongoing project. But when you were in his presence, it was like being in a sovereign nation".
- Utdrag av Springsteens tale.

Maureen og Little Steven på vei til mottakelsen

I tillegg til Springsteens fremførelse av "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" ble gospellåten "Take My Hand Precious Lord" fremført samt en nydelig versjon av "How Great Thou Art" spilt av kapellorganisten.
Clarence' nevø fremførte også "Amazing Grace" solo på saksofon.
Det hele ble avsluttet med en svingende versjon av låten "You're A Friend Of Mine" med Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band" og Jackson Brown.

Etter minnestunden ble det holdt en privat mottakelse i "the chapel’s fellowship hall".

Last ned seremoniprogrammet med teksten til "You're A Friend Of Mine" her.

I morgen den 23. juni vil forøvrig staten New Jersey flagge på halv stang til ære for Clarence Clemons.
Les mer om dette her.

New Jersey flagger på halv stang i morgen

21. juni 2011.
En hel musikk verden sørger
Fra musikere, skuespillere og andre kjente personligheter kommer det stadig inn nye hyllester av Clarence Clemons.
Etter å ha tilbragt to dager i Sverige blir jeg igjen minnet på hvor mye større Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band er der i forhold til her i Norge. Alle de store avisene hadde flere sider med Clarence Clemons hvor historier om denne store saksofonisten ble fortalt. Det var flere intervjuer av svenske kjendiser som berettet om hva Clarence hadde betydd for dem i løpet av årene som pilaren i "The E Street Band".
På pub'ene ble det spilt Springsteen musikk og det var liten tvil om at man var klar over at det var en stor musiker som hadde gått bort.

Les mer her.

Clarence Clemons var uten tvil den mest profilerte musikeren, med unntak av Bruce, i "The E Street Band". Det kan derfor virke litt rart å tenke på "The E Street Band" uten "The Big" man på høyre siden av scenen. Det er derfor ikke overraskende at mange stiller seg spørsmålet om dette er den definitive slutten for det legendariske bandet som har spilt med Bruce Springsteen i nesten 40 år.  
Hvordan kan låter som "Badlands", "Jungleland", Thunder Road" og "The Promise Land" bli like sentrale nå som saksofonen til Clarence har sluknet? Kan man erstatte Clarence med en annen saksofonist for å bevare noe av den sounden "The E Street Band" har blitt så kjent med? Jeg skal ikke komme med et bastant svar her og nå, men jeg tror personlig ikke dette er det siste vi har sett av "Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band".

Da Danny Federici døde av kreft i april 2008 ble han erstattet av Charles Giordano som gjorde en utmerket jobb som keyboardist under Magic og WOAD turneene. Jeg husker det var litt rart og ikke se Danny på scenen da han trappet ned for å begynne med sin behandling mot kreften. Men etter hvert ble man vant til det og man satt igjen med et godt minne om en stor musiker som hadde gitt oss så mange musikalske gleder gjennom flere tiår. 
Jeg er også sikker på at om Bruce velger en erstatter på saksofon så vil det også fungere utmerket. Men det vil alltid være en tom plass der Clarence Clemons hadde sin faste plass. Den vil alltid minne oss om en stor musiker og en person med en utstråling som man ikke kan erstatte.
Det jeg håper vi får oppleve er en spillesugen Bruce med "The E Street Band" i ryggen som kveld etter kveld holder uforglemmelige konserter til minne om to store musikere som døde så altfor tidlig.

19. juni 2011.
Clarence Clemons er død

Clarence Clemons 1942-2011

Video: Rune

Clarence Clemons, født 11. januar 1942, døde i går etter at han for en uke siden ble rammet av et slag i sitt hjem i Florida.
Clarence ble 69 år gammel og har vært med Springsteen siden 1972. 
Det finnes mange store legender i rockehistorien, men Clarence "The Big Man" vil alltid bli stående som en av de aller største. Ved siden av Bruce Springsteen har alltid Clarence vært den store pilaren i "The E Street Band". Hans kraftige saxofon lyd har skapt begeistring hos musikkelskere i nesten fire tiår.

Clarence Clemons 1942 - 2011

Det var heller ikke tilfeldig at han alltid entret scenen om sistemann av "The E Street Band" før Springsteen selv entret scenen. Han ble også alltid introdusert til slutt for å bygge opp klimakset under konsertene.

Den 7. desember i fjor var den siste opptredenen Clarence hadde med Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Det var i forbindelse med "The Promise" konserten i Asbury park.

Clarence ankommer Casino (7/12-10)

Dette er hva Bruce Springsteen skriver på sin hjemmeside:
"It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band".
Vær med og skriv ned deres tanker og opplevelser som dere har hatt med The Big Man på forumsiden.

Backstreets har laget en egen minneside til ære for Clarence Clemons.
Klikk her for å komme til denne siden.

U2 hyllet Clarence Clemons
Under gårsdagen U2 konsert i "Angel Stadium" i California hyllet Bono Clarence Clemons fra scenen.
Det var i forkant av sangen "Moment Of Surrender" at Bono stoppet opp og hyllet avdøde Clarence Clemons med disse ordene:
"I want you to think about the beautiful symphonic sound that came out of one man's saxophone.
I want you to think about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band -- brothers.
I want you to think of Clarence Clemons. This man just carried music, and music carried him, until this day".

U2 hyller "The Big Man" fra Anaheim 18/6-11

På slutten av sangen (ca 6 minutter ut i videoklippet) går Bono bort til et av crew-medlemmene og ber han finne frem teksten til "Jungleland", som Clarence Clemons har gjort udødelig med sin saksofon solo. Etter en liten stund kommer crewmedlemmet tilbake med teksten nedskrevet på en lapp hvoretter Bono "rapper" seg gjennom siste vers av "Jungleland" mens sangen ebber ut:
"Outside the street's on fire in a real death waltz. Between flesh and what's fantasy and the poets down here...".

Til slutt leser han igjen det siste verset en gang til når sangen er ferdig, kun akkompagnert av gitar-riffene til "The Edge". Magisk!
En flott gest av U2 til en stor legende som døde altfor tidlig.

We'll meet you further on up the road, Clarence 

17. juni 2011.
Hilsning fra Nils Lofgren
På Nils Lofgrens sin hjemmeside kan man i dag lese Nils' lykkeønskninger for Clarence Clemons:
"Hello everyone, I hope you're all in good health and spirits. As many of you know, Clarence Clemons, my beloved friend and bandmate of many years has suffered a stroke and we ask for all your continued prayers, good thoughts and wishes for Clarence and his family.

Clarence and I have stood side by side through countless challenges and adventures, on stage and off. I love and cherish that friendship and journey dearly. My wife Amy and I ask all of you to join us in sending positive thoughts and prayers out to Clarence and his wife and family, as he fights to recover".
Peace and Believe". 

Fra Asbury Park Press i dag


16. juni 2011.
Status Quo for Clarence Clemons
I følge siste nytt angående helsen til Clarence er situasjonen stabil, noe som vissnok skal være ganske bra. Det er tegn til bedring på noen områder, men dette vil garantert ta tid.

På Springsteen siden har Bruce Springsteen skrivet noen ord om situasjoen til Clarence:
"By now, many of you have heard that our beloved comrade and sax player Clarence Clemons has suffered a serious stroke. While all initial signs are encouraging, Clarence will need much care and support to achieve his potential once again. He has his wonderfully supportive wife, Victoria, excellent doctors and health care professionals, and is surrounded by friends and family.

I thank you all for your prayers and positive energy and concern. This is a time for us all to share in a hopeful spirit that can ultimately inspire Clarence to greater heights".
- Bruce Springsteen

Clarence og Bruce i Herning under WOAD turneen

Familien til Clarence har også opprettet en mailadresse hvor du kan sende din hilsen til Clarence:

13. juni 2011.
Oppdatering angående Clarence' tilstand
Siste nytt fra Florida er at Clarence Clemons tilstand er bedre enn det man først kunne frykte. Etter å ha blitt lam på hele den venstre siden av kroppen kan han nå klemme med venstre hånd. Han responerer også med øynene når noen snakker med han.
Dagene fremover vil være veldig kritisk med tanke på hvilken progresjon han klarer å oppnå.

Les mer her.  
Les også om dette på VG og Dagbladet.

Clarence Clemons rammet av slag
I går ble Clarence "The Big Man" rammet av et kraftig slag mens han oppholdt seg hjemme i Florida.
I følge flere nettsteder skal dette være ganske alvorlig, men ingen kan med sikkerhet si hvor alvorlig dette er.
Clarence opptrådte sist med Lady Gaga under finalen på "American Idol" den 25. mai.
Jeg kommer tilbake med mer når dette er kjent.

The Big Man rammet av slag

Les mer her:

  Copyright Badlandso (mars-2007)