Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clarence ...

A couple of years ago, on the phone together, Dave and I watched Bruce perform the halftime show at the Super Bowl with the E Street Band. "You have to see Bruce on this next tour," I told him. "You have to see him perform with the E Street Band. It’s life-changing.”

Dave died, very unexpectedly, just a few days later.

And now the E Street Band will never be the same.

I wondered last night if Bruce will tour again. The band's loss of Danny Federici was great, but Clarence is truly irreplaceable. Bruce may be married to Patti Scialfa, but Clarence was, and will always be, Bruce's other half.

Can you imagine being the musician to try to step into The Big Man's shoes, even with The Boss's blessing?

So perhaps Bruce will tour solo. Or perhaps the E Street Band will once again find its way.

Regardless, while I'm very sad that Clarence is gone, I'm very glad that I had the opportunity to see him perform so many times.

Bruce's reverence for him was evident at every show. And last night, when I heard the news, one of the first Clarence thoughts that came to mind was Bruce's introduction of the band on the "Live in New York City" CD, during "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," the song, they say, that tells the story of the band.

No one introduces a band like Bruce, and he always saved Clarence for last.

This is the cut. The introduction of Clarence begins at 11:42.

As Bruce asks the crowd, over and over, "Do I have to say his name?"

No, Bruce, you do not.

(If the embedded player doesn't render, the direct link is here.)

I love this striking image of Clarence and Bruce. Their mutual love and admiration was clear in every show.


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