RIP Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons
Let's talk about Bruce Springsteen for a second, or a minute or two - then watch a shitload of truly revelatory videos, filmed in true, cinema verite-ish black and white, each with a stunning 'board' mix that features Bruce's full-out, unsung, heroic guitar playing, not to mention his razor-throated, take no prisoners lead vocals. In concert with, and married to The E Street Band, Springsteen acts out each and every one of his songs' main protagonists' roles, aided greatly by the raw attack of The E Street Band - and the charisma and integrity of a truly big, engaging man - Clarence Anicholas Clemons Jr.
I had the pleasure of meeting and looking eye-to-eye with The Big Man, himself. Yep. He was BIG. Way back in 1985, while employed as a security guard, during 2 massive Springsteen concerts in Toronto, at the now-gone CNE Grandstand. My buddy, Dave Beatty offered me (with absolutely NO security guard experience, eh-ver) the plumb job of 'backstage left security guard'. My role was simple: keep all dogged, determined and prying fans AWAY from the backstage area, and specifically, assist Bruce and his merry band of rockstars (including both his then AND future wives) onto and off of the stage - before and after the incredibly incendiary, legendary shows.
Which is exactly what I did.
In between performing my duties, I watched (from directly behind Nils Lofgren's amplifiers) Bruce, Big Man and the band transform 52,000 people, each night, into their best friends and lovers and close family - for ever.
To this day, methinks, all real Bruce fans feel a kindred affinity with not only his and his band's recordings and shows, but with Bruce, Big Man, Patti, Miami Steve and the whole E Street organization, past, present and future.
And while, in the present and future, there'll be no more banter between the best-est of friends that Bruce and The Mastah of Disastah were, we are blessed with enduring memories, prompted by links like the one I'm a-writin' about, today, showing Springsteen and the E Street Band in their early days - at The Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey.
Be sure to check out this link, folks.
Try watching the related playlist.
This is one MF'in' B-A-N-D.
This is talent. This is timeless.
This is Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.
Mozz the Elder