Yesterday had such a spooky aura about it. After I found out the news, I sat in my seat during the Dispatch concert I attended and reflected.
Clarence Clemons’ death was eerily similar to that of the late LeRoi Moore. The tragic illness (Roi’s came after an ATV accident), the ray of hope that everything would be okay and then the turn for the worst.
As a DMB fan, it was the worst day of my life as a musician. Being inspired by DMB – and drawn to them by the sweet and smooth melodies of Moore – I thought no one would ever feel the same pain myself and many other DMB fans felt.
But then I realized that was wrong. Because I felt the same pain millions of E Street fans are feeling despite being a casual fan. It won’t be the same without Clemons and for those like me who have never seen the E Street Band perform, it never will be like the way it should have been.
I used to hate Springsteen. The only credit I gave him was that I thought the E Street Band was incredible and the only reason he’s successful. But as I stopped being an idiot, I realized The Boss was more than just his band. I became a Springsteen fan, with “The Wild, the Innocent…” and “Born to A Run” being frequently played albums on my iPod.
And that leads me to one song. It’s the same song my friend Mark wrote about earlier. I fell in love with “Jungleland” for one reason. No, it’s not its epic length and no it’s not Bruce’s great story telling or emotion-driven singing and lyrics.
It’s that sax solo. Clemons’ defining moment lasts about two minutes on a nine-minute track and it’s one of the most incredible things to hit my ears.
Mark is right, he probably could write a book on what that solo means to him. And I could do the same with Roi. But yesterday made me realize that even the casual E Street fan can feel such a horrible pain with the death of one of the most iconic musicians in rock & roll history.
I cried during the solo, just like I do during some of Roi’s most beautiful moments. I hurt like many did and still do. And I will continue to hurt, because that’s the type of emotion you hear when Clemons plays the sax.
June 18, 2011 was a day the music world suffered one of its worst tragedies. RIP, Big Man. If only I could hear you and Roi jamming in the great big concert hall in the sky.