goodbye, Bigman


If you’ve ever heard the Springsteen song “Jungleland”, you’re already a fan of Clarence Clemons – he’s the force behind the magical saxophone interlude.  He’s also the guy who makes the “Rosalita” jump a little lighter, he’s the guy who makes “Meeting Across the River” operatic.

He suffered a stroke last week and the news came today that he passed away.  Until I read this, from another one of my very favorite people in rock and roll:

Eddie Vedder’s show tonight in Hartford….”Ed received the news onstage; he was in the middle of a story/dedication wishing Clarence a speedy recovery when one of his crew approached, leaned towards his ear and put a hand on his shoulder. Ed dropped his head for a long pause, welled up and delivered one hell of a version, replete with some improvised lyrics in the last verse:

I love him/I don’t want him to go out this way/I need him/I want him to come back today

The song ended with a string of ‘I can’t find a better man’ with one ‘I can’t find a bigger man’ thrown in.”  (credit Pete Ferraro)