Sunday, June 12, 2011

The News That Broke A Man's Heart

Tonight, after spending an evening with friends watching the NBA Finals, I checked my iPhone for new tweets in regards to the Mavs beating the Heat and scrolled down a bit to see the tweets I had not read since the last time I checked Twitter.  As I was scrolling down I came across this tweet:

E-Street Band's Clarence Clemons suffers stroke; said to be 'seriously ill' - Rolling Stone

I am a huge Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band fan, turned on to them by my mom, I cannot stop listening to them.  Their songs never get old, their covers are usually infinite times better than the original songs, and their energy in a live concert setting is just incredible.  I've seen them in their last three tours, The Rising being my first concert of the Boss and the Band live and they just blew me away.  To compare them to any other concert I've seen is just unspeakable, they play with the best energy I have ever experienced, their fans the most faithful and energetic I've ever seen, and most of all they don't play for the typical hour and a half or so like every other concert I've been too, they play for 2.5 to 3 hours non-stop.  From beginning to end, they bring the house down and everywhere in between they keep it going.

To read the above news tonight just breaks a piece of me down.  Bruce and Clarence have an unspeakable bond, that if you have had the chance to read the book, "Big Man" by Don Reo and Clarence Clemons, like I have, you would see that their bond is just unique.  Since the start of the E-Street Band in the 1970s, Clarence and Bruce have been a unit, like two brothers separated at birth and joined together again by a passion for something they both love so much, MUSIC.  To watch them perform early on in the DVD they just recently released in their "Darkness" box set, to their most recent "Working on Dream" tour DVD "London Calling, Live from Hyde Park," the whole band plays with such a vibe and family like energy, and to watch Bruce and Clarence do their thing is just something else altogether.  Bruce calls Clarence "The Big Man;" for what reason I'm not quite sure off the top of my head, but it is just something that sets their relationship apart.  Yes, Bruce does call Steve Van Zandt, "Little Steven Van Zandt," at times, but Bruce and The Big Man just have some bond, some friendship, some something, that is just so real and genuine, that is not just a stage act, but something in real life terms on and off stage.  

Reading that book, hearing this news, and feeling how I feel, I have to say I can't even begin to imagine how Bruce and the Band are feeling.  Being an EMT, and having experienced patients who have had strokes and experiencing the reaction of their families to these events, I can just continue to replay over and over in my head what is going on right now with Clarence and his wife, and how much it is affecting Bruce and his family.  Imagine having your long time brother whose been at your side day in and day out, not out of being blood relatives or married to someone in the respective family, but out of genuine friendship be there for you.  That's something we in today's society are missing completely, that genuineness.  Some may argue it's there, especially in the public service sector, and the job setting, but no where is it clearer in the relationship between Bruce and Clarence.  They came together because of their love for music and have shared that bond for years now and continue to do so day in and day out.  At times like these, that's when those relationships are tested beyond belief, but like Kanye West says "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger," that's what they are going to get out of this.  It is going to make their relationship stronger.  

Clarence Clemons, I hope to the Lord on High, that you are able to come out of the woods and see the Darkness that is on the Edge of Your Town right now lifted, to see that dream you have been working on continue to be fulfilled. 

Feel Better Soon Big Man!