#E Street Band
#black and white
ARE WE MISSING ANYBODY?
Announcing Backstreets #91, our tribute to Clarence Clemons
One year ago today, the Springsteen community was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Clarence Clemons. “Deeply saddened” hardly says it — the Big Man’s death sent gut-deep shock waves up and down E Street, and we’re all still feeling it one year later, even as Springsteen and the band soldier on. “On through the houses of the dead, past those fallen in their tracks / Always movin’ ahead and never lookin’ back,” Springsteen first sang back in 1995; now, a loss this monumental demands we remember, night after night, that we’re missing somebody. Somebody big.
On this anniversary, we’re proud to announce the 91st issue of BackstreetsMagazine, a tribute to and celebration of Clarence’s life, music, and legacy. While this issue could never be big enough to capture all the facets of such an extraordinary man (Master of the universe! Best selling author! The next president of the United States!), we’ve worked hard to include the voices of many who knew and loved the man. In our tribute to “Phantom” Danny Federici, we focused on the E Street Band’s perspective, to give insight into their most mysterious member at the time of the band’s first loss; to celebrate Clarence’s life, we widened our focus to try and reflect that broad spectrum that is the Big Man.
"My favorite Bruce Springsteen tale is one he used to tell before singing “Growing Up.” It was about going to see God. His father had told him to become a lawyer. His mother had told him to write books. And they had both told him to get rid of that “god-damned guitar” — that, of course, was what they always called his guitar — not Fender or Gibson. Bruce went to see the priest. He asked what he should do. The priest said the question was too big. He needed to go ask God.
And this is my favorite part of the story: Bruce went to Clarence Clemons. Why? Because Clarence knew everybody. Clarence would know where to find God. Bruce showed up, and Clarence asked him if he really intended to go see God in a Nash Rambler — God, after all, had people coming to him in Cadillacs. Bruce said that the Nash was all he had. Clemons shrugged and took Bruce along a dark road, through the woods, to a little house to see God.
The story ends with God telling Springsteen that there was an 11th Commandment left off: “Let it rock.” But I don’t care much for the ending. I care only for the drive. Clarence Clemons died on Saturday. He was 69 years old. And I think of Rosalita and being young. More, though, I think of Bruce and Clarence, Bad Scooter and the Big Man, in that Nash Rambler driving through the dark to find God."
Please contribute to a Get Well video for Clarence!
The idea is to have fans around the world send in pics of themselves raising their hands in support of Clarence, a tribute to the line from Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out:
The change was made uptown, and the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the cities, all the little pretties raise their hands
If you want to be included, OR if you want to help me edit this into a video (because god knows I’m not gifted in that area) send your submission and thoughts to email@example.com. And spread the word!