(AP / Rhona Wise)

Partial text of the eulogy that Bruce Springsteen delivered at the funeral of Clarence Clemons on June 21, 2011 at Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach, Florida.

"...from the first time I saw my pal striding out of the shadows of a half empty bar in Asbury Park, a path opening up before him; here comes my brother, here comes my sax man, my inspiration, my partner, my lifelong friend.  Standing next to Clarence was like standing next to the baddest ass on the planet.  You were proud, you were strong, you were excited and laughing with what might happen, with what together, you might be able to do.  You felt like no matter what the day or the night brought, nothing was going to touch you.   Clarence could be fragile but he also emanated power and safety,  and in some funny way we became each other’s protectors; I think perhaps I protected "C" from a world where it still wasn’t so easy to be big and black.  Racism was ever present and over the years together, we saw it.  Clarence’s celebrity and size did not make him immune.  I think perhaps "C" protected me from a world where it wasn’t always so easy to be an insecure, weird and skinny white boy either.  But, standing together we were badass, on any given night, on our turf, some of the baddest asses on the planet.  We were united, we were strong, we were righteous, we were unmovable, we were funny, we were corny as hell and as serious as death itself.  And we were coming to your town to shake you and to wake you up. Together, we told an older, richer story about the possibilities of friendship that transcended those I’d written in my songs and in my music.  Clarence carried it in his heart.  It was a story where the Scooter and the Big Man not only busted the city in half, but we kicked ass and remade the city, shaping it into the kind of place where our friendship would not be such an anomaly. And that… that’s what I’m gonna miss.  The chance to renew that vow and double down on that story on a nightly basis, because that is something, that is the thing that we did together… the two of us.  Clarence was big, and he made me feel, and think, and love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man?  Too fucking big to die.  And that’s just the facts.  You can put it on his grave stone, you can tattoo it over your heart. Accept it… it’s the New World.

So, I’ll miss my friend, his sax, the force of nature his sound was, his glory, his foolishness, his accomplishments, his face, his hands, his humor, his skin, his noise, his confusion, his power, his peace.  But his love and his story, the story that he gave me, that he whispered in my ear, that he allowed me to tell… and that he gave to you… is gonna carry on.  I’m no mystic, but the undertow, the mystery and power of Clarence and my friendship leads me to believe we must have stood together in other, older times, along other rivers, in other cities, in other fields, doing our modest version of god’s work… work that’s still unfinished.  So I won’t say goodbye to my brother, I’ll simply say, see you in the next life, further on up the road, where we will once again pick up that work, and get it done.

Big Man, thank you for your kindness, your strength, your dedication, your work, your story.  Thanks for the miracle… and for letting a little white boy slip through the side door of the Temple of Soul."

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bruce-springsteens-eulogy-for-clarence-clemons-20110629#ixzz3x4JDVySa

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One thought on “Clarence Clemons, Jr. (Jan 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011)

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