Remembering The Big Man

“…my soul is lost, my friend….”
~ My City of Ruins, Bruce Springsteen

Saturday evening, my wife was out with a friend. My kids were asleep, I was finishing up dinner, trying to get into Inception.

At some point, I checked my Twitter feed and noticed that RIP Clarence Clemons was a trending topic. (yes, Twitter is how I often get my news now). I did a quick Google search and found out, from RollingStone.com that the legendary saxophonist of the E Street Band had passed away due to complications from the stroke he suffered last week.

I think we fans all knew this news was inevitable. The Big Man had been not well lately. When The Geek Whisperer and I saw Springsteen and the E Street Band opening night of the last stand at Giants Stadium back in 2009, Clarence spent most of the show seated. He had had a couple of knee surgeries and his diabetes was getting worst. He was 69, but there was a lot miles on that big frame.

But still, as David wrote in his review of that concert, Jungleland, that night, was majestic. Holy, even. Thanks to Clarence and his sax. His sax gave the E Street Band its SOUL – yes, all caps. That kind of soul.

Still…his time had come.

Even before I had found out that Clarence had passed, I had ask my family to Asbury Park and spend some time on Father’s Day there. It’s a short drive for us, would be a nice day, we could stroll the boardwalk, maybe get some ice cream and go on the beach.

But with this news, though, I knew I wanted head down there. I wanted to head down to 2nd Ave at Ocean, a block in from Kinglsey Avenu, and check out The Stone Pony. The tribute, I knew, would be fitting a very big man.

To be honest, it was a bit subdued. I guess I had expected more of a turnout at the Stone Pony. Maybe it was just the time I was there (late in the afternoon on Sunday). There were a few people that were looking at the tributes set up outside the venue. And a nice arrangement of flowers and photos on the Stone Pony stage. Nothing too over the top though.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS4 or PSE6 and Nik Software.

7 thoughts on “Remembering The Big Man

  1. Pingback: POINT BLANK » Blog Archive » Clarence Clemons: en la prensa y en la red / in the press & internet

  2. THANK YOU Mark, such a beautiful tribute in words and images. My moment of Big Man Zen was 2003 or 04, Continental Arena, 8th row center. Jungleland brought me to tears…something about being that close to the power of that sax….that song….Amen, brothers and sisters.

  3. Mark

    Thank you!

    You have put my thoughts into words
    My son Zack is proud to be a part of your art

    A new friend ………..Neil

  4. Pingback: Remembering The Big Man | JerseyStyle Photography

  5. Reblogged this on Runaway American Dream and commented:
    One of the all-time greats died on this day in 2011. Clarence ‘Big Man’ Clemons passed too soon from this existence. We keep losing our touchstones, the ones that act as signposts to a life better lived. I never knew this extraordinary man, except through the music he gave me, but his passing has left a hole in my world that will never be filled. This blog post from the week he passed touched me and I felt compelled to share.

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