Monday, June 20, 2011

Taking Messages to the Shrine of the Big Man

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," bright and early on the first week of summer vacation! I'm Anne Johnson, a New Jersey re-plant. Given my origins in Appalachia, I'm surprised I took root here.

Over the weekend, rock n roll lost one of its biggest and best, Clarence Clemons. I was a fan of the Big Man long before I settled in Jersey, and living here did nothing to stem my passion for the E Street Band.

Today's obituary in the Daily News said that Clarence respected all religions. And that, my friends, is music to the ears of "The Gods Are Bored!" Won't it be the ultimate irony beyond the veil, if the most tolerant among us gets the best retirement package? No Heaven could be so blissful that it won't eventually become boring, given an open-ended timetable. Those who can skip and sample will be better off, don't you think?

Big Man is probably, even as I write, being feted by bored deities he never heard of, ancient Wise Ones who inspired imaginative prehistoric humans to take animal bones and blow into them to make pretty noises. Gosh, even I haven't met the deity who inspired the first flute -- but I'm still trying. Maybe the Big Man will help arrange an interview.

Can't imagine anyone needs this back story but here goes: Clarence Clemons began playing saxophone with Bruce Springsteen on the New Jersey bar scene back in the early 1970s and became part of the E Street Band's signature sound when Bruce inked a recording contract. Bruce and Clarence did not work together uninterrupted over the decades, but the Springsteen stuff I like the best is the old stuff with Clarence on sax. Clarence suffered a stroke last Sunday and died over the weekend.

Needless to say, a Shrine to the Big Man is being built along the wall of the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The Stone Pony is one of many seedy venues where the E Street Band played gigs back in the day, and it has become one of the signature Springsteen pilgrimage sites.

As luck would have it, my daughter The Heir and I had already planned to go to Asbury Park on Wednesday. When we go, we park across the street from the Stone Pony.

Today I will purchase a poster board to take to the Stone Pony on Wednesday. The poster will accompany Heir and me to Camden tonight, where we will get haiku and other poetry from the Monkey Man and his crowd.

But soft! Here is a unique and uplifting "Gods Are Bored" opportunity! If you would like to leave a personal message at the Big Man's Shrine in Asbury Park, just write your sentiments on the Comments thread. I will add your words to the poster, and you will be represented!

The deadline for contributions is Tuesday, June 21 (Summer Solstice coincidentally) at sunset. Let's commend the Big Man to deities who will appreciate his talents!

PS - You don't have to write a haiku. That's a Camden thing.


helena_dagmar said...

Thanks for posting this. 1000memories created a tribute site for Clarence today - - thought you'd appreciate it.

The Traveler said...

So many of the greats are dying off now. Hopefully younger generations find their way too them and they don't fade away.

Anonymous said...

As a born and raised Jersey Girl I was deeply saddened by The Big Man's passing. He was such a presence on stage (saw them in concert twice) and even though he wasn't up and front like Bruce and Steve he was just as big.

He will be missed by many.

Intense Guy said...

RIP Clarence Clemons... may you continue to make joyful noise.

Paula said...

Thank you, dear sir, for being a shining example that with enough work, dedication and pure love, playing the sax wouldn't mean that you would forever sound like a dying goose. Paula

kimc said...

I went to the San Francisco Free Folk Festival this weekend, and one of the things I learned was: the first three musical instruments invented were 1) the drum; something to bang on, and 2) the flute; something to blow into, and 3) the bow and arrow!; the forerunner of all stringed instruments.