The Big Man

i love those ocean’s 11 movies
there was a code with those guys
you shook sinatra’s hand
and you were in

i shook the big man’s hand
backstage at madison square garden
the night they were performing ‘the river’
i walked right up to him
and i said :
hey man – we cover a lot of you stuff back in toronto – my horn player – braxton hicks- he had to rethink his entire horn to get the sound that you do – we call it the honey horn!
clarence looked at me – smiled nodded and said ‘alright’
then he held out his hand and we shook
i shook the big man’s hand

i’m trying to think of another performer that’s given me as many goose bumps
as clarence has
jungleland alone – i spent an entire season listening to nothing but that song
but live
wow
the shivers
the massive introduction of brass
carving aside the guitars and taking a rightful place within the acme of the song

we’ve been discussing what the greatest american album is
hotel california
toys in the attic
born to run
i don’t know
hotel sold the most

but for me
the greatest that rock n’ roll has ever been
the absolute pure rush of spirit
has never been greater
than when the e street band pulled into the hammersmith odeon in london in 1975
that’s the moment for me
i know that’s a big leap to make for a lot of the hard core pink zep walrus
but there’s a vibe to that show that says it was okay to drop out of college
and go on the road

his book is fantastic
tripped out and funny
and heavy
there’s a tense story about him having surgery just before superbowl show
it almost wasn’t going to happen
but it happened and the big man made the time
that’s character
being there for your brothers

i feel sad for his family
and his band
it’s tough to bounce back from losses like this
i imagine everything will have a shrine like quality to it now
like it does with danny

thanks for the goosebumps clarence
that was some serious sound coming out of your horn

craig
june 18, 2011
whiskey

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