Thursday, June 23, 2011

Only ONE of These REALLY Counts...

Two deaths were "announced" this past week, and as it says in my title, only one of them really counts.

Clarence Clemons, the incredible saxophonist best known as Bruce Springsteen's "soul-mate" in the E Street Band, passed away this week at the age of 69. I was a relatively late convert to Springsteen's music (late 1970s), and as we all entered and muddled through the 1980s, it seemed like "The Big Man" was all over the place... and I loved it. He was appearing on cuts by such notables as Aretha Franklin, did a duet with Jackson Browne, etc.

My then-fiancée bought me a copy of the above-pictured LP for either my birthday or Christmas in the mid-1980s.

I've been complaining lately of a mild form of Writer's Block, so I'm gonna wimp out here and direct you to an excellent tribute by fellow Blogger-blogger Roy Hilbinger instead of attempting one of my own.

And I'll get back to Mr. Clemons in a moment, but first...

Hey, comic books fans, they've just announced that Marvel Comics' biggest "solo act," Spider-Man, is going to be killed! Oh, my God! What monumental news, huh?

Feh. Don't you believe it. As this article explains, it's not the "real" Spider-Man, just the one who appears in an "alternate universe" called "the Ultimates."

There's a saying in comics that goes back almost fifty years: "Nobody dies forever." Remember around twenty years ago when they "killed" Superman? He... errr... got better. And although they're saying that the Ultimate Spider-Man won't, even if he doesn't... it's not like that'll affect the so-called mainstream Marvel Universe.

Or the real world, certainly.

I wish we could apply that "Nobody dies forever" cliché to real life. I'd love to see the Big Man take the stage again...

I'm giving you a choice today, fellow babies. If you want to hear something moody featuring Clarence Clemons, here's a cut (penned by Steven Van Zandt) from Gary U.S. Bonds' 1981 comeback album, "Dedication."

And if you want something much more upbeat, here's the title track from the same LP.

I suggest you crank it -- or them, if you're like me, and want to hear them both -- as loud as your eardrums and neighbors can stand.

R.I.P., Big Man.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Every single superhero of worth has prob kicked the bucket one time or another. But poof it was a dream, poof it was an alternate reality, poof time travel fixed it, poof they faked it, poof it was a clone, poof they died, but wait they can't die it turns out they are immortal, poof they are reborn, poof they jump bodies, poof this, poof that, they always come back..haha

  2. Exactly! And because of that, death has no meaning in comics. Professor X of the X-Men once said something like "It appears that, at some point, true death becomes irrevocable." Wow. There are enough loopholes in that one sentence to justify bringing anyone back! The old saying "Nobody dies forever" used to be "Nobody dies forever... except Bucky and Uncle Ben," and they've already brought one of them back...!!!

  3. Yeah, it's sad to lose The Big Man. More and more of the purveyors of the soundtrack of my youth are passing from the scene, and that's just out and out depressing. But Clarence Clemons passing cuts really close; Springsteen and the E Street Band were a major part of the soundtrack for the '70s and '80s for me, ((sigh))

    BTW, didn't Captain America die and come back several times? I seem to remember his plane going down at the end of WWII and then somebody finding him frozen in an iceberg in the '60s or so.

  4. @Roy: I could write a whole post about Captain America. He was introduced in 1941 and when superhero sales dropped his title died. They brought him back for a few issues as "Captain America, Commie Smasher" in 1954-55, and ignored the '50s version when they brought him back yet again in the 1960s. That's when they came up with the frozen in ice bit, so Steve Rogers (his secret ID) wouldn't be a man in his 40s in 1964. In terms of storyline, Steve/Cap has only died once. They killed Steve off with a big hoopla a few years ago... but recently brought him back to life. Someone else is wearing the Cap costume right now, though. Steve Rogers (the character) is a different superhero... as of today, anyway.

  5. Super heroes and cats...they all have those nine lives. :) I need to figure out their secret since I need to live forever, too! haha.

    OK...going back to enjoy the music. Crank it up really loud? haha...ok...I need to repay my neighbor for a few things anyway, right?

  6. @Betsy: Oh, I can see you now, rocking out to the tunes once you've memorized the lyrics... and singing into your hair-brush "microphone." Enjoy, doll!

  7. Hey, why didn't anyone tell me I goofed up in the title of today's post???

    I put "One One of These Really Counts" instead of "Only One of These Really Counts!" And I blame lack of sleep!

    Didn't anybody notice? You know the "Grammar Nazi" hates stuff like that! :)

  8. Actually, I sing into a wooden spoon in the kitchen. But don't neighbor already thinks I'm weird for soaking my feet in the sink. Well, on second thought, singing into the wooden spoon probably wouldn't phase him now...if he doesn't already know! LOL....

  9. Oh, yes I noticed that and read it over 3 times and then I forgot to tell you! ha. Oh, I'd make a terrible nazi.....

  10. Ah, that's right! It's a wooden spoon when you're in the kitchen! Silly me.

    And I hope you're always aware of your neighbor's eyes....

  11. Well, I can certainly think of worse things to be than a terrible Nazi...

  12. haha...dirty old man...the neighbor, not you. lol....

  13. As you well know, I could care less about the death of spiderman (real or otherwise!) but the God you speak of first got more than a minute of silence from me. It was my dad who turned me on to Bruce Springsteen when he was singing of his glorydays in the early eighties, and while The Boss does impress, it was Clarence who stole the show everytime. (For me!) I'm glad you wrote this for him, and will have to link thorugh to the other. A very good reason to break the silence, indeed!

  14. Oh yeah I did notice the One, but figured since you were such a Grammar Nazi you meant to put it that way for some reason. Next time I won't

  15. Grammar Nazi, yes. Perfect Grammar Nazi, no! ;)

  16. yeah i will believe it with Spidey when i see it...maybe it will be a clone...oh wait they tried that...or they will have a Brnad New Day and restart...oh they tried that too...ugh...

    was sad on clarence though...

  17. Stuttering now, are we? (ducks)

  18. Well, I said I wasn't perfect... but I blame Blogger for that one. I hit "send" and it disappears, so how could I hit send twice for the same comment?

  19. Mistaken about ClemensJune 27, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    That's sad that he died. I enjoyed Huckleberry Finn.


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