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.