The music world lost a great one in Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons. I was watching a news report covering his death when my son came into the room. His remark was something along the lines of "Why are all of the reports about him instead of Ryan Dunn (the "Jackass" Star) ?" My reply: "Because he was a music legend, in the industry for 40 years, and died of complications from a stroke, where Ryan Dunn got drunk and drove his car off of the road." Don't get me wrong, as both deaths are horrible tragedies and really should not be compared. It just struck me as an interesting question that really speaks to our age differences.
I almost got to meet "The Big Man" when I was in graduate school. One charitable thing that Clemons did was donate over-sized medical equipment to hospitals. Things such as larger wheelchairs and scales that can weigh heavier people are in short supply, especially in smaller hospitals. Clarence had been scheduled to come to the hospital where I worked and donate a wheelchair with his foundation. Of course, knowing what a fan I was, the head of the hospital grabbed me on the morning of that day and made me accompany him on a day trip out of town. I swear that he did this just to piss me off. I wasn't going to embarrass the hospital or myself with exuberant and melodramatic gushing over the best saxophone player to ever play Rock and Roll. I mean, really! So I didn't get to meet Clarence up close and personal and all I got to remember the moment was a photograph taken of him with the wheelchair.
I then started to think about musicians that I had seen before their deaths. I saw "The Big Man" play with Springsteen and it ranks as one of my favorite concerts. Fortunately, I got to see Jerry Garcia and Stevie Ray Vaughan play before their deaths - yes, it would be hard to see them after that...and no, they didn't play together although that would have been interesting.
My hubby and I had very different concert experiences in college. He went to a small private college in the middle of nowhere and was lucky enough to see Rupert Holmes and Peaches & Herb. I went to college in a small town on the map between two large venues and we got lots of great acts booked on the way through : The Police, Tom Petty, The Pretenders, Kansas, Jackson Browne, and on and on...In four years, I saw an amazing amount of good shows, a fact that really tortures my Hubby.
So, the big family joke has always been that when listening to music the conversation is predictable:
Two or three notes into the song and the trivia machine (a.k.a The Hubby) is ready to wow me with his vast knowledge.
Hubby: "That song is by _______."
Me : "Oh, yeah, I think you are right."
Hubby : "Know what the song is called?"
Me: "No. I can't remember those kind of things."
Hubby : " It's ________."
Me : "It sounded better live." (Game, Set, Match)
So, tell me what late-great you saw or your favorite concert (that you can remember...). Curious minds want to know!