Clarence is gone. Saw Bruce many times the last ten years playing his heart out with the beloved E Street band that he was so proud of. The band was his inspiration, his comfort zone and his launching pad. Listening now to the blowfest that was Agora, 1978. The songs are so complete. The band so tight and exploding at the seams. Such a big sound…and Clarence is all over it. There will never be a band that is so alive and well and growing over 40 years together. Forget about U2. The Stones have hearts but they don’t leave you with your heart in your hand, pulsing like a bomb about to explode. You don’t leave a Bruce show the same person you were when you came in. It is a different experience for everyone – and that is the beauty. A group experience with 50,000 different experiences.
I needed to talk to someone on Sunday when I was at the Clearwater Festival. Was thinking about Clarence too much. A 6 year old girl started playing with our 8 month old. After awhile I started talking to her about the music at the festival – asked her what she liked. She told me, “I am more into pop and rock.” I then went over to her father, and asked him if he was into Springsteen. “Yes.” Been to many shows? “Many…many….many shows.” Turns out I was talking to Joe D’Orso- who worked for Springsteen’s production company for a decade. He had worked the other side of the curtain at the famous San Siro lightening storm show I took Stephie to. He had been to a lot of others. We talked for a long time. I heard a lot of Bruce stories – and not one broke the bubble. We all need people we can look up to. Who teach us how to build our creative lives, how to love and grow friendships, how to scream out, how to shut up – and especially in this case, how to live a life of grace. This is a thank you for the friendship Bruce and Clarence shared with us so many nights. For the power and the love and the grace.