Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clarence Clemons

I preface this by saying I'm not a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I love the Born In The USA album but like very little else (though "Hungry Heart" is one of the best summer BBQ songs ever made).

Anyway, I was sad to hear the passing of E Street Band member Clarence Clemons. The first thing that surprised me was that he was 69 years old. That means he was in his early 40's when Born In The USA came out. I never noticed that. Anyway, here are the three things I'll always remember him by in descending order.

3.) The "you better be good for goodness sake" line in Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town".

2.) His cheesy video he did for his hit with Jackson Browne "You're A Friend Of Mine". Don't say I didn't warn you...I surprised he and Jackson Browne didn't start making out at some point. See below.

1.) The above two might be his most mainstream success but I will forever remember him as the sax playing teacher who tries to help Arnold Jackson get affection from a girl he likes in the classic show Diff'rent Strokes. Sadly this episode aired during the final season of Diff'rent Strokes when it was in its death throes. By now, Willis and Kimberly were hard to find in any episodes...they brought in that annoying Sam character. And even Dixie Carter knew well enough to jump off a sinking ship. God bless Conrad Bain for hanging in there.

Anyway, here's the majority of the episode. Through the beauty of You Tube, some die hard fan posted nearly the entire episode.

Some strange things to note here.

1.) Arnold is looking old.
2.) Clarence is bad ass with his flat top haircut.
3.) The band seen around the 2:45 mark, features Wayne, the older brother in The Wonder Years.
4.) Around the 3:15 mark, Arnold is probably a foot shorter (and probably in real life 10 years older) than the girl he likes.
5.) The Sam character needed to be severly injured at some point.
6.) At the 9:04 mark, you witness the 80's in all its glory. If Wayne is really playing the guitar and dancing like that at the same time, I'm very impressed.
7.) The 9:35 mark shows that yes, you can really get girls by finding a world famous sax player to mime a part for you at a junior high dance by standing just out of site behind the curtain.

I'll admit, I just scanned through the get the gist of it. I was more excited to find the clip than actually watch it.

Irony reels its ugly head again...A man on the show Diff'rent Strokes dies due to complications from suffering...a stroke.

Anyway, R.I.P. Big Man...

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