Gerry (Gerald) Rafferty  4/16/47- 1/4/11. Born in Paisley, Scotland, Gerry got into a band in the 60's called "Humblebums". In 1972 he formed the band Stealer's Wheel and had a huge hit with "Stuck in the Middle". In 1978, he cut a solo album, City to City, which included "Baker Street". The album sold over 5.5 million copies. Gerry played piano and guitar and has a very smooth voice. He suffered from liver disease and died peacefully with his daughter at his side.

Baker Street, Stuck in the Middle and Right Down the Line are all on my iPod.  I can hear those songs and immediately be transported back in time.

Clarence Clemons  1/11/46 - 6/18/11.  Clarence was born in Norfolk, Virginia  His father gave him his first saxaphone when he was nine years old.   He played for his high school jazz band.  He was also a great football player in high school and recieved scholarships to college.  The Cleveland Browns offered him a trial on their NFL team but the day before he was to start he was in a serious car accident which ended his football career.  The first band Clarence was part of was a cover band called The Vibratones, they did covers of James Brown tunes.  He moved to Newark, New Jersey in 1962 and worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed children.  The story of his first time meeting Bruce Springsteen is legendary.  Its been told several ways by both men, but the bottom line is, it was "love at first site" and on October 21, 1972 the E-Street Band was formed.  The chemistry Clarnece and Bruce had on stage was one of the highlights of each performance.  In later years he had to sit during most of the concerts due to two hip replacements surgeries.  on June 12, 2011 Clarence suffered a stroke and underwent two surgeries.  Reports said he was in serious but stable condition, but he died of complications 6 days later. 

For me personally, this death hit me hard.  I heard the news moments before entering the stadium to see U2 perform in Anaheim, CA.  The radio announcer simply said "Clarence Clemons is gone.  This is for Clarence."  Then they played "Jungleland".  My sister and I wept.  I felt so many things at that moment - shock (I thought he was getting better), sadness, and devastation that The E Street Band would never be the same again.  For selfish reasons I was disappointed that the feeling of hearing certain songs live would never be the same.  Clarence added so much to the band.  His sax solos are what made Bruce's lyrics come alive.  Some songs, specifically "Jungleland" would still be good, but not great.  Bruce gave the eulogy at Clarence's funeral and you can read about it here.  Goodbye, Big Man, you will be missed by millions of fans around the world.


José GDF said...

Sorry for your loss, but more unfortunate is that there has been better known, at least in my country.

Rest in peace.


VaTAga said...

Gerry was one of my favourite singers and songwriters. RIP.