Musical Advent Calendar 2013 – December 12

If you know me at all, or have followed this blog closely, you know how strongly I feel about Bruce Springsteen.  Because of that, today’s musical advent calendar offering is a bit melancholy.

After Springsteen released The Promise in November of 2010, he held an intimate concert with just a few dozen contest winners which would be broadcast on the internet.  It was sort of a Christmas present to fans to celebrate the new album’s release, as there was no immediate tour planned.  But the whole production felt a little off.  As always, the musical delivery of Bruce and The E Street Band was great.  But the performance just seemed to miss.  Maybe Springsteen felt a bit out-of-place with the small crowd assembled in a kind of circle around the set?  Maybe it was because of the apparent lack of connection between Bruce and his long-time, faithful, active stage foil, Clarence Clemons?  On this night, Clemons remained confined to his stool during the show.  You could hardly blame him, though – The Big Man was almost 70 by then, and had endured multiple surgeries, procedures, and replacements on knees, hips, and other body parts as a result of damage from a brief football career in his youth, and the many years spent on the road as a very active musician.  And while I may be reading more deeply into it than there is to read, the lack of spark in Clarence seemed to affect Springsteen that night.

What nobody knew at the time was that this would be Clarence Clemons’ final performance with Springsteen and The E Street Band.  He passed away from complications due to a stroke that following June.

The final song Clarence played with The E Street Band was ironically, and yet, strangely appropriately, “Blue Christmas”.  And that performance is today’s Musical Advent Calendar song.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on December 12, 2013.

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