It seems like a lifetime ago. A different life, almost. So much has happened since that moment, which now seems frozen in time for me. It was the highest of highs for me. A crescendo of emotions and love had brought me here. Not the kind of love that you have for your wife or children – that’s different and in a world by itself. But a love and a passion for the music and the power of Bruce Springsteen and the heart-stopping, ground-breaking, booty-shaking E Street Band. The greatest rock and roll band of all time. Not a backup band, mind you, but THE band of all bands!! Little Steven Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, Roy Bittan, Danny Federici, Nils Lofgren. All legends. And here I was, standing in front of the guy known to us all as The Big Man, The Minister of Soul… Clarence Clemons. We were standing in a hallway lobby attached to the legendary Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ. The premiere of the documentary short “Who Do I Think I Am?” had just finished. I had my right hand extended out and Clarence took it firmly and shook it with such grace, that it’s hard to explain what the feeling was like. Was this all really happening? I’ve lived E Street for most of my adult life following the band from city to city and overseas as well. His presence in the band was unmistakable and here I was, about to go into business with him. It was really happening!
This was all pulled together by director Nick Mead who, along with Clarence, made the film together that detailed a trip to China and back where Clarence went looking for a spiritual awakening that he yearned to find. The film had just premiered at the Garden State Film Festival to a rapturous standing ovation. But it’s running time came in too short to be sold as a feature film. Nick and I decided to work together with existing footage that had been taken and create a longer feature length version. I just needed to get Clarence’s approval as he would be working on the project with us. I got it that night! That moment and that handshake is where I made a promise to Clarence and Nick that I would help finish that film. We were to begin work immediately. And we did.
But it would not last. This is where life got involved. And sometimes this world turns cruel, ugly and unjust.
A lot has happened since that time and that meeting. Unthinkable things. Things too dark to even visit in this blog. But as you know Clarence Clemons passed away from complications of a stroke a little over a month after that handshake. Since then, a series of tragic events have caused the film to be put on hiatus until now. We can now get back into action.
The plan is to raise some finishing funds through our Indiegogo campaign which launches today. With your help we can get the film finished in time for a fourth quarter release. You can find out more by visiting: https://igg.me/at/clarenceclemonsfilm.
Life comes at you in many ways, many forms. You can never figure out why certain things happen and why other things don’t. You can literally drive yourself crazy trying to get answers. So we live our lives clinging onto what is real and hopefully what is good. A long time ago, I shook the hand of a hero of mine and made a promise. That promise has been one of many things that have kept me moving along a forward path filled with unending friendships, support and most of all love. I am going to fulfill that promise. No matter what gets in the way. I’m doing this for Clarence. I’m doing it for Nick. And I’m doing it for myself.
Somewhere, Clarence is looking down from above and guiding us. He’s got some company standing by his side.
I hope he likes what we do. I think he will!