Although many people will immediately think of about a dozen E Street Band songs when they think about all of Clarence Clemons’ musical achievements, but one of the first songs that came to my mind when I heard about his passing was the duet (triplet?) with Jackson Browne and (??? yes, really) Daryl Hannah (Browne’s girlfriend at the time), “You’re a Friend of Mine”
A classic 80s tune, a VH-1 staple back in the day, and a song with a great message in general.
Back in the summer of 1988 I went to a carnival at Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens, with my brothers and some friends. I had a secret crush on one of those friends. I’ll never forget what a beautiful night it was; it was warm, but not too hot. Maybe that’s because the carnival was near the water. It was a clear night, which seems to make all of the evening lights even brighter.
We wound up riding the ferris wheel together, me and my crush, and George Michael’s “One More Try” blasted from the speakers across the fairgrounds. I loved this song, even though you’d never know it by looking at me (I was also big into the heavy metal that the young kids were all screaming about). I was really into the guy I was sitting next to. I thought it was a magical moment. We entered that ride as friends, and then left the ride…still friends. (I was kinda shy back then).
In a very Proust-ian way, hearing Iron and Wine cover this same song (quite beautifully, I might add) just brought all of those memories rushing back. You have to love the power of music.