Clemons comes across as a jokester, a great friend, a guy who knows how to be rich, and a teller of stories that should be true, even if they aren't. I do have to say that he comes across as a bit of a misogynist, of the type that loves women and marries them serially, but doesn't speak to many that he respects.
I think there are only one or two sentences uttered by women in the whole book, and of all the celebrity names dropped the only female is Annie Leibowitz, and her story is one of the fabrications. Putting that aside, it's a good read and a great contribution to his legend. Shelves: favorites.
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- Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales by Clarence Clemons.
Don and Clarence are excellent storytellers. I could listen to them all day long and not get bored:- I really enjoyed hearing the early days of Clarence's life and the early career of the band. Some of the stories and 'legends' were really funny You can feel Clarence's spirit through the pages I would love to sit for awhile and pick his brain even though I probably would have no idea of what to say to him. I would suggest carving out some time for this book, its very hard to put down I re-read a few of the stories as I read through the book.
Feb 21, Jessica Bacho rated it did not like it. I was a bit leery about picking up this book because I'd read horrible reviews of it. But I thought that perhaps people expected too much, or Bruce's dirty little secrets, or whatever. I should have paid attention to the reviews. Now, don't get me wrong, I adore Bruce and Clarence, but I just didn't see the point of this book. The co-author interjected way too much, and seemed more interested in promoting his career or name-dropping than anything related to Clarence. Salinger, Norman Mailer, etc. I didn't find anything interesting about this book at all.
Really, a complete waste of time. Oct 07, Adam Sharp rated it really liked it. Bruce Springsteen takes his music seriously -- and most biographies like Two Hearts, etc. Good books, yes, but heavy on the chin-stroking.
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Don Reo's chapters remind a bit of "Almost Famous," giving the mega-s Bruce Springsteen takes his music seriously -- and most biographies like Two Hearts, etc. Don Reo's chapters remind a bit of "Almost Famous," giving the mega-star lifestyle a new dimension by telling it through the eyes of a friend simply along for the ride. If already a Clarence or Bruce fan, I'd put this as a must-read. If you don't like Springsteen and don't appreciate the vibe of a Bruce show, this book isn't for you though neither is oxygen or sunlight Apr 20, Rich rated it it was ok Shelves: music , memoirs , biography.
I may hate Bruce Springsteen's politics, but I love the man's music. So I couldn't wait to read this. But it was a big disappointment.
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Springsteen's sax player, Clarence Clemons and his best friend TV producer MASH, Punky Brewster Don Reo, give a very untraditional memoir here, one that borders on stream-of-concsiousness drifting from one subject to the next, with no real coherence to any kind of chronology or story, until the end, and we almost get a blow by blow of Clemons' double knee replac I may hate Bruce Springsteen's politics, but I love the man's music. Springsteen's sax player, Clarence Clemons and his best friend TV producer MASH, Punky Brewster Don Reo, give a very untraditional memoir here, one that borders on stream-of-concsiousness drifting from one subject to the next, with no real coherence to any kind of chronology or story, until the end, and we almost get a blow by blow of Clemons' double knee replacement surgery.
The two have included what they call legends--the pages in grey--which they say have kernels of truth with them, but have grown and expanded over the years. But Clemons really doesn't give much insight into himself.
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He never speaks about why he stuck with playing an instrument his father forced him to play, never gives the readers any sense of how it feels play in one of the most recognized bands on the planet, in front of thousands of screaming fans everytime he steps on stage. Clemons speaks very little about his children from five different marriages. In fact most of what we get about life on stage, actually comes from Reo, and given through the eyes of a fan usually watching the action from backstage.
Too much of the book is spent name-dropping--talking about hanging out with Robert DeNiro, Bob Dylan, etc. Or talking about a rich, famous musician in his 60s having a gorgeous woman in her late 20s fall in love with him. Please, tell us something that we don't expect, something much more personal. This book is more of a means to continue building the legend of The Big Man, rather than it is a personal look into the man behind the sax. Mar 25, David Murgo rated it it was amazing. Well, given that I've been a Springsteen fan for most of my life since "The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle , I have to say I went into this book hoping it would be a good read.
I ended up really loving it - second only to Dave Marsh's earlier Bruce works. The details regarding the shared friendship between Bruce and Clarence and the now epic mythology of their story was both revealing and somehow reassuring. I'd always hoped that the friendship portrayed in all the media hype over Well, given that I've been a Springsteen fan for most of my life since "The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle , I have to say I went into this book hoping it would be a good read.
I'd always hoped that the friendship portrayed in all the media hype over the years was real and not simply the work of some PR toadie. The "Born to Run" cover seems the perfect "freeze-frame" of the relationship these guys share. I was also surprised to read some of the "warts and all" aspects of Clarence's personality cursing his butt off, consuming massive amounts of alcohol, etc. The references to the late, great, and much missed Danny Federici were powerful and heartfelt There's a palpable sadness in knowing that the E Street Band will never quite be the same.
God Bless You, Phantom. The "Tall Tales" of the title are often pretty funny and usually very well told. The "straight" biographical details are both amazing and amusing. Well done, Big Man Mar 07, Rob rated it liked it Shelves: biography. My wife picked this book up for me more-or-less randomly. The book would have gone to the bottom of the pile, but this was the only book on the bedside table one evening, so I started reading. Rather than telling the Big Man's story the traditional way, this book is made up of a series of stories abou My wife picked this book up for me more-or-less randomly.
Rather than telling the Big Man's story the traditional way, this book is made up of a series of stories about incidents in his life, arranged in non-chronological order. The longest story might be eight pages long. It was so easy and fun to read that before I knew it I'd finished the book. Many of the stories are part bullshit, or even all bullshit, but it's obvious which parts are bullshit and I doubt anybody minds, because it's all in fun. Here's one tidbit from the book that I'll keep with me: happiness is made of equal parts of forgiveness and gratitude.
Clarence died of a stroke just two years after the book was published. It's a real shame that he's gone. Thanks for the music, Big Man. Dec 28, Martin rated it really liked it. I read most of this book during a very long day a air travel. It's a quick read and very enjoyable. There were a few parts that made me laugh pretty hard.
Although I love Springsteen and the E Street Band, I don't know a lot of their histories, so I did learn a bit more about Clarence than most people who would read this book. I enjoyed the semi-fictitious sections as they reminded me of Charles Mingus' 'autobiography'. I liked the double narrators, although I wish that there had been some expla I read most of this book during a very long day a air travel. I liked the double narrators, although I wish that there had been some explanation of how Don Reo and Clarence became such close and longtime friends.
That is really the only part that is missing for me, because it would help to explain why the book is the way it is, or at least provide some defense against the reviewers who call Don Reo an uber-fan or sycophant. On amazon there was a reviewer who called Don a relentless name dropper -- no doubt that reviewer missed the joke when Don writes "Elvis Presley once told me I was the biggest name dropper.
A very nice book overall. Jun 27, Kasa Cotugno rated it it was amazing Shelves: genre-biography-memoir , subj-showbiz-music.
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We all knew Clarence Clemons expressed himself passionately, beautifully through his sax, but most of us who only saw him on stage didn't know it didn't end there -- that he was a storyteller par excellence. This, his memoir, is like no other -- what really happened, what didn't happen, what might have been -- who cares if the legends aren't fact? The bullshit is so much fun, and some of it might have been true. My favorite is a recapitulation of a car trip with Bruce a notoriously bad driver , We all knew Clarence Clemons expressed himself passionately, beautifully through his sax, but most of us who only saw him on stage didn't know it didn't end there -- that he was a storyteller par excellence.
My favorite is a recapitulation of a car trip with Bruce a notoriously bad driver , Big Man, and with Hideki Matsui deadheading in the backseat having missed the Yankee's plane home. Pure joy. I also am forever thankful that I made the effort to see him in person in order to have him sign this book. His spirit, which leaps off every page, was evident in the milisecond of time we spent face to face unseparated by football lengths of arena space crammed with fans. Dec 24, Justin rated it it was amazing.
Clarence Clemons is not one to be fucked with, Bruce Springsteen is indeed a really awesome guy away from the spotlight and this book is chock full of goofy asides that are normally covered in the typical biography type books Dec 20, A rated it it was ok Shelves: autobiography. Tall tales more than real life, I suspect.
Maybe only of interest to die-yard Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band fans? They got the better deal. As much as I would like to believe it, I find it very hard to believe that Clemons played pool with Fidel Castro or hung out with Norman Mailer. For sure there are some decent — and believable — stories from the early days e. For a fan, this is decent, but slightly disappointing read. Nov 06, Elizabeth Teig Von Hoffman rated it liked it Shelves: music , biography , springsteen , fiction. This book is the wild glamorous road stories Springsteen kept out of his autobiography.
Although it feels like necessary reading for any devout Springsteen fan, Clemons approach of stringing together non-chronological stories that sometimes strain credulity the story about beating Castro at pool stands out as impossible, as Hunter S Thompson never went to Cuba creates a nice portrait of the life of a celebrity, but fails to have any emotional arch or even much discussion of his work. It does, This book is the wild glamorous road stories Springsteen kept out of his autobiography.
It does, however, paint an endearing portrait of Danny Federici, the E Street Band's organist who so little has been written about, so I'm ultimately glad I read it. Jan 04, Aria Rad rated it it was amazing. You get to learn a lot about the Big Man, but the mythology that the infuse into his life story gives it a kind of irresistible magic. Facts aren't as interesting as truth. When reading about a rock n' roll legend, it's nice to enjoy the magic instead of reading a list of all the notches in their belt.
If you prefer a neatly packaged traditional biography this probably isn't for you, but if you love grand narratives I highly recommend it. Personal stories are the best All Springsteen fans need to read this! I've had a soft spot for Clarence since the first time I saw the "Born to Run" cover, a very long time ago. I've read most of the books about Bruce, but this is heartfelt and special. I loved it. I recently read Springsteen's book and the love between these two men is very evident in both. I'm a sucker for lasting friendships. Jun 22, David Thomley rated it liked it.
This was unexpectedly very entertaining! Not great literature, but gives you some great insights into a member of maybe the greatest American rock band. I knew nothing about Clarence before, now I feel as though we could be friends if our paths ever crossed.
If you're an E Street fan you need to read this! Jan 26, Nathan Leslie rated it really liked it. Terrific voice and sense of humor throughout this book and the surreal and funny anecdotes and stories make this a must-read--not just for Bruce fans, but for all music fans. Dec 28, Rory Toohey rated it liked it. My review on Legends of Springsteen. Sep 18, Kathy rated it really liked it Shelves: game-of-thrones-house-greyjoy. What a fun read. Jul 04, Jennifer rated it really liked it. It's really hard to review a memoir, especially a memoir one reads so soon after the subject's death, so I'm not exactly objective about this book.
As memoirs go, however, I found this one well-written and really clever. There's a tendency for memoirs to present themselves so matter-of-factly that the reader can't help questioning the veracity of the stories they contain, but these authors announce up front that half of the book is made up the greyed-out pages , and that makes the "true" bits e It's really hard to review a memoir, especially a memoir one reads so soon after the subject's death, so I'm not exactly objective about this book. There's a tendency for memoirs to present themselves so matter-of-factly that the reader can't help questioning the veracity of the stories they contain, but these authors announce up front that half of the book is made up the greyed-out pages , and that makes the "true" bits easier to swallow in comparison.
The grey "legends" are all fascinating short stories unto themselves, mostlyfictionalized meetings between Clarence and other celebrities, and the true parts give a fantastic glimpse into the late, great heart of the E Street Band. A few caveats: 1. It gets progressively harder to read this book as it moves on and tells stories of more recent years. Clarence starts to talk about mortality at length -- and his desire to live a long, happy life with his new wife in the face of it. Knowing he died only a few years after the publication of this memoir makes these parts of the books truly heartbreaking.
Somehow Clarence's namedropping always seems fun and tongue-in-cheek, while Reo's namedropping just comes across as obnoxious and self-important. He seems like the kind of guy who would be insufferable in real life. I found myself uncomfortable with some homophobic and misogynistic language and anecdotes sprinkled throughout; were this fiction, some of that may have been enough to make me put the book aside. But since this is a portrait of a real person, I could mostly excuse them as part of an honest drawing of a man, warts and all. All in all, though, this was a great read, and I'm very glad I picked it up.
RIP, Big Man Jul 12, Pabel Lopez rated it it was ok. I did not like this book. I must admit I am only a casual fan of Bruce Springsteen and his band so that may have something to do with my reaction to this book. In other biographies I have read the author gave some examples of how the subject had some shortcomings.
This book had none of that. Halfway through the book I had to make sure I wasn't reading a book about a saint or something. I could see how the two writers wouldn't want to make Clemons look like a scummy dude or anything but I am a sc I did not like this book. I could see how the two writers wouldn't want to make Clemons look like a scummy dude or anything but I am a scummy dude so I would have liked to relate to the dude somehow. A major problem for me in this book was the lack of stories about his time with the e street band in the beginning.
The few stories that the book does give are all about when they are a huge production playing the super bowl and escaping the arenas after the shows. I would have liked to read about when the band was struggling and coming up in Jersey. I would have also liked to hear more about his relationship to the music. Something very powerful happens when we are able to capture a moment in words and have another person share in the experience. It heals us. It makes us laugh. It brings connection. It makes us human. When you're in the middle of a story , it isn't a story at all but rather a confusion, a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard are powerless to stop it.
It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all, when you're telling it to yourself or someone else. Michael Polley - Storyteller. Why art? Its not about being liked, it's about feeling something, anything. Our whole world has become so disconnected from any real emotion we barely even communicate anymore. We're just a bunch of liars, we lie to each other and we lie to ourselves.
We don't say how we really feel or God forbid how we really are because we're to bloody scared. Instead we just try to be liked, its terrible. That is exactly what it is like for me, too.
For me, reading a good book is receiving a gift. Are you Happy? At what point do you just accept your life? And maybe accepting is the path to happiness. Reasons for stories. Not just watched, but more like an icy finger of fear that races ahead of sudden horror!!!! It was a heavy heaving big long crack of a very large branch, not just a stick. Slowly, ever so slowly he turns still looking down, knowing it is something that he doesn't want to see, something he hopes to be invisible to, but knowing it involves him and cannot be dismissed.
All previous sounds had ceased, only his heart beat could be heard, and his breath,!!! Massive black clawed feet appear out of the corner of his vision. Causality looking up he stares at a massive bear!! A great cazum of a mouth with jaws open, gaping, but.. It is the biggest bear he'd ever seen, and never had seen one from so close that you could feel his breath on your face. Save me, O God, for the waters have almost taken my life. I have gone down into deep mud and there is no place to put my feet. Psalm It had been 40 days on the trail, actually 40 days and 40 nights to the hour and he was washing up to enjoy the sunset.
Listening in wonder at the beauty all around? The babbling from the spring nearby, the birds chattering away in the trees, the evening crickets, the frigid water had called him to start the next section of the trail all freshened up. But with it's beady black eyes fixed on him, it stares, not a general stare, and not a stare at his eyes, but more a stare of curiosity at a specific point just under his chin Isn't it funny how we humans are? Even in a moment of calm, fear, doubt, anxiety and black clouds suddenly loom up and appear, with claws that could destroy our future or in this case we'd become a part of someone else's dreams of fulfillment.
Day dreaming we too late see the light is yellow and narrowly escape an accident. To late we walk into a meeting to find that others have questions we are not prepared for To late we see that our distractedness has hurt others we love To late we realize that our food bag is sitting open by our side!!! Though for some reason sometimes we can find calmness, just a feeling that a smile at disaster tickles our insides, reaching for a prayer of forgiveness and guidance, with as simple a statement as "God?
And I'm just going to finish my wash up and be out of your way. At this point he could see out of the corner of his eye, the bear's head tilted some to one side, questioningly, and he rolled back his considerable tonnage onto his back hips as if to watch this stranger. The hiker continued to slowly pack up his gear, and taking out a towel and drying his hair continued to talk calmly, "you know that this is a very metaphysical encounter, you a big part of what is beautiful, and me a dreamer that is searching for that beauty.
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Then bowing and with a wave thanked him for the company, slowly backing away. Life is a wonder, what it is filled with, where it will lead you, why beauty and fear and forgiveness and serenity can all be so intermingled. Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day,. Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.
In the years of the colonies a traveling preacher was crossing the mountains when suddenly rearing up in front of him was a gigantic clawed bear with gaping toothy drooling jaws. Silence fell , and a warm light surrounded him. Peeking out through closed lids he sees the bear also on his knees with this great paws folded together. Forgotten is the insistence of moving, of going, of needing to do and be some were. And instead you are enveloped in a stillness, not a silence, but a stillness that surrounds and widens your perspective till it seems you see a wider perspective around you and hear more intricate sounds that have always existed, but were not before perceivable.
In that short time, in that pause, you know there is wholeness and a presence that also has always been there longing to give you joy and company. You feel him hold you, envelope and warm you. A Psalm of David This strikes a cord with me, a big one, a personal one. There are few people in the world with this skill, in fact the only other one that I know of and who's name will not be revealed to protect the ino This train of thought was once again brought to the surface by a book I was reading:.
From P. The idea for the article germinated out of my observation that where as millions of words have been written about how to survive when lost, absolutely nothing I had ever read had ever been written about the basic problem, how to get lost in the first place. It probably started when I was hiding from my mother in clothing stores auugg no more trying on sweaters and collard shirts!!! The point to being lost is to not know where you are. Not a good place to practice survival skills. So to be really good at using survival skills you need to find a way to be 1 panicked, 2 thirsty, 3 shelterless, and really LOST.
I can help. So here are my notes to be added to McManus's consummate and authoritative treatise on the the subject. I have found one more mechanism that is failure proof. It is best to practice running at random angles to the trail, run fast and not in a straight line, dodge trees, running with your head down is the best way. Even better is to add a hoodie or pulled down beanie so you don't have any peripheral vision the beanie also softens the blows as later discover. Run fast, run furious, run scared, run panicked and run all over the place with no purpose. Dodge trees at the last minute because you see their roots, jump rocks suddenly and go over logs with your head always down.
If you hit a few bushes and branches all the better, well just plow through them. Hopefully not hitting a tree straight on , but you will get better at this there are less knots on my head these days, [thought there is no hair]. This will remove the chance of memorizing interesting and unique objects, distinctive rock formations, uniquely curved trees, denseness of surrounding ground growth, hill steepness or precipitous drop offs. After doing this till you are out of breath, grab a stick, put your forehead on it and spin around 10 time till you drop to the ground on your back and finally now enjoy the quiet sounds and sights of truly being lost, really lost.
Of course there are many other ways to get in a good situation to practice survival skills, like falling off a ledge, following um.. Chris and steam stomping till you then leave it trekking to another different steam, then another, then wander off on the other side of a hill to maybe get home. But truthfully none fully fills my loved old memories as well as the tried and true simulation of "panicked running with no clue". Works every time.
Certain indians used to carve long grooves along the wooden shafts of their arrows. They called the grooves lightning marks because they resembled the curved fishers lightning carves down the trunks of trees. The function of the lightning marks is this, if the arrow fails to kill the game, blood from a deep wound will channel along the lightning mark steak down the arrow shaft and spatter to the ground laying a trail dripped on broad leaves on stones that the bare foot and trembling archer could follow into what ever deep or rare wilderness it leads.
Carved along my length by the unexpected lights and gashes from the very sky, and this book is the straying trail of blood" Pilgrim at Tinker creek by Annie Dillard He said , "you've heard that our life is a stage, well our lives ARE the story, a story given by God. Given for our growth, self awareness and perspective. Adirondack Dreamer. Daddy Can I Help. It's Like a Canoe. Mist on the Trail. Romance And Adventure. A Tight Dark Spot. Bee Careful.
The Strange Warning. Foot Prints in the Snow. Don't Get All Wet. The Picnic Rattle. Ghost In My Shelter. Best Friends. Good Intentions. Emergency Room. The Shadow and the Sunset. About Me. My Story List. My Takeaways from this story: In the Picnic Rattle there is an underlying message that When you want to find someone special to you, you want to know how they feel, you want to be with them, you want to watch and listen to them, covet and plan special time with them, that is the only way to know them.
Through this one small experience I grew stronger, there was a future for him, and so I also had to walk on to find my strength as well. So in this story please enjoy it, please When listening to this dynamically shaped Story , dynamically shaped by my true life experience and the audience, a live true tale which is a combination of life experience and the people that are present and interact with the teller via ooo's auu's and laughter, watch for: what "catches" you in the first 30 seconds.
Now I am stopped. Clyde Pond Windham NH. So when John Lithgow started caring for his dying father, and in desperation one night at bed time started reading an old book of stories, this is what he found happened: "My father was listening to me read him a story as if his life depended on it, and indeed it did, the story was not just diverting him, it was easing his pain, dissolving his fear, and leading him back from the brink of death. Note that it was said recently to me "so how much of this is true". Very interesting quote about storytelling I just came across by a medicine man from the Wampanoag indians of Rhode Island, it really sinks into the heart of the message that storytellers attempt to achieve From Jennifer Gyor "Willy Lilly Wool Stories" When you're in the middle of a story , it isn't a story at all but rather a confusion, a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard are powerless to stop it.
Michael Polley - Storyteller Why art? Psalm 69 It had been 40 days on the trail, actually 40 days and 40 nights to the hour and he was washing up to enjoy the sunset. Day dreaming we too late see the light is yellow and narrowly escape an accident To late we walk into a meeting to find that others have questions we are not prepared for To late we see that our distractedness has hurt others we love To late we realize that our food bag is sitting open by our side!!! Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.
This train of thought was once again brought to the surface by a book I was reading: From P.
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