Jake Clemons’s Midrash on Bruce Springsteen
At each show, the most striking musical difference between the old E Street Band and the new was the increasing prominence given to Jake Clemons. His playing grew stronger, his willingness to take center stage more pronounced. After a few performances, he was moon-walking across the stage. And yet every time Springsteen paid tribute to Clarence Clemons Jake seemed overcome, pounding his chest with a double tap of respect for his uncle and appreciation of the crowd’s response. “Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Jake said. “A Springsteen show is a lot of things, and it’s partly a religious experience. Maybe he comes from the line of David, a shepherd boy who could play beautiful music, so that the crazy become less crazy and Saul the king finally chills out. Religion is a system of rules and order and expectations, and it unites people in a purpose. There really is a component of Bruce that is supernatural. Bruce is Moses! He led the people out of the land of disco!”
Don’t worry, I don’t think that Bruce is supernatural, but I liked Jake’s use of Biblical imagery to describe what Bruce Springsteen embodies as a performer. See here for an earlier post on Biblical imagery in Springsteen lyrics.