Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tex Eck here. Mrs. Tex Eck, who I refer to as "K" has done the yeoman's work of launching this viper and will likely be there for you day to day. Think of Tex Eck more as the the Peter O'Toole character in the film My Favorite Year who barges into the the room and proclaims "If I were drunk could I do this..." Tex Eck expected his first post to center on the first use of Dallas mass transit or any number of topics related to local food preparation but circumstances dictate otherwise. The greater Dallas area has a fantastic music scene and one of the icons of the music that made Tex Eck who he is has passed. The Big Man. Clarence Clemons.

Tex Eck first saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live in 1987 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma Washington. Had a learner's permit but no license so Father had to drive Tex Eck about an hour to the T-Dome. (The world's largest all wooden dome which Father designed- another post) It was the the Tunnel of Love tour. Important for many reasons. First, the Born in the USA tour a couple of years earlier never played in Tacoma because Bruce got sick. Supposedly from the locally tolerable but otherwise toxic Aroma of Tacoma that wafted from an arsenic plant just a mile from the event. Second, and as a result of the first, Bruce played the longest (4 plus hours) and generally regarded as the best show of the tour that night. Tex Eck still remembers his opening: "Last time I was here I was sick as a dog. But I feel great tonight!" Third, and finally, Tunnel of Love was some of the best song writing Bruce had done to that point. It was a marked departure from Born in the USA, which, although it made him a mega star, also disillusioned him when the title track was adopted by Ronald Reagan as an almost second nation anthem. Tex Eck is sitting here on the 4th of July listening to endless snippets from the song over various sporting events. They never seem to play the lyric "first kick I took was when I hit the ground." Hmm.

Anyway, the album about failed marriage and lost middle age dreams was recorded at the then standard of 80s synthesizers and tin pop drums. But live, and here we get to the Big Man, the great songs came alive. Sax was Tex Eck's axe back in those days and the Big Man got long, sprawling solos that would make Gerry Garcia need to pause for a smoke. Father came to pick Tex Eck up and was allowed in to watch the last two hours of the show.

All you need to do is open the album (yes ALBUM cover) of Born to Run and witness the pure joy these artists shared over more than 30 years. So Tex Eck is going to drop the needle on Jungle Land and get lost in some old memories.

More to come


  1. Only saw Bruce and Clarence once. Tour for The Rising, it was pretty powerful. Live music is always the best, I hope you and K have a chance to see many good shows in Texas.

  2. Saw them in W00-ster Massachusetts, on said Opening Night of said Tunnel of Love Tour. Bad news: I had to go with my mom. Good news: We had great seats up a few rows stage left with a great view of His Bossness. First night he played the acoustic version of Born to Run that became famous. They recorded the single the third night, if I recall.

    There is simply magic in the Jungleland solo by the Big Man which is an indelible part of rock history. He was a giant. Hard to believe he's gone.