Friends with the ‘Big Man’
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Friends with the ‘Big Man’

How Clarence Clemons came to the Shomrei Torah dinner

No one expected Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, to show up at the at the 2006 Shomrei Torah of Fair Lawn dinner honoring his long-time friend Abe Fishweicher and play the national anthem. In another surprise, he played a love song for Fishweicher and his wife, Renee, who was also an honoree.

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Abe Fishweicher and Clarence Clemons courtesy Abe Fishweicher

Clemons and Fishweicher, a financial adviser from Fair Lawn, first met at a gym 11 years ago. “He was a very spiritual man,” Fishweicher told The Jewish Standard.

Clemons was fascinated, Fishweicher said, when the Fair Lawn man told him a Midrashic tale from Genesis. From then on the two remained friends until Clemons’ death two weeks ago.

“We spoke on the phone almost every day for 11 years,” said Fishweicher. “I never told him what I did for a living because I wanted to be his friend.” Fishweicher explained that he wanted a personal relationship, not a business one, with the musician.

As it turned out, while Fishweicher advised Clemons on personal matters, he also advised him on various financial matters and accompanied Clemons to Los Angles where the musician performed with Lady Gaga on “American Idol.”

Clemons even came to the Fishweichers’ daughter’s wedding and was given the honor of signing the marriage license as a witness.

“He was very kind and humble,” said Fishweicher. “Every waitress and busboy he treated like royalty.” He was also a very firm believer in God, said Fishweicher, and “used the saxophone to spread God’s glory to the world.”

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