Mr. Antone has left the building.
I was sitting down for supper at Threadgills for a vegetable plate when the manager told me the news. Later that day, I got a call from a musician pal who figured I'd unload some dirt on a much beloved local music figure. Much to his chagrin, I must report that I am in fact quite sad to see Clifford gone. Many tributes will we written about the man, so I feel no need to add to the chorus of folks who were better off for his influence. He was nothing but generous to me every time I ever encountered him. He went out of his way to be complimentary, saying "you play that bass just Willie Dixon, man, ain't nobody do it like you do no more" which coming from him I accepted as a major compliment.
Today I went to the public veiwing and said a Kaddish for him. Very much the late Doug Sahm, Clifford was a real, live, 100% fully formed complex Character. One of the real giants actually. Not a lot of folks have been neighborly or even supportive of my musical endevours here in Austin. But Doug and Clifford always made me feel like one of the gang: freaked out music fans and life long students of the Blues.
It will be very, very hard to remove his entry from my rolodex.