A one of a kind man has passed away today…Clifford Antone, the legendary supporter of the blues…the man who created Antone’s records and the forever club of the same name here in Austin, Tx.
Clifford was a gentle giant, at least with me. He always had the hint of a smile around his lips, a sparkle in his eyes. He helped Texans from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Charlie Sexton to 54 Seconds… and every true blues legend you can think of…
Particular memories come to mind for me:
On behalf of Any Baby Can, Clifford tied on a supermarket apron and helped sack groceries at Randall’s at Christmas. We were one aisle over from another, and he was laughing cuz I couldn’t stop singing Christmas songs to the shoppers.
The times I played at Antones…these stand out: the original stage off of Guadalupe (at least, I think that was the original spot…) where I opened for Omar and The Howlers…and the new location, downtown, where he had me open for Robert Fripp.
Standing in the kitchen at Alan and Eileen Luecke’s house during a party, leaning my head on Clifford’s shoulder and us just grinning.
Thank you, Clifford, for fighting your battles and believing in the artists and their music.
You will be greatly missed and never forgotten.