By Mike Thompson
It's with a great deal of sadness that I share with you the passing today of Clifford Antone. He was found dead today in his home in South Austin. Cause of death has not been announced at this time.
Clifford Antone by Todd V. Wolfson
An Austin icon, Antone was the owner of Antone's, "The Home Of The Blues." But to say that he was just a club owner would be to say Muddy Waters was just some guy who liked to carry around a guitar. Clifford was a friend to all and had it not been for him, Austin would never have been pegged, "The Live Music Capitol Of The World." He befriended many a bluesman in the 1970's when they were sadly passed by in favor of other, more "modern" music. He'd bring Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and countless others to Austin and give them a gig for a week at the original Antone's on 6th Street. He'd feed them. He'd take care of them. Recently, he made arrangements for Pinetop Perkins to move to Austin so that he could be among friends, fans and receive proper medical care. Not to mention a good roof over his head.
That's the kind of guy Clifford Antone was. It's not a stretch by any means that to say without Antone, there would have been no Stevie Ray Vaughan, Double Trouble and so many other bands and individuals who have gone on to fame. I'll miss Clifford. He was a real, genuine guy with a passion for music that was unequaled. Always had a smile on his face. When he'd see you his face would light up and he would walk right at you, arm outstretched, shake your hand and engage in conversation as if you were the only person in the world at that very moment. They don't make them like Clifford anymore and no one can replace him.
So as you read this, give thanks for Clifford Antone's time here on earth. Whether you know it or not, if you dig music, Clifford was your friend as well. And raise a glass and toast the passing of a legend. We're fortunate to have occupied the planet the same time he did.
JamBase | Austin
Rest In Peace