Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saying Goodbye To Clyde Forsman, 1915 to 2009

Clyde Forsman, former Those Darn Accordions frontman and tireless champion of the accordion, passed away peacefully Friday night at his home in San Francisco. He died of complications from diabetes, compounded by a series of strokes, according to his family. He will be greatly missed.

A wonderful entertainer, Clyde never failed to bring a smile to the faces of his fans, whether he was knocking them dead with his takes on Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" and Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" -- which remain to this day the standard by which covers of those tunes must be measured -- or just chatting before or after a show.

With a lifetime of experience as a musician and carpenter, he always had a story to tell. His amazingly colorful tattoos (which can be seen on the covers of TDA records Squeeze This! and No Strings Attached) always caught the audience's eye. But it was Clyde's limitless charm and infectious personality that hooked 'em forever.

To say that we had some amazing times on the road together would be an understatement. Clyde's performances with TDA were legendary.

I had the honor to work side-by-side with Clyde for more than 10 years and I can tell you that his energy and humor were truly inspiring. He joined TDA at the very first gig in at San Francisco's Paradise Lounge back in 1989 at the age of 74. He stayed with us till 2000, wowing crowds at hundreds of shows.

Clyde's performances across the country won him friends everywhere we played. He was always eager to talk to fans before and after a show and regale them with countless tales, each one more amazing than the last. I know he drew great pleasure from his time spent with TDA and appreciated all the kind words and encouragement he received from his fans. Thank you all for helping make this wonderful memory for him.

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Anonymous Jeff Ahrens said...

We love everything he sang. "First Bratwurst of Summer" makes everyone at work and my family so very happy.

I never got a chance to see him perform live, but thank goodness I have every recording the great TDA to play on.

We will always love Clyde!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous sam grey said...

He will be missed.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous KIMRIC said...

He was fun to bring to parties ,and was a good source of information regarding accordions when I was starting my shop.
I will really miss him.

Kimric Smythe

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clyde was loved so much by the folks here in Milwaukee. He would make time to talk to anyone and could charm children of all ages with his maronette shows.

*Bill in Milwaukee

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clyde's version of "Beer Barrel Polka" is my all time fave. I miss him already


Clyde And Carradine. Two of my faovirte heroes lost in one week. TDA and Clyde are totally in my prayers.


9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clyde was a favorite from the first moment I saw him. I had the privilege of seeing perform several times and he has been a role model for how to grow old with style! I said to my husband that heaven would certainly be a brighter place with Clyde's colorful "illustrations" and tuneful squeezings. Squeeze on, Clyde.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous markm said...

I'll never forget introducing some friends to TDA at a MacTarnahan's Oktoberfest and watching their jaw-dropping "Oh My God" reaction to Clyde peeling off his shirt at the end of "Do You Think I'm Sexy" and showing off his tattoos. Best TDA Concert Moment Ever.

Thanks Clyde!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll miss you Uncle Clyde!

8:34 PM  
Blogger JMan said...

I remember sitting down with Clyde after a show here in Portland and talking music and tattoos over a bowl of ice cream. A cherry on top of a sweet evening. Clyde, you will be missed, but remembered with love.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clyde was a great talent & a kind & generous man...years ago, he was able to get John Lee Hooker's autograph for me on the back of his buisness card, which he also signed...i've had that little card in my wallet as a good luck charm ever since!...signed by TWO music legends :) ... at least i get to see Clyde's smilin' face every day in the big poster for TDA's
"squeeze this!" which hangs proudly in my home...i gave it a big ya, Clyde!

7:29 PM  
Blogger hokeypokey7 said...

RIP Clyde - so sorry to hear about the loss of an amazing entertainer! the accordion festival will be missing one bright light!

7:04 AM  

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