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Clyde Forsman



Photo: Randy Magnus

Photo: Bill Schlafer

Photo: Bill Schlafer

Photo: Patty Brady

Photo: Randy Magnus

Photo: Bill Schlafer

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.

-Paul Rogers



Am so sorry to hear this news, but I remember the first time we saw you in Indiana on vacation.  My friend played accordian and that is why we went back in '95.  Amazing!  Wonderful!  Memorable part of our vacation.  My friend passed in '96 but I still have the Cassettes we both loved to listen to.  Clyde was so impressive to the group and we both just had the greatest time in our lives being with you all.  He will be with you in Spirit, on stage and in your hearts.  We only met him once and he was remarkable and just loved life.  I believe we all felt his vitality and love of what he was doing.  God Bless him and his memory will live on.
- Claudia Paolone

So sorry to hear about Clyde. His presence in your group was magical.
Condolences to you and to his family.
-Gary Stockdale

Wow, believe it or not I was jus thinking about him the other day. Such sad news.
-John Shea

A very sad day.  Because he asked, yes, I did think he was sexy.
-M.E. Sprengelmeyer

I will never forget the first time I saw Clyde take his shirt off....
(Or the first time I heard TDA, for that matter, at a Bumbershoot which may literally have been decades ago. Both events changed me on the molecular level.)
Thank you for letting us know...I had wondered if he was still alive, and had said that much to my friend Kris the other day. Frankly, we were sort of afraid to ask.
To say that he will not be forgotten is a major understatement.
- Lauralee

I always smile when I think of him, and willl continue to remember him fondly.
-Ken Brath

Thank you for letting us know. I always enjoyed him when he played with you and he was such a gracious person spending so much time with fans after the show . . . and yes he had some really great stories.
-Ken Brath

Clyde was before my "time with TDA" and I can only imagine who he was and the enjoyment you must have known as his friend and cohort.  He was clearly at the omnipresent center of the band (that center which is everywhere).   I wish I'd known him and known the band in those days.
Sincere condolences.
-Marc Glassgold

Sorry to hear about Clyde's passing.  I think it's safe to say that he was a legend to say the least.  Would it be possible to pass on the obituary?  I would very much enjoy reading about his accomplishments throughout his life.
-Rick Thorstad

[NOTE: We will post Clyde's obituary here when available.]

It is indeed a sad day. Our condolonces to his family and friends. He will be missed but not forgotten.
-Sarah Jourabchi

I am sincerely sorry to hear of this great man's passing. Knowing he was on the planet was such an inspiration in so many ways: puppets, accordions, an infectious smile and legions of anecdotes from life. Who could not fall in love with him, even in the few minutes one got to talk to him after shows? Let us know how we can honor his memory.
-C.T. Adams

We saw him in the early days. So very sorry. We extend our sympathies to all of his family and friends.
-Barbara and Brooks George

I'll never forget sitting down for a bowl of ice cream with Clyde after a show here in Portland. We just talked about music and tats, great show and capped off by some time with a legend.
-Gregg Jensen

One of my favorite things about Clyde is how we first met him:
Before TDA! was a band, it was a one-shot deal at the Paradise
Lounge, an opportunity for Linda to fulfill her dream of hearing
a dozen accordions playing "Lady of Spain" (how little we knew!).
She called everyone she knew who had an accordion, little caring
(at least in my case) whether they knew how to play it.
We rehearsed a mix of traditional accordion fare like "Beer Barrel"
and unlikely numbers like "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", then
-- long before we were ready -- booked a date. Impishly, Linda
mentioned in the publicity that "anyone with an accordion gets
in free".
Clyde was the only person who took us up on the offer. "Here's
my accordion; where do you want me?" he asked as we were
sound-checking. We got him a chair in the corner of the stage,
and he gamely joined us on the standards he knew, bemusedly
sat out the new-fangled stuff, and was a complete hit with the
audience and with us. I don't think there was any question about
asking him to join, once it looked like there would be a life beyond
the Paradise for the group.
I hope there's a beer in heaven for him.


Visit to hear "The Story of Clyde."


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