Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons - RIP

Oh, that saxophone!  Today I am reminded of the albums "Asbury Park, New Jersey" and "The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle".

Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen's longtime saxophone player and a legend in the music industry, died Saturday from complications following a stroke he suffered about a week ago.

Clemons' sax has been one of the most defining elements of the E Street Band's sound. He has suffered from numerous ailments over the last few years. He had double knee surgery and even had to perform from a wheelchair at one point.

But his health seemed to be improving. Just last month, he performed with Lady Gaga on the season finale of "American Idol."

Clemons scored a Top 20 hit in 1985 with the song "You're a Friend of Mine," a duet with Jackson Browne that appears on Clemons' album "Hero." Clemons was 69 years old.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that: "Springsteen's oft-told story of his initial meeting with Clemons felt Biblical: with a lightning storm raging outside, the Big Man tore the door off an Asbury Park club, strode onstage, and made magic. Springsteen would later immortalize this meeting in "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out," a song on "Born to Run.""

Clemons was born in Norfolk, Va., to a Baptist minister who had no love for rock 'n' roll, The Star-Ledger reports. However, he got a saxophone at age 9, and when a car accident ruined his budding football career after college, he dedicated himself to music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clemons talent with the sax is what made Springsteen's music so unique. I don't know if it will ever be the same with him.