Clarence Clemons, the longtime saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, died on Saturday, a week after suffering a stroke. He was 69.
While best known for his decades with “The Boss,” Clemons led his own bands, the Red Bank Rockers and the Temple of Soul, and his contributions can be heard on music from the likes of Aretha Franklin and Lady Gaga.
On meeting Springsteen
In the early 1980s, Clemons sat down for an interview on the Alan Thicke Show, describing his first time playing with Springsteen as magic. “And it’s been that way ever since.” This segment also features a performance of “A Woman’s Got the Power” by Clarence Clemons & the Red Bank Rockers.
Performing “Jungleland” in 1978
Clemons’s big-toned sound is featured in Springsteen’s “Jungleland,” with a solo starting around the 4-minute mark.
Music video for “Born to Run”
Clemons’s solo begins around the 2-minute mark.
On playing with the E Street Band
In this 2009 interview, he spoke of how his faith influences how he approaches music. “Rock-and-roll to me is very serious because we deal with the young people. We deal with people who need something. and that’s the same thing that a preacher does. He feeds you something that you need spiritually in your soul and in your makeup,” Clemons said.
‘This is the best the band has ever been’
(via RollingStone on YouTube)
Clemons talked with Rolling Stone in 2009 about his book “Big Man,” recounting his early days as a saxophonist and the time when a car ran over his foot before a gig and he still went on stage. (That part begins around the 1:55 mark.)
Playing the national anthem
Clemons performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Florida Marlins opening day game against the New York Mets in April.
Clarence Clemons, 1942-2011
(via AP on YouTube)
Did you see “the Big Man” in action? Share your stories in the comments section.