Monday, 20 June 2011

Clarence Clemons 1942-2011


Another light goes out with the death of E Street Band saxophonist (and lots of other things too) Clarence Clemons. I've never thought of the saxophone, tenor or otherwise as particularly rock and roll but Clemons could do things with that instrument that were very special indeed. Okay working with Springsteen would have to give anyone a huge running start (yes I know that there are people in this world - even readers of this blog among them - who don't think Springsteen is a genius but I say he is) but Clemons brought a very special gift to the party. His size (he wasn't commonly known as 'Big Man' for nothing) and startling taste in suit colours made him stand out but mostly the verve and raw honesty of his saxophone playing stood out - raw, moody and eloquent. Try his playing here on Drive All Night - a rabbit Springsteen favourite - something very special...



Two random Clemons related facts (1) He was married five times - which to some may seem like overdoing it, and (2) his middle name was Anicholas. Don't ask me why.

8 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

My Gia is devastated. A long-time Bruce Springsteen fan, she had recently met Clarence a few times as he had been playing in Florida with a friend of ours. Our friend was at the hospital the day he passed with Bruce and a bunch of other folks. Such a nice man. When he found out what a a big fan she was, he called her here at home to say hello prior to them meeting. Then when they met, he treated her like a lifelong friend.

Very sad.

mikeb302000 said...

I grew up with Bruce's music, especially Born to Run.

Sad news indeed.

sybil law said...

Clarence was amazing. He will definitely be missed.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

I had many lessons on sax and piano. I played "first chair" saxophone in my high school band and jazz band, but my sound was like humming on a comb compared to Clemons talent.

"Drive All Night" was a great Springsteen choice to showcase the sexiness of a saxophone and piano. Thanks!

helena_dagmar said...

Thanks for posting this. 1000memories created a tribute site for Clarence today - http://1000memories.com/clarence-clemons - thought you'd appreciate it.

JoJo said...

Was sad to hear of Clarence's passing, although I find springsteen to be a talentless hack. *ducks*

I could've sworn I saw Clarence w/ the Dead at a show but I can't seem to find the show on line that I was at. He played w/ them a few times.

white rabbit said...

Earl - I remember you mentioning Gia's fondness for the Boss before. Sad news indeed.

Mike - My first recollection is of 'The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle' but I did live in the same house as a guy with a huge record collection who later became a DJ just for fun...

Sybil - Yes - will never see him live now...

Catchy - I like the idea of the young Catchy blowing sax. 'Drive all Night' drips with sex and class, memory and loss.

Helena - welcome to my huimble blog and thanks for the link - I have ionvestigated.

JoJo - Now look here young woman...

'Talentless hack'??? :0

You've got me thinking...

Beethoven? Did you expect much from a deaf guy? Me neither.

Shakespeare? - Poor command of English.

Einstein? - Crashing bore. No idea what he was on about...

And yes you are right - Clemons did play with the Dead on a few occasions.

Petit fleur said...

He is missed.