Clarence Clemons aka "The Big Man"
January 11, 1942 - June 18, 2011
(Age 69)Clarence Clemons passed away last night and the heart of the E Street Band stopped beating. Clarence Clemons hooked up with Bruce Springsteen in 1971 giving The E Street Band a distinctive sound and texture that blended perfectly with the heartfelt working class songs of The Boss. Check out the solos on "Thunder Road" and "Born to Run" to see what I mean.
I saw Springsteen and the E Street Band three times during their late 70's to late 80's heyday. Fantastic (and long) three hour shows that left you drained and energized at the same time. Rock and Roll at its finest. The interplay between The Boss, The Big Man and the rest of the band was so genuine and playful that it truly gave the audience the feeling they were invited to one huge frat party. Fun times.
Clarence Clemons also played with Jackson Browne, Aretha Franklin (amazing sax solo on "Freeway of Love") and most recently on Lady Gaga's Born This Way album.
Relevant and rockin' up to the end, Clarence Clemons died of complications from a stroke suffered last Sunday.