The flags in New Jersey are flying at half mast today morning the passing of Bruce Springsteen’s larger than life bandmate, saxophone player Clarence Clemons at the age of 69. While known the world over for being the face and sound of Springsteen’s E Street Band, Clemons talents branched out to all outlets of the entertainment industry.
As a sax player, he had played on Aretha Franklin’s hit “Freeway of Love” and has played with other legends such as Darlene Love, Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr’s original “All-Starr Band” and on Lady Gaga’s current single “The Edge of Glory” which Clemons is the only one in the video besides Gaga.
In television and film, Clemons had made several appearances most of which with saxophone in hand. He made his acting debut in Martin Scorsese’s 1977 musical “New York, New York”. He also appeared as part of The Louisiana Gator Boys super group in “Blues Brothers 2000”, a music teacher on “Diff’rent Strokes” and as one of The Three Most Important People in the World in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.
But Clarence will always be remembered for being the man standing by Bruce Springsteen’s side with The E Street Band for nearly 40 years. At every show Bruce did with the band, during the introductions, he always saved Clarence’s introduction for last. Why? Because there was no doubt to anyone on the stage or in the crowd, that Clarence Clemons, was, is, and forever will be, the heart and soul of the Legendary E Street Band. I, like many others, have had the chance to witness this on several occasions. To describe the experience in a word: magic. What he gave and the legacy he leaves behind cannot be measured.
Here in New Jersey he is royalty, one of our own and will be missed and remembered always.