Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Big Man 1942-2011

Oh hell, this is just such sad news: Clarence Clemons, the legend-in-his-own-right saxophone player of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band (and probably the greatest stage foil/second banana in rock history) died over the weekend at the (too young) age of 69.

Of course, in recent years, as the jazz and r&b influences almost completely disappeared from Springsteen's music (for whatever reason), Clemons, alas, had less and less to do, both on record or onstage. In fact, by 2007 and Bruce's Magic album, which I actually love, you could barely hear CC playing the glam-rock/ersatz Phil Spector horn lines buried in the mix of the wonderful "Girls in Their Summer Clothes"...

Bruce Springsteen - Girls In Their Summer Clothes .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

..and as a result, it has become fashionable of late in certain critical circles to say that the guy was in fact a rather mediocre player.

Of course, to the people who say that, I can only reply -- Clarence wailed the passionate, soaring and gloriously melodic extended sax solo on "Jungleland"...

...and just out of curiosity, what have you ever done that's remotely as memorable and moving? Or likely to be of as much interest to anybody fifty or one hundred years hence?