Jun 19, 2011

Clarence Clemons RIP

photo by Karen Kuehn
Clarence Clemons - RIP

It took me a very long time to appreciate Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Being the good contrarian, when I was a youngster I could never appreciate it for what it was without all of baggage & peripheral stuff clogging up the old enjoyment factor. A few things started to change that over time:

2. Everything But the Girl covering "Tougher Than The Rest"
3. And finally, actually seeing Springsteen and company at the Meadowlands when they got back together in the late 90's. I treated my friend Russ (always a champion of Bruce) as an apology of sorts for infractions long since forgotten. 

Its #3 there that's maybe the most important part of this small part of my musical history. It was there that I learned how important Clarence Clemons was to the E Street Band, and how he was probably the fan favorite. It was strange seeing & hearing them play...I knew so many of the songs note for note, like you do classic rock songs from albums that you never actually owned, because you heard them on the radio so often. For some reason, every time Clarence stepped up and started playing his parts & solos, I was surprised. This guy wasn't just a saxophone player - he was an integral part of the band. Arguably as important as Springsteen himself. He also had a sound as identifiable, if not the skills, of a Coltrane or Parker. Of course any Springsteen fan might tell you this, but I needed to figure it out for myself. And I at that moment did.

Born To Run photos by Eric Meola

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails