Remembering “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons (January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011)

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 20, 2011 06:55pm | Post a Comment

Clarence Clemons, the blazing sax powerhouse behind Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, passed away Saturday, June 18th at the age of 69 after hospitalization for a stroke he suffered at his home in Singer Island, Florida.

Clarence Clemons

Clemons was an original member of Springsteen's E Street Band, tearing it up with The Boss for nearly four decades.  Throughout the years, Clemons also pursued other musical projects with luminaries such as Jackson Browne, Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison, Grateful Dead, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, and even Twisted Sister ("Be Chrool to Your Scuel"). Most recently, he had collaborated with Lady Gaga on the songs "Hair" and "The Edge of Glory" from Born This Way. Impressive, but of all his guest appearances, jamming with President Clinton at the inaugural ball in 1993 might be his most memorable collaboration.

Clemons & Clinton, saxing it up.

Clemons also had an active acting career, appearing in films as diverse as Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. His television cameos were no less varied, with appearances on Diff’rent Strokes, The Weird Al Show, and The Wire.

To honor the eclectic, larger-than-life genius of Clarence Clemons, here is a sampling of videos from his diverse and wonderful life: 

"Sherry Darling" from Bruce Springsteen's The River (1980)

Clarence Clemmons and Jackson Browne's 1985 hit single "You're a Friend of Mine" from Clemons' solo album Hero. Yes, that's Daryl Hannah (Browne's then-girlfriend) doing background vocals.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Diff'rent Strokes episode (1985)

American Idol episode (2011). Lady Gaga & Clarence Clemons perform "Edge of Glory."

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Clarence Clemons (1), Bruce Springsteen (24), Sax (1), 1980s (52), Lady Gaga (23)