Sunday, June 19, 2011

Born to Run: RIP Clarence Clemons

My family is a Bruce Springsteen family.  My dad was introduced to him by his brothers and saw him in around two dozen concerts, probably more.  When my parents started dating, my dad took my mom to a few concerts and when they lived together, those were some of the first albums played in the house.  My sister and I were born into a house playing Springsteen (not literally, we were born in a hospital, but you get the picture).  I knew the words to Born to Run and Born in the USA when I was around 6 years old. Granted, I didn't know what the songs meant, I just like the rhythms and the drums...and the saxophone.  By 8 years old, I could pick out Clarence Clemons in just about any song.  His style and technique is so unique, there isn't a soul who can make a saxophone sing like Clarence could. And lets be honest, he wasn't half bad at the tambourine either! When I began playing the saxophone in college, I knew I would never get close to his talents, but it was his music that inspired me to want to play.

Below are a few youtube videos featuring the Big Man, including an epic intro that Bruce gave him in England one time, a great Jungleland solo and, my personal favorite, his Born to Run solos.  The Born to Run video is from a live concert and is a little movement-happy, but the views of Clarence is great, plus I love what Bruce did to him in that video.

To quote something that I saw posted on a youtube video: Heaven is having one hell of a jam session right now! Rest in Peace Clarence and thank you for sharing all of your gifts with us.

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