A shout out to the Big Man
A quick shout out to the Big Man, Clarence Clemmons, saxophonist for the E Street Band (and Lady Gaga apparently, hmmm), who is reportedly seriously ill after suffering a stroke. Sending thoughts and prayers and healing vibes out for a speedy recovery. Here’s a quick and dirty top five of my favorite CC performances.
There’s so much joy in the song, and some much of comes from the rocking sax (apologies for the ads if you get them beforehand):
“Together Wendy we’ll live with the sadness, I love you with all the madness in my soul.” That may be my favorite lyric ever written, but the sax solo just KILLS (and is it just me, or does it look like Max Weinberg is always trying to balance something on top of his head while playing? every part of his body is flailing except for his head. That cracks me up.):
Two great things about this version of The Promised Land. One is how Clarence keeps his powder dry for the first half of the song, content to bang away on the tambourine and then about 2:45 in – BOOM – he unleashes the killer solo. The second is watching Bruce’s reaction to the Big Man doing his thing. Fantastic.
Older, bruised, and battered, but still out there doing his thing, especially around the 4:20 mark.
And last but not least, not the best quality video in the world (you don’t really even see CC until the end), but you can’t listen to this without smiling and singing along. Always loved the little flourishes CC adds to this along the way. Worth it as well for the story at the end.
Get well soon, Big Man. The world needs more of you.
UPDATE: We’ve lost the Big Man. He passed away Saturday afternoon. Listening to that middle third of Jungleland on repeat and reflecting on what a loss this is for the world of music. RIP.