Das erste Treffen - Soloalben - Andere Künstler - Hollywood - Buchautor - Walk of Fame - Tod - Wrecking Ball

Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons erblickte am 11. Januar 1942 in Norfolk, VA das Licht der Welt. Beeinflusst von der Musik von King Curtis und Gato Barbieri, erlernte er schon in jungen Jahren das Saxophonspielen. Clarence traf Bruce Springsteen erstmals am 4. September 1971, als er mit der Band "The Joyful Noyze" in Asbury Park, NJ gastierte. Ab dem Frühjahr 1972 war Clarence Clemons festes Mitglied der E Street Band.
Am 12. Juni 2011 erlitt der "Big Man" einen schweren Schlaganfall. Clarence Clemons starb am 18. Juni 2011 im Kreise seiner Familie.

One night we were playing in Asbury Park. I'd heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince and on a break between sets I walked over there. On-stage, Bruce used to tell different versions of this story but I'm a Baptist, remember, so this is the truth. A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were on-stage, but staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, "I want to play with your band," and he said, "Sure, you do anything you want." The first song we did was an early version of "Spirit In The Night". Bruce and I looked at each other and didn't say anything, we just knew. We knew we were the missing links in each other's lives. He was what I'd been searching for. In one way he was just a scrawny little kid. But he was a visionary. He wanted to follow his dream. So from then on I was part of history
- Clarence Clemons
Clarence Clemons trifft Bruce Springsteen im Herbst 1970

"The Joyful Noyze" war in den frühen 1970er Jahre eine angesagte Tribute Band in New Jersey.
Die Combo, die aus dem Organisten Norman Seldin, dem Gitarristen Hal Hollander, dem Schlagzeuger Barry Thompson und der Sängerin Karen Cassidy bestand, spielte hauptsächlich Top 40’s Oldies. Ende 1970 besuchte Clarence Clemons ein Joyful Noyze Konzert im "White Elephant" in Neptune, NJ und wurde von Norman Seldin prompt als Saxophonist engagiert.
Zwischen dem 16. Juli 1971 und dem 5. September 1971 gastierten "The Joyful Noyze" für sieben Wochen in der "Wonder Bar" in Asbury Park, NJ. Am 4. September 1971 trat die Band nicht auf und Clarence Clemons nutze seinen freien Tag, um im "Student Prince" eine Show der
"Bruce Springsteen Band" zu sehen.
Clarence Clemons und Bruce Springsteen trafen sich an diesem Abend zum ersten Mal und spielten einige Songs. Wenige Monate später wurde Clarence Clemons eingeladen, an Bruce Springsteens erstem Studioalbum
"Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ" mitzuarbeiten.
Clarence Clemons Soloalben:
1983: Rescue
Jump Start My Heart / Rock & Roll DJ / Money to the Rescue / Woman's Got the Power / Man in Love / Heartache #99 / Savin' Up / Resurrection Shuffle 
1986: Hero
You're a Friend of Mine / Temptation / It's Alright With Me Girl / Liberation Fire / Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) / I Wanna Be Your Hero / Cross the Line / Kissin' on U / Christina 
1989: A Night With Mr. C
Quarter to Three / Tonight You're Mine, Baby / Shotgun / Man / Dance, Dance, Dance / Big Blue / Cowboys and Indians / Forgiveness / Twistin' the Night Away
1995: Peacemaker
Peace Prayer / Into the Blue Forest / Abraxas / Miracle / Serenity / Spirit Dance
2002: Live In Asbury Park
Washington Bond / Small Things / CC Angel / Sax In The City / Heat Of A Full Moon / One Step Two Step / Jump Start My Heart / Livin Without You / Fatha John / Don't Walk Away / Paradise By The C / Road To Paradise / Savin' Up 

2004: Live In Asbury Park Vol. II
Another Place / Fatha John / Livin' Without You / Confession / Road To Paradise / You're A Friend Of Mine / I'll Go Crazy / Raise Your Hand / Lights Of The City / Pink Cadillac 

Arbeiten mit anderen Künstlern: 
Clarence Clemons landete 1985 einen grossen Hit mit "You're A Friend of Mine". Ausserdem spielte er Saxophone bei Aretha Franklin und veröffentlichte in Japan eine CD mit dem Songwriter Aja Kim. Ferner arbeitete er mit Peter Maffay, Grateful Dead, Gary US Bonds, Twisted Sister, Gloria Estefan, The Four Tops, Zucchero, Scarlet Rivera, Lisa Stansfield, Joe Cocker, Roy Orbison, Luther Vandross, Joan Armatrading, Jude Johnstone und vielen anderen Künstlern zusammen.

Handyfoto: Clarence Clemons & Lady Gaga

Ausserdem ist Clarence Clemons Saxophonspiel im Mai 2011 auf dem Lady Gaga Album "Born this Way" zu hören. Der Künstler trat mit Lady Gaga beim Finale der "American Idol" TV-Show auf und gab "The Edge of Glory" aus dem aktuellen Album der Sängerin zum Besten.
Clarence Clemons in Hollywood:

Neben der Musik zählt auch der Film zu Clarence Steckenpferden. Unter anderem wirkte er neben Robert De Niro und Liza Minelli in der 1977er Martin Scorsese Produktion "New York, New York" mit. Ausserdem in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989), "Fatal Instinct" (1993), "Blues Brothers 2000" (1998) und "Swing" (2000).
Des weiteren kam im Frühjahr 2011 eine Dokumentation über Clarence Clemons "Suche nach dem eigenen Ich" in die Kinos. Der amerikanische Filmemacher und Schriftsteller Nick Mead berichtet über Clarence Clemons Reise nach China.
“Who Do I Think I Am?” wurde zum ersten Mal auf dem "Garden State Film Fest" im April 2011 gezeigt.

"Who Do I Think I Am?"
Clarence Clemons, affectionately known worldwide as The Big Man, has captivated audiences’ for over forty years with his distinguished ability for making his saxophone speak a universal language; he has the unique power to move listeners with the melody of his very soul. His accomplishments are a vast spectrum of impressive artistic endeavors. Clarence has never restricted himself to one form of creative expression; he always draws from his wide array of talents. In addition to an ever lengthening roster of live concert performances and recording projects, his credits include a growing portfolio of dramatic and comedic appearances, for both film and television.

For more than 3 decades Mr. Clemons has lofted Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band to become, as some have deemed it, the greatest rock and roll band in the world.
Mr. Clemons continues to add roles to his performing arts resume in both television and motion pictures. He has appeared in several television series ranging from situation comedies to intensely riveting dramas. He has guest starred in television shows such as Different Strokes, the Tracey Ullman Show, Nash Bridges, My Wife and Kids, That’s Life, The Sentinel, Viper and JBO’s hit series The Wire. He has had several featured roles on the big screen: Martin Sorcese’s New York, New York, Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Blues Brothers 2000, and Swing. He is now utilizing his talents for writing scripts and musical scores for television and film. 

Clarence Clemons has a larger-than-life persona on, as well as off stage. To be touched by his creativity in any medium is an awe-inspiring experience, as The Boss says “You all want to be him but you can’t.” 

Clarence Clemons als Buchautor:

2009 veröffentlichte der "Big Man" seine Memoiren. Unter dem Titel "Big Man - Real Life & Tall Tales” erschien im Verlagshaus “Hachette Book Group / Grand Central Publishing” ein 366 Seiten umfassendes Werk mit vielen Geschichten Rund um Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

Das Buch erschien im Mai 2015 auch in deutscher Sprache.
Für die deutsche Übersetzung sorgte Rüdiger Uetzmann (boss49 in unserem Bruce Springsteen Fan Forum).
“Big Man: Mein abenteuerliches Leben” umfasst 384 Seiten und erzählt Clarence Clemons Lebensgeschichte.
Der legendäre E Street Band Saxofonist hat urkomische, mitunter haarsträubende Geschichten über ein reiches, bewegtes Musikerdasein, die tiefe Freundschaft zu Bruce Springsteen und allerhand merkwürdige Begegnungen und Erlebnisse mit Co-Autor Don Reo niedergeschrieben.
Mit grosser Lust fabuliert er dabei eigene Legenden, die die Grenzen zwischen Fiktion und Realität immer wieder verschwimmen lassen. Sein Buch ist höchster Lesegenuss und bietet einen authentischen Blick hinter die Kulissen der grössten existierenden Rock-Band der Welt.
Clarence Clemons - Walk of Fame, Norfolk, VA:

Der in Norfolk (Virginia) geborene Clarence Clemons bekam am 17. April 2007 auf dem “Norfolk Walk of Fame” seinen eigenen Stern. Er folgte damit Künstlern wie Ella Fitzgerald, Bruce Hornsby und Pearl Bailey. Die Aufnahme-Zeremonie fand am 18. April 2007 mit einem Konzert im “Roper Performing Arts Center” statt.

Clarence Clemons Tod:
E Street Band Saxophonist Clarence Clemons erlitt am 12. Juni 2011 einen Schlaganfall. “Associated Press” bestätigte Tags darauf, dass der “Big Man” mit Lähmungserscheinungen in ein Krankenhaus in Palm Beach, FL eingeliefert werden musste. 

Das "Rolling Stone Magazin" schrieb (13. Juni 2011):

E Street Band Saxophonist Clarence Clemons has Suffered a Stroke
Rolling Stone can confirm reports that Clarence Clemons has had a stroke. The news broke this evening at 411.com, which reported that Clemons is “seriously ill after a stroke at his home in Florida.

Bruce Springsteen und Nils Lofgren übermittelten über das Internet Genesungswünsche:

Bruce Springsteen (14. Juni 2011):

By now, many of you have heard that our beloved comrade and sax player Clarence Clemons has suffered a serious stroke. While all initial signs are encouraging, Clarence will need much care and support to achieve his potential once again. He has his wonderfully supportive wife, Victoria, excellent doctors and health care professionals, and is surrounded by friends and family.

I thank you all for your prayers and positive energy and concern. This is a time for us all to share in a hopeful spirit that can ultimately inspire Clarence to greater heights.

Bruce Springsteen

Nils Lofgren (17. Juni 2011):

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all in good health and spirits. As many of you know, Clarence Clemons, my beloved friend and bandmate of many years has suffered a stroke and we ask for all your continued prayers, good thoughts and wishes for Clarence and his family.
Clarence and I have stood side by side through countless challenges and adventures, on stage and off. I love and cherish that friendship and journey dearly. My wife Amy and I ask all of you to join us in sending positive thoughts and prayers out to Clarence and his wife and family, as he fights to recover.
Peace and Believe. – Nils

Clarence Clemons erlag am 18. Juni 2011 in einem Krankenhaus in Palm Beach, FL seiner schweren Krankheit. Am Samstag, den 18. Juli soll sich Clarence Clemons Zustand drastisch verschlechtert haben. Sein Tod trat gegen 19.00 Uhr ein. 

Bruce Springsteens Nachruf vom 18. Juni 2011:

It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.
Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.

Am 21. Juni 2011 fand in der “Royal Poinciana Chapel” in West Palm Beach, FL eine Trauerfeier für Clarence Clemons statt. Anwesend waren 150 enge Freunde - darunter auch die Mitglieder der E Street Band, Jackson Browne, Clarence Clemons Ehefrau Victoria, Miami Heat Präsident Pat Riley sowie Clarence Neffe Jake.
Nach der Messe, die von Reverend Robert Norris und Clarence Clemons Bruder gelesen wurde, hielt Bruce Springsteen eine Rede und spielte den Song “10th Avenue Freeze Out”. Clarence Clemons Asche wurde gemäss seines letzten Willens an einem geliebten Ort auf Hawaii verstreut.

Bruce Springsteens Abschiedsrede:

I've been sitting here listening to everyone talk about Clarence and staring at that photo of the two of us right there. It's a picture of Scooter and The Big Man, people who we were sometimes. As you can see in this particular photo, Clarence is admiring his muscles and I'm pretending to be nonchalant while leaning upon him. I leaned on Clarence a lot; I made a career out of it in some ways.

Those of us who shared Clarence's life, shared with him his love and his confusion. Though "C" mellowed with age, he was always a wild and unpredictable ride. Today I see his sons Nicky, Chuck, Christopher and Jarod sitting here and I see in them the reflection of a lot of C's qualities. I see his light, his darkness, his sweetness, his roughness, his gentleness, his anger, his brilliance, his handsomeness, and his goodness. But, as you boys know your pop was a not a day at the beach. "C" lived a life where he did what he wanted to do and he let the chips, human and otherwise, fall where they may. Like a lot of us your pop was capable of great magic and also of making quite an amazing mess. This was just the nature of your daddy and my beautiful friend. Clarence's unconditional love, which was very real, came with a lot of conditions. Your pop was a major project and always a work in progress. "C" never approached anything linearly, life never proceeded in a straight line. He never went A... B.... C.... D. It was always A... J.... C.... Z... Q... I....! That was the way Clarence lived and made his way through the world. I know that can lead to a lot of confusion and hurt, but your father also carried a lot of love with him, and I know he loved each of you very very dearly.

It took a village to take care of Clarence Clemons. Tina, I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for taking care of my friend, for loving him. Victoria, you've been a loving, kind and caring wife to Clarence and you made a huge difference in his life at a time when the going was not always easy. To all of "C's" vast support network, names too numerous to mention, you know who you are and we thank you. Your rewards await you at the pearly gates. My pal was a tough act but he brought things into your life that were unique and when he turned on that love light, it illuminated your world. I was lucky enough to stand in that light for almost 40 years, near Clarence's heart, in the Temple of Soul.

So a little bit of history: from the early days when Clarence and I traveled together, we'd pull up to the evening's lodgings and within minutes "C" would transform his room into a world of his own. Out came the colored scarves to be draped over the lamps, the scented candles, the incense, the patchouli oil, the herbs, the music, the day would be banished, entertainment would come and go, and Clarence the Shaman would reign and work his magic, night after night. Clarence's ability to enjoy Clarence was incredible. By 69, he'd had a good run, because he'd already lived about 10 lives, 690 years in the life of an average man. Every night, in every place, the magic came flying out of C's suitcase. As soon as success allowed, his dressing room would take on the same trappings as his hotel room until a visit there was like a trip to a sovereign nation that had just struck huge oil reserves. "C" always knew how to live. Long before Prince was out of his diapers, an air of raunchy mysticism ruled in the Big Man's world. I'd wander in from my dressing room, which contained several fine couches and some athletic lockers, and wonder what I was doing wrong! Somewhere along the way all of this was christened the Temple of Soul; and "C" presided smilingly over its secrets, and its pleasures. Being allowed admittance to the Temple's wonders was a lovely thing.

As a young child my son Sam became enchanted with the Big Man... no surprise. To a child Clarence was a towering fairy tale figure, out of some very exotic storybook. He was a dreadlocked giant, with great hands and a deep mellifluous voice sugared with kindness and regard. And... to Sammy, who was just a little white boy, he was deeply and mysteriously black. In Sammy's eyes, "C" must have appeared as all of the African continent, shot through with American cool, rolled into one welcoming and loving figure. So... Sammy decided to pass on my work shirts and became fascinated by Clarence's suits and his royal robes. He declined a seat in dad's van and opted for "C's" stretch limousine, sitting by his side on the slow cruise to the show. He decided dinner in front of the hometown locker just wouldn't do, and he'd saunter up the hall and disappear into the Temple of Soul.

Of course, also enchanted was Sam's dad, from the first time I saw my pal striding out of the shadows of a half empty bar in Asbury Park, a path opening up before him; here comes my brother, here comes my sax man, my inspiration, my partner, my lifelong friend. Standing next to Clarence was like standing next to the baddest ass on the planet. You were proud, you were strong, you were excited and laughing with what might happen, with what together, you might be able to do. You felt like no matter what the day or the night brought, nothing was going to touch you. Clarence could be fragile but he also emanated power and safety, and in some funny way we became each other's protectors; I think perhaps I protected "C" from a world where it still wasn't so easy to be big and black. Racism was ever present and over the years together, we saw it. Clarence's celebrity and size did not make him immune. I think perhaps "C" protected me from a world where it wasn't always so easy to be an insecure, weird and skinny white boy either. But, standing together we were badass, on any given night, on our turf, some of the baddest asses on the planet. We were united, we were strong, we were righteous, we were unmovable, we were funny, we were corny as hell and as serious as death itself. And we were coming to your town to shake you and to wake you up. Together, we told an older, richer story about the possibilities of friendship that transcended those I'd written in my songs and in my music. Clarence carried it in his heart. It was a story where the Scooter and the Big Man not only busted the city in half, but we kicked ass and remade the city, shaping it into the kind of place where our friendship would not be such an anomaly. And that... that's what I'm gonna miss. The chance to renew that vow and double down on that story on a nightly basis, because that is something, that is the thing that we did together... the two of us. Clarence was big, and he made me feel, and think, and love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man? Too fucking big to die. And that's just the facts. You can put it on his grave stone, you can tattoo it over your heart. Accept it... it's the New World.

Clarence doesn't leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.

So, I'll miss my friend, his sax, the force of nature his sound was, his glory, his foolishness, his accomplishments, his face, his hands, his humor, his skin, his noise, his confusion, his power, his peace. But his love and his story, the story that he gave me, that he whispered in my ear, that he allowed me to tell... and that he gave to you... is gonna carry on. I'm no mystic, but the undertow, the mystery and power of Clarence and my friendship leads me to believe we must have stood together in other, older times, along other rivers, in other cities, in other fields, doing our modest version of god's work... work that's still unfinished. So I won't say goodbye to my brother, I'll simply say, see you in the next life, further on up the road, where we will once again pick up that work, and get it done.

Big Man, thank you for your kindness, your strength, your dedication, your work, your story. Thanks for the miracle... and for letting a little white boy slip through the side door of the Temple of Soul.


I'm gonna leave you today with a quote from the Big Man himself, which he shared on the plane ride home from Buffalo, the last show of the last tour. As we celebrated in the front cabin congratulating one another and telling tales of the many epic shows, rocking nights and good times we'd shared, "C" sat quietly, taking it all in, then he raised his glass, smiled and said to all gathered, "This could be the start of something big."

Love you, "C".


Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen veröffentlichte im März 2012 sein siebzehntes Studioalbum mit dem Titel "Wrecking Ball". Beim Titelsong und bei "Land of Hope and Dreams" ist Clarence Clemons Saxophonspiel zu hören. Die beiden Kompositionen wurden Anfang 2011 eingespielt. Ausserdem findet man im Booklet folgenden Nachruf:

... standing together we were badass, on any given night, on our turf, some of the baddest asses on the planet. We were united, we were strong, we were righteous, we were unmovable, we were funny, we were corny as hell and as serious as death itself. And we were coming to your town to shake you and to wake you up. Together, we told an older, richer story about the possibilities of friendship that transcended those I’d written in my songs and in my music. Clarence carried it in his heart. It was a story where the Scooter and the Big Man not only busted the city in half, but we kicked ass and remadethe city, shaping it into the kind of place where our friendship would not be such an anomaly.

... I'll miss my friend, his sax, and the force of nature that was his sound. But this love and his story -- the story that he gave to me, that he whispered in my ear, and that he gave to you -- is going to carry on.

Clarence was big and he made me feel, think, love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man? Too fucking big to die. you can put it on his gravestone, you can tattoo it over your heart.

Clarence doesn't leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.

Das erste Treffen - Soloalben - Andere Künstler - Hollywood - Buchautor - Walk of Fame - Tod - Wrecking Ball

Besucht auch die offizielle Internet Seite unter www.clarenceclemons.com