Category Archives: bruce springsteen

RIP Clarence Clemons

Being a native born resident of New Jersey, I have had Bruce Springsteen shoved down my throat since the early to mid 1970s, whether I like it or not. I do like Bruce, mostly early Bruce and recent folksy Bruce, but the rest of it is painful to hear as I heard it all a million times per song on Philadelphia radio for decades. But however one might feel about The Boss, everybody loves Clarence Clemons.

The Big Man played sax for Bruce in the E Street Band forever, and when I say forever, I mean it as a compliment. Possibly one of the greatest rock and rock blues saxophone players ever, the man is legend, his smile infectious, and his talent unparalleled. He performed for decades, appeared in film, television and on dozens and dozens of records – and most recently in the video for “The Edge of Glory” by Lady GaGa. Sadly, after a massive stroke last week, Clarence Clemons finally passed away today at the age of 69. He will be missed.

When most folks think of Clemons solo, they think of the Jackson Browne duet, “You’re a Friend of Mine,” but I go back earlier than that by almost two years, to one of my favorite unsung rock and roll albums – “Rescue” by Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers. I have it on cassette tape and am still waiting for this baby to come out on CD. Good old fashioned rock and roll, and one song that spoke to me directly about the way I passionately listened to the radio in my younger days – “Rock ‘N’ Roll DJ.” There’s not a bad track on the album. I’m gonna miss you, Big Man.

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Super Bowl Aftermath: Halftime

Ever since the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake nipple-for-a-nanosecond debacle of 2004, the powers that be have been determined to make Super Bowl halftime shows short, to the point and family-oriented if possible – clean with no chance of surprise. I just know that they were folks losing their minds last night when Bruce Springsteen not only went over his time but also started ad-libbing with side man Little Steven Van Zandt. But all worked out, Bruce had aged to the point of harmlessness unfortunately.

Now I’m from New Jersey, so we’ve been putting up with his nonsense, and for the most part enjoying it, since the mid-1970s. So the nostalgic part of me got a kick out of him and the reunited E Street Band jamming like old friends last night. It actually felt rather cozy like seeing them in small club as opposed to the world’s largest theatre. And it was good to hear three songs from from different eras of his career as well – been far too long since I’ve heard “10th Avenue Freezeout.”

But it wasn’t all nostalgia and flowers. Was it just me or was everyone waiting for that blood vessel on the left side of Bruce’s face to just explode? It came close more than a few times. Dude is unfortunately getting old with the rest of us. And I so did not need to see that crotch slide right into the camera either, and almost right into my living room. Sheesh! Good thing that part wasn’t in 3-D. All in all though, an enjoyable halftime performance. I’ve have enough “boss time” to last a little while longer.