“Do I Have To Say His Name?” St. Peter Says To God

If there’s one regret in my life, it’s that I’ve never been able to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play live, and now, I never will. The man, who, aside from Bruce, represented everything that was truly good about that music, Clarence Clemons, died from complications of a stroke Saturday, June 18 in Palm Beach. (New York Times) The longtime saxophonist with the S Street Band was 69.

Bruce Springsteen’s website post is here (brucespringsteen,net) A good collection of Clemons’ sax solos can be found at the Huffington Post. Here’s one of them: Badlands from the groundbreaking 1978 tour.

His last recorded work was a sax solo for Lady GaGa’s “Edge of Glory.’

Bruce’s music speaks to me in a way that little other music ever has, or ever will, and Clarence was an integral part of that sound. We all know we’re getting older, but there was something about Clemons that made him appear indestructible. As all your heroes do (I nearly had a coronary learning about Ron Lancaster’s death. Even though he was 70, I always saw him in my mind’s eye as not that far away from donning the pads one more time to beat the Eskimos or the Stampeders.) To learn of Clarence’s death was a sad moment.

RIP Big Man. Even Bruce must think you’ve earned your rest.

Author: Stephen LaRose

2006 winner of the Canadian Association of University Teachers’s Award of Excellence in Journalism for a bunch of prairie dog stuff. Invited into the best homes in Regina. Once.