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Clarence Clemons is dead.

Harry here, I know Clarence Clemons was mainly a musician...   but you see, when I was a kid, from Elementary School till my Sophmore year of High School, the thing that I most used to associate to my self identity was the TENOR SAXOPHONE that I played.  

When I picked "my instrument" - having seen Clarence Clemons playing on stage with Bruce Springsteen at the Armadillo World Headquarters...  well the image of Clarence Clemons was just damn powerful.  I fused the image and cool of Clarence Clemons into the instrument he made wail.   

In High School, at the end of my Sophmore year - when I was 1st chair Tenor Sax in band, when my Band Director asked me to take a Trombone home for the summer, because he needed a strong guy on Trombone, I argued for days.   I had Trombone associated with a fat kid whose mom would comment that he was the only one in step.   And I had Clarence Clemons as my self-image when I played Sax.   My band director, Mr Driscoll & his assistant Mr. Means both got a hell of a kick out of that.   Rick asked me to check out Jimmy Stewart in the GLENN MILLER STORY - and I said I had it at home on VHS (sigh).   I'd never watched it, to be honest, I didn't know who Glenn Miller was - and I didn't know Jimmy Stewart was playing him.    After watching, I decided I could be Jimmy Stewart...   Then my Senior year came along and a bunch of my geeky friends piled into my Green 1978 Cadillac (it was my mother's) and we drove listening to KNIN out of Wichita Falls headed to see BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.   My best friend, Robert Vasquez (RIP) played 1st chair Trumpett, he died shortly after this trip.    We laughed the whole way.   Singing to the radio - and when we saw BILL & TED - I was so excited to see Clarence Clemons on screen as one of the three most important people in the world...   And I totally agreed!   He's fucking Clarence Clemons.   The man oozed cool.   

Hell, I don't know if I would have thought the word cool was as cool as cool is, if not for Clarence Clemons. He was just an impressive man.   The way he held himself, the invisible cool rays that emanated from his head to make me think COOL when I saw or heard him.     

Clarence Clemons was just about the coolest person to ever be cool.   Shit, I loved his version of the Peter Gunn Theme on PORKY'S 3: REVENGE, which I saw on cable... a lot as a kid.   Porky's 3 had some good skin in it.   Right?

Looking at his IMDB page, I swear I think I even remember him from that DIFF'RENT STROKES he was on.     I loved Gary Coleman as a kid!   

I know this isn't much of a formal obituary.   To be honest, I don't know a terrible lot about Clarence.   I loved his music, image and contribution to BILL & TED.   But damn, to a Tenor Sax who could play Trombone pretty damn good, but never wanting to.   My father told me why the Tenor Sax was so cool.   When I was thinking about self identity and who I would love to see myself as...   Clarence Clemons was brought up by my Dad an awful lot.   It is a sadder world without Clarence Clemons.   The man was COOL. As the editor of AINT IT COOL, it simply had to be said.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 18, 2011, 10:59 p.m. CST


    by MisterMxyzptlk

    Anita Hill killed him.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:01 p.m. CST


    by wattos new hat

    saxaphones are the cool instrument in school band. that and drums.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Thank you

    by johne5

    For posting something about this. Was so happy to see him play twice during Springsteen's last tour

  • June 18, 2011, 11:13 p.m. CST


    by Triple_J_72

    I can't believe it. I was lucky enough to have been to 4 Springsteen shows. 3 of them with the E Street Band. Wow... this just sucks. R.I.P. Big Man.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Farewell, Excellent Dude.

    by Iblis_mage

    By all means, give our regards to Carlin over on the other side.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST

    He was not the coolest person to be cool.

    by Robothomer

    He was some guy in an overrated band. Being on Diffrent Strokes and Porkey's 3 sure as fuck isn't cool either. RIP, I guess, but frankly I don't care.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Didn't know you were a fellow band geek as well...

    by SithScorp

    CC will ALWAYS be cool. Was thinking he didn't have too much time left after hearing about his recent health trouble.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    I forgot about Bill & Ted :(

    by CherryValance

    There just is no E Street Band without him. I knew he had had a stroke but I was still totally shocked to hear he had died. When someone that uniquely brilliant dies, it seems wrong. Like you expect them to be immortal. I definitely missed out because I never saw them live. But in terms of the music that's out there he gave us greatness that will live on long after we're all gone. *air strums*

  • June 18, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    The Howard Stern vacation curse continues

    by Toe Jam

    He's on vacation, right? Clarence was a friend of the show, which makes it even worse.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:33 p.m. CST

    an overrated band

    by McSatan

    I usually won't respond to trolls, but hey, robothomer - fuck you up your worthless ass!

  • June 18, 2011, 11:50 p.m. CST

    I'm a weeee bit intoxicated, but...

    by RandomName7

    My first response was all like... I don't give a F***... Mostly because I have no idea who the heck that is... But at the same time, it's s ad when somone dies... I'm all liek wut and the univrs is like yahh. It's all fu**ed. So seriosly, whi died?

  • June 18, 2011, 11:51 p.m. CST


    by bloodstainedking

    Wow, calling 1st & a shitty joke. How old are you? Like 9?

  • June 18, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Clarence Clemons IS the coolest!

    by Terrence Sakamoto

    ...and he rocked with practically all of the greats. Check out his wonderful 2009 autobiography, "Big Man: Real Life and Tall Tales". He provided a lion's share of the soul in the E-Street Band, and he will absolutely be missed.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST


    by bloodstainedking

    and a wee bit fucking stupid

  • June 18, 2011, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Bruce and the E Street Band =


    one of the great live musical experiences I've ever had. It was an honor to see Born To Run played in its entirety in November of 2009. As a 25 year old, I've regretted that I didn't get into them sooner. It's very sad to see the Big Man go much too soon. When the popular bands only play 80-90 minutes tops these days, it was great to see these guys (and Clarence, with all of his health problems) churning out amazing 3 hour sets every night. At least Clarence went out on top... "Hair" and "Edge Of Glory" from the new Gaga album are two of the best pop songs in recent memory (the latter especially).

  • June 18, 2011, 11:54 p.m. CST


    by bloodstainedking

    what the fuck have you ever done with your life ass clown?

  • June 18, 2011, 11:54 p.m. CST


    by seansarto

    In terms of the music..Thanks for the grace, Mr. Clemons.."Jungleland" stands for me as one of the true peaks of authentic American music....A grand opera of beautiful scale, sound...and guidance...A great work. In terms of "The Springsteen Myth"...My words are to the living...Bruce, They are carving you up and getting fat of yer riches by dolin' out the pieces....Maybe that's just life but don't give into the self-defeat...You let it get bigger than even you now...Shame..It's worth too much now. In terms of being a musician myself...Would have loved to have been able to been there myself, Clarence...To say to other folks perhaps, "I knew him. I once played with him...He's a nice guy". In terms of the "magic negro"...Good riddance. In terms of me being, sean sarto...My life's had some strange twists with the Springsteen crowd...Those strange twists have cost me a lot loss...Like being forced to pay tribute...To have to live in a shadow..and be forced unconditionally to like "black people" just because it was part of the Springsteen myth..Even when those black people who were close to me were just using me...And if I didn't play along...I was cut basically out of my lovelife...All the while, there was good men like my Uncle, who passed away, who I didn't get to pay tribute to...And damned well wanted to...Becaue he was part of me...So, in terms of that fight....Of being forced against my will to embrace things that don't suit me...That weren't part of me...Just to satisfy the predilictions of others...Clarence Clemons death is a huge victory for me. A million other things I could get into..but let me just close by sayin'... Mr. Clarence Clemons was a human being in the end...More complex an more simple than anything that can be written here. Just the same as me.

  • June 18, 2011, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Party on, Clarence. Party on.

    by cookepuss


  • June 19, 2011, 12:03 a.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    Fuck off! If there is one band that is not over rated it is this one. I dare you to go to a show and tell me it was not one of the greatest musical experiences of your life. I was lucky enough to hear all of Born to Run last time they came through St. Louis. It was epic. God speed Big Man.

  • June 19, 2011, 12:22 a.m. CST

    10/2/85 LA Coliseum.. changed my life

    by Jerry Piper

    Saw the last show of the Born in the USA tour and it was my first Bruce show. Will miss the Big Man.

  • June 19, 2011, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Party on, dude.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    He was a cool cat.

  • June 19, 2011, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Randomname7, in the immortal words of Dean Vernon Wormer...

    by SubliminalJones

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. RIP, Big Man :(

  • June 19, 2011, 1:15 a.m. CST

    One of the greats.

    by Half-Baked-Goggle-Box-Do-Gooder

    Clemmons was only less than stellar if you compare him to guys like Coltrane or Parker. Not a "musician's musician', but something equally important - An Avatar of the chemistry of a great BAND, the teamwork and the mutual understanding that takes great songs and makes them even better, by showing how their meaning can reach across the divides of class, race and wealth, to reach in and change hearts and minds. Your empty little pop twats and shiny Nashville crap vendors, depending on disposable, faceless session hacks and soulless Autotune cheating, will never come close to what Clemmons and Springsteen could accomplish with a simple dash of showmanship and a shared vision. I could tell that you were in poor shape, Mr. Clemmons, the last time I saw you in St Louis, and your stage antics were limited to slow walks to the mike and a Solomon Burke-like repose on your throne, but when called you delivered, as always - And you will be missed.

  • June 19, 2011, 1:35 a.m. CST

    he was awesome.....

    by Loosejerk

    as the gay, window designer in Mannequin.

  • June 19, 2011, 1:47 a.m. CST

    howard stern has more vacation days than work days...

    by RedHorseVector

    some curse!

  • June 19, 2011, 1:48 a.m. CST


    by RedHorseVector

  • June 19, 2011, 1:55 a.m. CST

    he never got to bang robin quivers

    by john

    the e street band put on the greatest show ever and the big man was a huge part of that show the world of music is now populated by the biebers and the gagas a great musician has left us today...and we are less for it

  • June 19, 2011, 2 a.m. CST

    His last project

    by Chaz

    was the new Lady Gaga single, "The Edge of Glory." It's his last single. His last music video. His last live performance. He will be missed.

  • June 19, 2011, 2 a.m. CST

    Also ironic

    by Chaz

  • June 19, 2011, 2:26 a.m. CST


    by NativeGaijin

  • June 19, 2011, 2:27 a.m. CST

    Frankly, I don't care."

    by NativeGaijin

    And yet, here's

  • June 19, 2011, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Frankly, I don't care.

    by NativeGaijin

    And yet, here's robothomer putting in his disrespectful two cents in a Clarence Clemmons obituary thread anyway. That's like a vegan walking into a steakhouse and declaring "I don't eat meat!". You'd have to be either lost, stupid or both. Either way, the solution is the same. Get the hell out!

  • June 19, 2011, 2:47 a.m. CST

    He was a the soul of the E Street Band

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    And to those people who don't care or say that Bruce and the band is overrated, well, just realize that there's a good chance that your own musical heroes — no matter who they are — are probably shedding a tear or saying a prayer tonight for the big man.

  • June 19, 2011, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Stern curse

    by surprider22

    Toe jam - never thought of it until now...Freaky!! there's 2 more before Monday..

  • June 19, 2011, 3:11 a.m. CST

    This really ain't cool news...

    by DonRivella

  • June 19, 2011, 3:40 a.m. CST

    BTW, these talkbacks really need an "edit" button

    by NativeGaijin

    Damned triple post!

  • June 19, 2011, 3:42 a.m. CST

    i was living in navan, co. meath in 1984...

    by emeraldboy

    bruce and the band played slane castle. i was 10 years old. It was a warm beautiful day. i couldnt go, cause I was too young. but those who were there say it was one of the best concerts they ever saw. it remains the only time, when the band played inside the castle for lord henry mountcharles. to hear clarence clemons up close must have been a thrilling for lord mountcharles. I heard the E street band in concert that 2fm broadcast and they were magnificent but born to run made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. it was concert recorded in either madrid or barcelona. some years ago. clarence clemons was one of the all time musical greats and he will be missed.

  • June 19, 2011, 3:45 a.m. CST

    This is the definitive Clarence Clemons clip

    by Bobo_Vision

  • June 19, 2011, 3:45 a.m. CST


    by Dennis_Moore

  • June 19, 2011, 4:31 a.m. CST


    by BrilliantDisguise

    I've only read here at AICN for a few years, never posted, but I had to register and post my very first talkback message ever just to tell you how much I wish I could punch you in your ignorant mouth right now. You know nothing about music and how it can touch the soul and move someone if you think that the E Street Band, and ESPECIALLY Clarence himself, are overrated. You sir, can go fuck yourself. R.I.P. Big Man....there's a righteous Brother's song that says "If there's a rock & roll heaven, y'know they've got a hell of a band." Well, that band just got their saxophonist.

  • June 19, 2011, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Will somone (please) ban robothomer's sorry ass?

    by Stalkeye

    where's that Beaks when you need him? I thought AICN had some new policy in which disrespectful comments/posts within the Obies, would not be tolerated. That being said, Clemens was the soul of the E street band. I especially loved his sax solo during the song American Skin. My Mother-in-law is a huge fan of Bruce and the E streeters and by now, i'm sure she heard the news. BTW, Wasn't Patty (Scalfa) responsible for breaking up the band awhile ago before they were reunited? Anyway, the man was a true professional and the music world has lost another great artist. Godspeed.

  • June 19, 2011, 5:25 a.m. CST


    by Stalkeye

    quote:"I've only read here at AICN for a few years, never posted, but I had to register and post my very first talkback message ever just to tell you how much I wish I could punch you in your ignorant mouth right now." You and me both.

  • Now THAT'S fucking tragic.

  • June 19, 2011, 5:29 a.m. CST

    BTW Nice eulogy post Harry.

    by Stalkeye

    As for you liking the heck out of GL, WTF.....?!?

  • and that's how to get the ladies!!!

  • June 19, 2011, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Never really heard of this guy but it's always sad when someone dies


    However, why does Harry always have to make every obituary about himself?

  • June 19, 2011, 7:26 a.m. CST


    by Mastidon

    As a native of New Jersey, The E Street Band is more than just a band, but a religion. Bruce may be the preacher, but Clarence was the heart and soul. He can NEVER be replaced. To those of you out there who don't care, fair enough. But try listening to Jungleland just once and not feel emotional about Clarence's solo. If you can't, then you are probably already walking dead. Clarence will be missed more than words could ever say. And he certainly was one most excellent dude. R.I.P.

  • June 19, 2011, 7:39 a.m. CST


    by Mastidon

  • June 19, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST

    I've seen the future of the whole f------- thing...

    by klonger

  • June 19, 2011, 8 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonkaSucksCock

  • June 19, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST

    by Kevin Everitt

    Well said Harry. Well said.

  • June 19, 2011, 8:10 a.m. CST

    why him?

    by Phildogger

    Why not the person responsible for the horrible piano in every damn Springstein song? One of the reasons I can't stand his music. Every song is groaned strife, with an underlying tinkling toy piano. Horrible.

  • I find that sometimes it can play as tacky. Harry-- love ya for everything you have done for us, but it makes me cringe when you say at the end of the obit (which was about your band days from school) "I don't know a terrible lot about Clarence." It just comes off self-involved and showy. If you don't know much about a guy, maybe writing an obit is not the best option. I'm not ragging on ya, Headgeek, just trying to give you an alternate perspective on things. Sometimes it's not always helpful to inject your personal experiences a situation.

  • June 19, 2011, 8:45 a.m. CST


    by ZaphodBeeblerox

    Clarence was the reason I got into music. Being all of 11 years old and hearing Born To Run and Jungleland, left a huge impression on me compared to much of the other music at the time that I listened to. His playing on Jungleland varied from sweet and smooth to emotionally powerful and vibrant, purely by his tone instead of quick fingered runs up and down his sax. That resonated with me for some reason. That fondness steered me into the school bands were I played baritone and tenor saxophones. Throughout my playing time, I always kept in mind what I learned from those first listens to his playing that you can convey emotions musically without having to be blazing fast. I had many opportunities through music that I never would have had otherwise and I thank Clarence for that. He had an indirect influence on many more people like me through his recordings and in the end being able to open up a new world of music for people as he did can be a fitting tribute. RIP Big Man...and thank you.

  • June 19, 2011, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Like Harry, Clarence helped influence me tp p/u the sax

    by OutsideChance

    Dude was cool personified.

  • June 19, 2011, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Shirtless Saxophone Guy from Lost Boys is still alive right?

    by smackfu


  • June 19, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Phildogger, i'm sure you'll be pleased to know that the keyboardist is already dead

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    A lovely man called Danny Federici.<P> Sure, some of the keyboard lines sound a bit dated, but so too will the shite that is being produced today one day. The melodies in a Springsteen/E Street song are almost always beautiful. Brilliant Disguise, Downbound Train, Atlantic City, the list goes on. RIP Clarence

  • June 19, 2011, 9:14 a.m. CST

    He definitely was the man...

    by Nice Marmot

    .... seriously, they can't play under the E-Street band name anymore, can they?

  • June 19, 2011, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Excellent Obit, Harry...

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    However, in terms of your second paragraph: When I picked "my instrument" - having seen Clarence Clemons playing on stage with Bruce Springsteen at the Armadillo World Headquarters... well the image of Clarence Clemons was just damn powerful." You may want to remove the quotations marks, as they're unnecessary and give the connotation that you are--in fact--not talking about a musical instrument, but...something else. It also kinda gives that whole paragraph a humorous, albeit untinentional, double entendre.

  • June 19, 2011, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Ya'll be trippin'

    by Madcapper

    and you know it.

  • June 19, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    iwantmorelifefather, I Was At The Same Show

    by Rebeck2

    It was unbelievable, truly epic. Bruce actually wore out the crowd. I got the feeling he would have come out for yet another encore but the audience was exhausted, needed to go home and get some fluids, 8 hours of rest...

  • Gonna miss you Bigman, See you in the next life.

  • June 19, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Rock on Mr Clemens

    by empty_headed_animal

    I feel a little older after hearing the news of his passing,,,*sigh*

  • June 19, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The Big Man is now playing for the Big Man

    by covenant

    RIP Clarence. You will be greatly missed.

  • June 19, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    RIP Big Man


    I'd rather listen to the Gaga songs than watch his jam in Blues Brothers 2000.

  • June 19, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    'You're a Friend of Mine' was just plain fun

    by Carl's hat

    That's what was cool about the 70s and 80s. People just having fun for the sake of having fun. No broody introspection, gloomy lyrics that made you wanna go and kill yourself. FUN, living life in the moment and throwing care to the wind.

  • ... Bruce Springsteen has never had a #1 hit. Many Top 10, but no #1.

  • June 19, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST

    You all flatter me

    by Robothomer

    I love that some are calling for me to be banned because I don't think Clemons was some big star. And BTW I also don't care that Kenickie from Grease died now I suppose you want to crucify me for that too? I love it when I go on facebook and some 3rd rate actor or musician dies and everyone wants to wax eloquent about it. You are all as bad as Harry when he said the death of Fay Wray was more truamatic than the death of his own mother. Get over yourselves.

  • Interesting. He may want to read Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

  • June 19, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Springsteen is crap

    by la_sith

  • June 19, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST

    robothomer, you're a loser

    by Clavius

    Clearly you're an attention whore, otherwise you wouldn't be trolling in an obit thread about a person you claim to care nothing about. An actor, musician or artist who might be 2nd or 3rd rate to you, may have impacted someone's life in a deeply profound way that you obviously cannot comprehend. People should be allowed to express their grief and their gratitude for their favorite artists' contributions in whatever way feels appropriate to them, without worrying about useless individuals like yourself, hiding behind your keyboard spouting out your venom, then sitting back and getting a big laugh from it all. Get over ourselves? Wow, your hypocrisy is staggering! And if this is how you get your kicks, then you have my pity. When people gather to mourn your passing (though I can't imagine who that might be at the moment) I truly hope no one derides them for sharing their memories of you, even if their only memories of you are what a complete tool you used to be. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

  • June 19, 2011, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Like it or not

    by Chaz

    His song with Gaga introduced him to an entirely new audience. That's never a bad thing.

  • June 19, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    I won't rip you for being disrespectful, robo . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . To each his own. But PLEASE tell us your top 5 in music. Really curious . . .

  • June 19, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST


    by Robothomer

    For the most part that was actually very well said. And, yes, Harry really did say that about Fay Wray...which is why I always cringe when Harry writes Obits on this site...hence my posts.

  • June 19, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Robothomer, crawl back under your bridge.....

    by BrilliantDisguise

    ....cause you're a fucking troll. If you honestly believe that you can compare the death of Clarence Clemons to that of Jeff Conaway, then clearly you know jack shit about musical circles, where the man was, is, and will always be loved and highly respected, who even in the past few years, in declining health and in his sixties, was still able to bring the thunder in the 3-4 hour marathon religious musical experiences known as Bruce & the E-Street Band shows. Third-rate my ass. As someone mentioned earlier in this thread, whatever musicians you DO respect are probably shedding a tear or two themselves for the Big Man.

  • June 19, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Never heard of this

    by Fritzlorrerains

  • June 19, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I curse you with.......Serrrrrrgiooooooo

    by Arcadian Del Sol

  • June 19, 2011, 1:44 p.m. CST

    There's mourning on e street today...

    by FeralAngel

    Sad loss. Bummer.

  • June 19, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    RIP "Big man"

    by Orbots Commander

    Huge Sprinsteen and the E Street Band fan here, and his is a sad loss.

  • June 19, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Armadillo World Headquarters

    by jabbabelly

    To the best of my knowledge, Springsteen only played the Armadillo World Headquarters in 1974, before they closed in 1980. I think that would of made Harry 4 or 5 years old seeing the show. Harry was an amazing child to recognize and appreciate Clarence Clemons at that age. It also seems, as rock clubs go, the Armadillo didn't have any age restrictions.

  • June 19, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    RIP Big Man

    by Pakman

    We'll always have your music and you'll never be forgotten. Thanks for the good times.

  • June 19, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by torontoxic

    You know you're Hollywood when your ego consumes you. Note: if you want an obit on AICN you better bring back a fond memory for Harry that he can reflect on in between the few sentences where he acknowledges you. <P> RIP CLARENCE THOMAS

  • June 19, 2011, 2:38 p.m. CST


    by j-bot

    You have the right to your own opinion, but if that's your opinion, why even type it. You saw the fucking headline, if you didn't care, why did you even click on it? Why did you have to come on here? Just to be an asshole? And that goes for anyone else who posts an assholeish comment on an obituary page. This isn't some Michael Bay film we're talking about. Have some fucking respect and manners. Like I said, you can have your opinion, and I respect that. But when that's your opinion, and you post it on an obituary page, all anybody reads is "Hi, I'm a piece shit."

  • June 19, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by j-bot

    I actually only made it as far as Robothomer's comment before I got pissed and had to say something. But going down the comments I saw a lot of you already gave him what for. Awesome!

  • June 19, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    It'd be nice if the obits were actually about the person instead of Harry.

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    To be honest, I don't know a terrible lot about Clarence.

  • June 19, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    WTH is going on with the talkbacks??

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

  • June 19, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    His acting credits include "The Wire"

    by Cosmik

    You will be missed.

  • June 19, 2011, 4 p.m. CST


    by enough22

    Eat a bag of dicks and die, you motherfucker, just die and make the world a way better place. Piece of shit! I will miss you, Clarence, thank you for everything good you brought into our lives.

  • June 19, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST


    by enough22

    And you are a wet fart, motherfucker!

  • June 19, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST


    by enough22

    And you should die too, disrespectful, ignorant motherfucker. Die, you piece of shit and rot in hell. Springsteen is the only true God or rock n'roll music!

  • June 19, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Harry, why in heaven..

    by Franck your article more about you than about him? Why does every article starts with you, you, you? (Honest question, no hate.)

  • June 19, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    vogueish, of course that's a bad thing.

    by Subtitles_Off

    A couple thousand gay kids will think of Clarence Clemons as the guy who played saxophone for Gagger. That'd be as bad as if people thought Stevie Wonder was a guy who wrote a song with Paul McCartney once. I'm not going to try to wax eloquent, because I have nearly zero relationship to Bruce Springsteen's music, but Clarence Clemons, as the heart and soul of that band, might have been the heart and soul for big rock's last gasp in the late 70s. I never saw an image of the man without a huge, contented grin on his face. That's brilliant. I'm gonna try to forget the GaGa bit.

  • June 19, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    The "Toy Piano"

    by sundancekeed

    is played by Roy Bittan not Danny Federici. Danny played the organ and synthesizer. And for most, the piano parts are an integral part of E-Streets sound and Roy Bittan is considered one of the premiere keyboard players in the world. He's in constant demand for session work on other artist's albums. As for Clarence Clemons, I've been a fan since 1975, when I traded another kid at school my copy of Bad Company's "Running With The Pack" for "Born To Run". I got the better end of the deal and literally wore that vinyl album out. Clarence wasn't a great technical player. John Coltrane and Charlie Parker fit that description better than Clemons. But as someone else said, in the context of a BAND--nobody was better than Big Man. And nobody could evoke more emotion in a tune than Clarence Clemons. All you have to do is listen to Jungleland or Rosalita to figure that out. And to the unrespectful fucktards who show up on an obituary site to say, "I don't care" about someone dying, all I have to say is that your lack of class is actually depressing. To know that someone out there needs attention so bad that they'll make fun of a person who's just passed away and who obviously spent a lifetime bringing enjoyment to people, it simply begs the question, what have YOU ever done? Besides of course, make a complete ass of yourself.

  • June 19, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    'The Big Man', Clarence Clemons, a true great

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Gravy

    I usually avoid obits like the plague, finding them useless and insincere, but this one is genuinely sad, particularly since it looked like he may have had a chance of pulling through earlier in the week. Clemons was an integral part of one of the best live bands of all time. Forget Gaga; go listen to Bruce's collection of outtakes from the 70's, The Promise, if you want to hear the best album of last year and some great contributions by Clarence. Still, I suppose that the Gaga connection will at least make kids aware of this fantastic musician. Oh, and Harry, it's not all about YOU, you know?

  • June 19, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    with harry knowles...

    by emeraldboy

    it always is about him.

  • June 19, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    SO SAD. :(

    by alice133

    clarence clemons' sax solo in jungleland live = forever in my heart. rip.

  • June 19, 2011, 7:16 p.m. CST

    no one writes sax parts into songs anymore

    by Titus05

    Clarence Clemons is the end of an era...RIP big guy

  • June 19, 2011, 8:31 p.m. CST


    by Robothomer

    My point was from the beginning lots of people get really worked up when people pass away and I really don't get why. I can understand if it's a friend or family member but some guy who occasionaly played in a band? Your life was really that touched by a sax player? And Harry's obit...really, Harry? So all I do is point out that fact and here is what is get in return: "Eat a bag of dicks and die, you motherfucker, just die and make the world a way better place. Piece of shit!" Sheesh. BTW here's my fave five: U2, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and NIN. And if any of the members of those bands died I'd be unhappy but would never go on a talkback to discuss it.

  • You didn't HAVE TO acknowledge or bring up Gaga or the "thousands" of "gay kids" who listen to her (she has millions of fans, by the way, although I don't count myself as one), and yet you insisted on it. You simply cannot avoid gay bashing; it's like you WANT to continue discussing "gay culture." Look, I'm very much gay, and I loved the E Street Band. Bruce's "The River" and "Born to Run" are among my favorite albums. I switch off the radio when Gaga comes on (well, except for "Bad Romance;" it's a guilty pleasure). It's okay to hate Gaga if you're gay, subtitles. Just letting you know. RIP Big Man.

  • June 19, 2011, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Loved this guys cameos on Diff'rent Strokes

    by Ted Knight

    and he also played a mean sax you say? hmmm

  • June 19, 2011, 10:24 p.m. CST

    God Bless the legendary "Big Man"


    Truly a sad day.

  • fact

  • June 19, 2011, 11:36 p.m. CST

    A Slow News Weekend...

    by schulzcreative'd think it was Bruce himself who died.

  • June 19, 2011, 11:41 p.m. CST

    I apologize for this in advance

    by proevad

    but might as well report that one of Radiohead's roadies just died. Not getting the national widespread coverage of this man's death. I grew up in the 80's and bought Born in the USA like everyone else did, but so what? Bruce didn't die. Guess I've just gone full palin. Not getting this at all.

  • June 20, 2011, 1:10 a.m. CST

    proevad, you just provided the answer as to why you don't get it..

    by SubliminalJones

    You bought Born In The USA like everyone else. Bully for you. In other words, you jumped on the bandwagon in '84 and probably jumped off by '86. For music fans who followed the E Street Band long before(and after) what is considered Springsteen's one blatant attempt at top 40 hitmaking, Clemons was the heart and soul of that band. With his death, the E Street Band has essentially died as well. He can never be replaced, and I doubt Bruce will try. To equate Clemons, and all he brought to his almost 40 year history with Bruce and the band, with a roadie for Radiohead is stupefyingly clueless and seems to indicate you know absolutely jack shit about music and the powerful emotional resonance it can create. In the words of the Big Man in Tenth Ave Freeze Out..."Now, son, you betta get the picture!"

  • June 20, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST

    RIP Big Man

    by Munro Kelly

    You will be missed.

  • June 20, 2011, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Well said subliminaljones

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    A lot of people don't understand that there is much more to Bruce and the E Street Band besides Born In The USA. I used to get into heated arguments with friends of mine who were exclusively into rap and nothing else and that was their narrow perception. They actually poked fun at me and would sarcastically refer to Bruce as "The Boss." I told them if they were to actually sit down and listen to some of the albums before and after BITUSA and invest some time with them, they would understand how powerful they are. They never did but at least I made them aware that there are artists creating works fueled by passion outside of their limited point of view. It's sad how people draw lines in the sand about their likes and dislikes these days over music, movies, tv etc. but that's just the way society works these days.

  • June 20, 2011, 5:31 a.m. CST

    Radiohead and NIN? Fuck outta here Robo.

    by Stalkeye

    Fucking bland Music you might as well add Phish to the list. As for U2, It's not my forte although i did like New Year's Day. Zep, well I can't hate on them for being highly sucessful albiet also overated. ( speaking of which , QUANTIZE if you are refering to me for calling Bands overated, please feel free to address me via SN so that we can "discuss" this acordingly.M'kay?) Part of Led Zep's success was due to their implementing Blues into Hard Rock. In other words, they were heavly influenced by artists such as Howling Wolf and willie Dixon to some extent that they have STOLEN. From what I have read, the band was sued for plagurism. That being said,I give these blokes props for influencing in turn, bands like Queen, The Ramones and Megadeth. Stairway to Heaven was a cute lil ballard, but I'm not feelin Zep. And yes you were being very ignorant for those insensitive posts. man up and apologize...oh wait, this is AICN wheras there's really no such thing as civility here. (0:<

  • June 20, 2011, 5:34 a.m. CST

    No Subject, but here's an ammusing quote:

    by Stalkeye

    "To equate Clemons, and all he brought to his almost 40 year history with Bruce and the band, with a roadie for Radiohead is stupefyingly clueless and seems to indicate you know absolutely jack shit about music and the powerful emotional resonance it can create." LMMFAO

  • June 20, 2011, 6:21 a.m. CST

    To those who say "who cares"...

    by MeatsackJones

    Show me that you have done better in your life.

  • June 20, 2011, 7:17 a.m. CST

    people who say who cares...

    by emeraldboy

    are very apathetic. and that is why this site exists. its owner is very apathetic. when only a little. he cares just enough to put himself into his reviews. is that apathetic behaviour. in a way yes. harry knowles doesnt care about any other aspect of the film business.

  • June 20, 2011, 7:34 a.m. CST

    "Clarence you've been rehearsin' real hard so Santa'll bring you

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    a new saxaphone." Man this guy could rock it. You're a Friend of Mine was a great fun song. Who knew before that he could sing too? His autobiography came out a couple of years ago. I never did read the whole thing, but it had some good stuff. It talked about how he almost didn't make it to the Super Bowl halftime show that years because of injuries and physical rehab.

  • June 20, 2011, 9:06 a.m. CST

    he gave Springsteen his sound

    by Spandau Belly

    The stuff Springsteen did with the E Street band just has a unique sound, I like lots of Springsteen's other stuff, but those songs don't have a real unique quality. Bruce's solo stuff just sounds like a hodgepodge of other big American rock guys like Bob Seger and some Bob Dylan and a bunch of other dudes all mixed together. It's good, but it just doesn't have a distinct sound. Anyway, despite being a fan of Lady Gaga, I think Clarence being in a second rate Gaga song wasn't necissarily the best note to go out on, but whatevs. And yes, feel free to mock that I just said "second rate Gaga song" with obvious jokes about there being no first rate Gaga song etc etc.

  • June 20, 2011, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Go fuck yourself ass monkey

    by Lee harmon

    Who are you to talk about a man who defined a sound of a awesome band. What have you done with your pathetic life that gives you the right to disrespect a dead man.

  • June 20, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Previous post was for robothomer

    by Lee harmon

  • June 20, 2011, noon CST


    by poop

    This headline was so blunt. No "RIP", no nothin. Just "This dude is dead."

  • June 20, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Clarence, now Ryan Dunn...

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    Celebrity Death Trifecta coming up! So, who's next?

  • June 20, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Great man. Crappy obit. Loved this guys work.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Clemons was a true giant in every sense, the man exuded effortless cool and was a superb sax player. I've never had the chance to see Springsteen and the E Street band in concert and so now I'll never see him play live with my own eyes, but thank heavens for the music and the videos he left. It also says something about the guy's charm that for those of us of a certain age, he played his cameo in Bill and Ted, a brief scene with little dialogue, so well that you really could believe this guy was one of the most important guys in their society. Effortless charm, grace and brilliance, and undeniably huge talent. That said, Harry, if you're going to do an obit, for fucks sake man. This one was a bit of a disgrace.

  • June 20, 2011, 3:58 p.m. CST

    You guys are WRONG! All the he-men in the band played Clarinet.

    by Damned if I can login

    I'm living proof. RIP Big Man

  • One of the best concert experiences of my life. Say what you will about your opinion on The Boss' actual music, but from a live performance angle, there still isn't hardly anybody that can touch him with the E-Street band backing him as only they could. When they did the band introductions, he would always leave Clarence Clemons last and do this huge buildup, when he finally said his name the entire place just exploded with a roar. He was that loved by all of Springsteen's fans. Mr. Clemons' amazing solo on the Jungleland which is the final track on their 1975 release "Born to Run" is still one of the greatest and most emotional pieces of music ever in the history of artform.

  • June 20, 2011, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Classless Obit, Harry

    by Partyslammer

    First off Harry, I have no idea why you even bothered with that half-assed, self-aggrandizing "tribute" or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. Next time someone dies who you may think bears mentioning on your site, yet you have almost no idea of their accomplishments either ask one of your contributors or even a fan who may due that person justice. Maybe when Ray Harryhausen or Christopher Lee dies, you can get someone from the Howard Stern show to do a similar bullshit tribute. I am, or really was (his recent music doesn't do much for me) a huge Springsteen fan. Clemons really was the heart and soul of Bruce's E Street Band even though his role on the records over the past 2 decades was greatly diminished as Springsteen gravitated towards a more typical RnR sound. My first Springsteen show (of about 20 up 'til '09) was back in '81. I had 2nd row floor seats in what turned out to be one of Bruce's more legendary shows, a benefit for Vietnam vets at the LA Sports Arena. I wasn't a huge Springsteen fan at the time, it was more my friend cajoling me to go and the fact they were excellent seats sealed the deal. Well, it was a 3 1/2 hour epic show and while Bruce of course was the main reason, his band, especially Clemons was unlike most bands I'd seen live up 'til then. There was a real feeling of brotherhood amongst the guys on the stage and the dynamic especially between Bruce and Clarence who towered over him was simply infectious. That show completely converted me and remains in my top 3 or 4 favorite concerts I've ever seen. The last couple tours, you could see Clemons was having more and more physical problems to the point of the last E Street band tour in '09, you could hear his playing slip a bit and he was spending much of the show sitting in a huge, throne-like chair on the side of the stage when he wasn't directly involved in whatever song the band was playing which often amounted to about 3/4ths of a show. Still, any time he had a sax solo in a song, the crowd would go nuts. He had numerous back, hip, knee and other surgeries the last half decade and after the last show I caught a couple years ago, I just couldn't see how he'd be able to do another major tour with the band. I knew Clemons had suffered a massive stroke a week ago but all indications were he was doing alright although it was clear he'd probably never be able to play sax again in any real capacity. So it was a real shock to hear Bono of U2 preface the last song of their show I was at in Anaheim Saturday mention Clarence's passing. On the various Springsteen forums, there's uncountable stories of various fans who met him through the years either in a professional or casual setting. There's simply zero accounts that are less than glowing. He was utterly beloved by anyone he met. Here's two clips that for me anyway, sum up Clemons: It's really kind of amazing he played on a couple Lady Gaga tunes for her latest album and one became a hit single and apparently introduced him to a lot of younger fans. Rather tellingly, her ditzy fans seem to know more about the guy and have more selfless things to say about him than you do. T.B.

  • June 21, 2011, 3:12 a.m. CST

    re: mastidon

    by cesareo

    just watched the Jungleland clip. Stunning. thanks for the heads up.

  • June 21, 2011, 7:09 a.m. CST


    by AssyMuffJizz

    Now THAT was an obit.

  • June 21, 2011, 12:31 p.m. CST

    We are....

    by CplhicksJr

    better human beings by knowing him.