'On Point' Remembers Clarence Clemons

fromWBUR

Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen during a Dec. 12, 1984, concert in Lexington, Ky. i i

Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen during a Dec. 12, 1984, concert in Lexington, Ky. Lexington Herald-Leader/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Lexington Herald-Leader/Getty Images
Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen during a Dec. 12, 1984, concert in Lexington, Ky.

Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen during a Dec. 12, 1984, concert in Lexington, Ky.

Lexington Herald-Leader/Getty Images

What made Bruce Springsteen a mega-star? You could say it was his working-class poetry. His verve. You could also say it was Clarence Clemons.

Clemons was the "Big Man" on saxophone at Springsteen's side — the joyful supporting player whose solos brought out the soul in "Jungleland," "Born to Run," Thunder Road" and on and on. He was "myth and light," Springsteen says. A star all his own.

Now, Clemons is dead at 69. In this edition of On Point, we listen back on the saxophonist's career with:

  • Tim Riley, music critic and assistant professor at Emerson College. He's editor of the Riley Rock Index website. His new book on John Lennon, titled Lennon, will be out this fall.
  • T.M. Stevens, bass guitarist. Played with Clarence Clemons' band Temple of Soul. Currently touring with Bootsy Collins and the Funk Unity Band.

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