The Biggest Man You’ve Ever Seen!

Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band – Thunder Road – Paris, June 1985

Clarence Clemons (* January 11th 1942 – † June 18th 2011)

This defines my first “moment” of seeing the “Biggest Man You’ve Ever Seen”. I saw Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band for the first of many times in my life only 2 weeks before this shot, on June 17th 1985 at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

My life should not be the same after those 4 hrs of Drama, Passion, Love and Rock&Roll.

It’s been exactly 26 years ago. I’ve spend and survived my whole adult life with this music.

Clarence Clemons was the incarnation of Drama, Passion, Love, Rock&Roll and everything. Listen to his solo at the end of Thunder Road and you will hear it. The passion, the hope, the promise, the fulfillment, the glory…

He was the heart, the core and the anchor of the biggest band on Earth….

Life won’t be the same after he’s gone.
The New Jersey Star Ledger

6 thoughts on “The Biggest Man You’ve Ever Seen!

    • Martin, I believe, we all will remember where we’ve been and what we’ve done when and how we’ve heard the sad news… don’t you think? It’s been another defining moment for us…

  1. 85 was my first Clarence experience too… St James’ Park, Newcastle to be precise… I had no voice for a fortnight after the show as I recall… I feel very sad about this…

  2. Klaus, you said it so well. My first “moment” was the August 20th 1981 concert in Los Angeles.

    Before the show started Bruce walked out by himself and gave a short speech for the Vietnam Veterans. Moments later Who’ll Stop the Rain was the opening song. Back in those days there was no internet, and I had no idea beforehand what songs were going to be played.

    So there I was, thinking to myself that after listening to Bruce Sringsteen and the E Street Band since 1976 through official and “unofficial” recordings, I was at my first Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show and the first song they play isn’t a Bruce and the E Street Band song at all. It felt slightly strange for a few moments. Until… part way through Who’ll Stop the Rain the Big Man steps up to the front of the stage, puts his mouth to his golden sax and puts his stamp on things. Ok, NOW this is a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show.

    There would be many more Big Man “moments” through the years for me, both in concert and on record. As for the ones on record, the first time I heard Jungleland when I put the the Born to Run album on the turntable was my very first Clarence “moment”. THAT solo game me goosebumps. Or the majesty of his solo on The Promised Land and the way it flows so effortlessly in between the guitar and harmonica parts. Or on Land of Hope and Dreams on the Live in New York City album/DVD where he comes in with the power of a train and breathes hope into this great song.

    As for those “moments” at concerts…well, I guess every time I saw him up on stage reaching for his trusty saxophone I would sort of lean forward a bit waiting for magic to happen.

    Bless you Clarence, may you rest in peace.

    • John, thanks man, for sharing your “Clarence Moments” with us! You have a thing with words… can’t tell you which notes you’ve hit with me, but there have been a lot of the right ones!

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