On This Day, January 11, 1942…
Clarence Clemons, best known Bruce Springsteen’s longtime friend and E Street Band saxophonist, was born in Norfolk County, Virginia.
Clemons first met Springsteen in September 1971 at a bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and later appeared on Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., where he played sax on “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night.”
As he was getting ready to promote the album on tour, Springsteen hired Clemons to join what would eventually become known as the E Street Band, the formation of which is recounted in the Born to Run classic “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.”
Known as The Big Man, Clemons was a fan favorite and staple of E Street Band until his death in June 2011 at the age of 69.
He also released several solo records and had a top 20 hit in 1985 with “You’re a Friend of Mine,” a duet with Jackson Browne.
Clemons was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 as a member of the E Street Band.
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