“Scooter And The Big Man Bust This City In Half . . . “

  by:  Peter J. Gallagher

This is a blog about property, but this post has very little to do with property (although I will try to make a clever, albeit tenuous, connection).  As the world now knows, Clarence Clemons, saxophonist from the E Street Band (among other things) passed away this weekend.  As a huge Springsteen fan, and having been to scores of concerts, this was surprising and sad news, and I feel somewhat compelled to write about it here.

First, the property angle.  The name of the E Street Band comes from an actual street in Belmar, New Jersey, where the band used to practice (it was the home of David Sancious's mother).  Actually, Springsteen references many real places in and around the Jersey Shore in his songs, particularly the early songs (e.g., Madame Marie and the Palace, both of which are, or were, on the boardwalk in Asbury Park).   

Now on to my own little memorial.  My favorite memory of Clarence Clemons, and one of my favorite Springsteen concerts, took place on June 24, 1993.  This was during the Human Touch/Lucky Town tour, which found Springsteen backed by musicians other than the E Street Band.  The show occurred at the end of the tour as a charity fundraiser.  Rumors of guest appearances by E Street Band members were rampant, but as any ardent Springsteen fan knows, rumors of appearances by Springsteen at other bands' shows and rumors of E Street Band members at Springsteen shows must be taken with a grain of salt.  However, on this night, the rumors were true.  During the encore, Springsteen started the special appearances with Little Steven, who sat in on Glory Days.  Then he brought out the Miami Horns and started to play 10th Avenue Freeze Out, which everyone knew meant that he would bring out Clarence when "the big man joins the band."  Well, he did join the band (at about the 2:30 point in the video) and the crowd was so loud that I couldn't hear the  rest of that song or the follow-up, Born to Run.  (Believe or not, the sound on the YouTube videos doesn't do justice to how loud the crowd was during these two songs.)  Although Bruce would later get the whole band together for a reunion tour, this was a big event at the time because Bruce and Clarence hadn't shared the stage at a big venue like this for more than 5 years.  Glad I was there, can't believe it was 18 years ago now, and sad to know that we won't hear either of these songs played quite the same ever again.

Incidentally, this was a big couple of days for Springsteen.  He did another charity show two nights later at MSG (the special guest was Terrence Trent D'arby, so you can imagine which show was better), and in between made a cameo on David Letterman's final show on NBC.  Not a bad week. 

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