We here at Abnormal Use are huge fans of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, so of course, we were saddened to learn of the death last weekend of Springsteen’s long time friend and saxophone player, Clarence Clemons. Our firm boasts many Springsteen fans, from newly minted admirers to some who saw the Boss and Clemons back in the 1970s. Whenever Springsteen and the E Street Band play the Southeast, our firm sends a contingent of folks to bear witness. In light of our great fondness for Springsteen and Clemons, we thought we would share a few memories of Clemons.
Shareholder and Blog Author Phil Reeves: “My second concert with Bruce was in Atlanta in 1978 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. I had tickets on the fifth row, and he had rescheduled because he was sick, and it was broadcast on the radio. He played four hours, and he and Clarence did the best version of “Backstreets/ Sad Eyes” ever. He has never repeated it. I remember being blown away and understanding that this was music at its most powerful level. I have never forgotten a single note and can not imagine a better show ever. Clarence was amazing. This was he and Bruce at their best, and it was obvious that they were not only fellow musicians, they were also best friends. It was quite a show. When it was over, we just sat there in awe. I still have the tapes and they are among my most precious possessions.”
Thanks to the power of the Internet, we were able to locate the setlist to that September 30, 1978 show.
Paralegal Stephanie Ayers: “My memory would be the concert in Greenville in September ’09 when Phil Reeves’ daughter, Michelle, made the huge poster which said ‘Welcome to Greensteen.’ We were only a couple of rows from Clarence and when he spotted the poster, he smiled his big smile and pointed it out to Bruce. They both keep pointing to the poster and smiling our way and then they motioned for Little Stevie to get the poster and bring it to them. Then they held it up and it was on the big screen behind the band for their last song. What a great moment.”
If we here at Abnormal Use are anything, we are quick with our iPhones, and we caught a quick picture of the very moment Stephanie is describing, with Little Stevie holding the sign in question while Clarence sits in the foreground. See below for that photo. The set list for that September 16, 2009 show at Greenville’s Bilo Center can be found here.