The Boss and The Big Man, a musical combination like no other. It's hard to explain how much I love the E Street Band. Born in the USA was the first gift I ever bought for my dad with my own money. He wasn't a huge fan, but I'd heard him say he liked Springsteen, so I was excited that we might finally have some music in common. I remember driving around Green Bay late at night with my friend Mike, driving our own Backstreets, listening to Springsteen on his boom box. I finally got to see Bruce and Clarence on their last tour. I've seen a lot of great shows in my time, but let me tell ya, the old guys put on the best show I've ever seen. I play a lot of Springsteen for my girls. It's important to me that they know the music. They may never love it like their old man does, but I want them to know it and appreciate it.
Clarence was a huge part of the E Street sound, the underlying pulse of the music, his solos turning good songs into great ones and great songs into classics. I've been listening to a lot of E Street this week, and here are the five songs where Clarence was at his very best.
5) Secret Garden: This song was featured in Jerry Maguire, one of my favorite movies. It's a mellow song, and Clarence brings it home in style.
4) Thunder Road: This is classic E Street. Clarence takes center stage around the 4 minute mark.
3) Bobby Jean: This is one of my favorite songs on Born in the USA. The Big Man's solo near the end perfectly captures the melancholy of this song.
2) Born to Run: Probably the most beloved Springsteen song, and with good reason. I love this video. The crowd in Barcelona is so passionate. That's what I remember about the show I saw, the passion of the crowd, people singing the whole time.
1) Jungleland: This may be the best sax solo in rock n' roll history. It's a long song, with Clarence coming in around the 4 minute mark. The solo itself is quite long, about 3 minutes, and it gets me every time.
If you're an E Street fan, feel free to share some other favorites in the comments. RIP Big Man.