Best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, the news of saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ massive stroke on late Sunday night has certainly left the music world with baited breath (the L.A. Times reports he’s improving). Meanwhile, here’s a highlight reel of Clemons’ contrasting performance styles over his long career.
Update: Clemons passed away on June 18 (Sat.) due to complications from the stroke.
1. Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run”
Clemons’ contribution to Springsteen’s ode on leaving Asbury Park is one of passion and fury. [Watch here.]
2. Aretha Franklin, “Freeway of Love”
This funky, Grammy-award winning tune was released back in the summer of ’85; Clemons drives the track with an opening solo before any vocals come into play. [Watch here.]
3. Clarence Clemons & Jackson Browne, “You’re a Friend of Mine”
Clemons teamed with singer-songwriter Jackson Browne for this out-of-leftfield pop hit in 1985. [Watch here.]
4. Twisted Sister, “Be Chrool to Your Scuel”
Clemons lent his chops for this delightful video depicting a zombie house band performing at a high school. [Watch here.]
5. Grateful Dead, “Iko Iko”
Though Branford Marsalis was widely-publicized as the Dead’s go-to saxophonist, Clemons sat in with the band during a handful of their shows in the late ’80s. In this performance of “Iko Iko,” he trades playful licks with a then healthy Garcia. [Watch here.]