"The Big Man" was an appropriate moniker for Clarence Clemons. At 6-feet-4 and 250 pounds, the saxophonist, who died Saturday from complications involving a recent stroke, was literally quite large.
But even his physical stature couldn't measure up to his legendary sax skills as a 40-year member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and solo artist. The ego that would come with such talent, however, was missing, which makes it easy to look back fondly on Clemons' well-lived 69 years. Here are a few of our favorite Clarence Clemons moments.
Springsteen and Clemons loved each other. No, they like really, really, loved each other. And yeah, they would totally kiss on stage. What of it? Back when the two first met, the fact that a black man and a white man would play music together was still fairly controversial. The two were breaking down barriers and stereotypes one so-totally-not-gay peck at a time.
Cut to 0:39 for a brief peak at the hot, awesomely interracial action.
Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory" video
Say what you want about Gaga keeping Clemons in the shadows for this video, but the pop star introduced Clemons to a generation of YouTube commenters that otherwise knew him as the "sax man on the stoop LOL." Gaga might be scantily dressed as usual, but Clemons is the sexiest thing going here. It's almost sexier than the "Sexy Sax Man" serenade. Oh, and Clemons was mighty sexy. Just for good measure, let's reiterate: His sound was sexy. He was sexy.
Yeah, we're not even going to say anything clever about this one. Just listen.
A stint in the first All Starr Band
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Clemons showcases his gravelly, straight-forward voice as a member of Ringo Starr's first All-Starr Band. The band had a hell of a lineup, which also included Joe Walsh, fellow E-Streeter Nils Lofgren, Billy Preston, and Levon Helm.
The most important of "The Three Most Important People in The World"
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was pretty damn profound, despite depicting the time- traveling adventures of two late '80s San Dimas, California morons. Clemons' towering height gave him an intimidating presence, which made him a perfect as the focal point of the film's "Three Most Important People in the World."
Be excellent to each other, ya'll. Do it for Clarence.