Okay...of course he really wasn't. But it was so ironic that this Clarence Clemons song (actually called "You're a Friend of Mine" for those of you who aren't children of the 80s) had been in my head non-stop for the past couple of weeks and then I hear today's bad news.
Renown saxophonist of the E Street Band passed away yesterday due to complications from a stroke he suffered last weekend. He was 69-years-old.
There may be folks out there who don't know who the E Street Band is. Probably the same ones who never heard "You're a Friend of Mine". But honestly, I don't know how anyone could not know that that was the name of the band that backed up Bruce Springsteen. I wasn't even a fan of "The Boss" back then and I still know that.
I really don't think there was anyone who didn't like at least some of Springsteen's music. It was hard not to. He was one of the icons of the era whose music was all over the airwaves. Bruce had some powerful music that was bound to pull you in whether you wanted to or not. Clarence was a big part of that sound with his unmistakable play on the saxophone.
Honestly, the way that I ended up really noticing Clarence was when he went solo. Up until then, I just remembered him as being "the black guy on the sax". When he put out that cut with Jackson Browne, he ended up joining the ranks of the other one-hit wonders of the decade. "You're a Friend of Mine" was pure 80s with traits like the unlikely duo and the swing song melody it rocked. It didn't matter that Clarence didn't have the best singing voice, he could play the mess out that sax and that's what helped what make the song great.
Rest in Peace, Big Man.