Monday, June 20, 2011

Clarence Clemons taught me about the Joy of Sax

I had the pleasure of seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform four times in the past 30 years and one of the highlights of each concert was watching The Big Man – Clarence Clemons – wail away on his saxophone.

Springsteen has a lyric from his classic song Thunder Road that says, “I’ve got this guitar and I’ve learned how to make it talk.” Well, Clemons, a gentle giant of a man at 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, made his sax talk, too, and, by doing so, took the band to another level.

Now, this primarily is a sports blog, so I’m going to give you the sports connection with Clemons. The Big Man went to Maryland State College on football and music scholarships, and was good enough on the gridiron to earn tryouts with the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns as a defensive lineman. Bad knees conspired against him ever making an NFL roster, but football’s loss was music’s gain.

Those balky knees forced Clemons to concentrate on the sax rather than sacks.

And, as a result, Springsteen and rock ‘n roll were forever changed.


Happy Birthday to Henry Louis Gehrig. The luckiest man on the face of the earth would have turned 108 today.


Kind of apropos isn’t it that Rory McIlroy hails from a Northern Ireland town called Hollywood because the story of a 22-year-old from a humble working-class family winning the U.S. Open golf championship in record-setting fashion has all the makings of story that one day could make it to the silver screen.


I’m one of those people who definitely believe that interleague play has run its course, but I must admit it was kind of cool seeing the Yankees play the Cubs at Wrigley Field.


And speaking of Wrigley, it’s one of the few sports venues that I haven’t crossed off my bucket list. Beth and I both love the city of Chicago, so I think I can convince her to make a trip to the Second City and sit in the bleachers – as long as I lather on the sunscreen and keep my shirt on.


Thanks to Amy and Chris for making their dad feel special yesterday.

No comments: