Sunday, June 19, 2011

R.I.P. Clarence Clemons: Sax Player On Gaga's 'Glory'

Damn. Clarence Clemons, the big gregarious dude with an instantly recognizable signature sax sound, died Saturday after complications from a June 12 stroke. He was 69.

While best known as Bruce Springsteen's charismatic sideman in the E Street Band for 40 years, I adored Clemons' joyous 1985 top 20 duet with Jackson Browne (and Daryl Hannah), "You're A Friend of Mine." Ironically, he just returned to the spotlight with a prominent sax solo in Lady Gaga's current top 10 hit "The Edge of Glory."

He also contributed to albums by Dave Koz, Luther Vandross, Roy Orbison, Lisa Stansfield, Dan Hartman & many others, including Aretha Franklin's 1985 hit "Freeway of Love." On Gaga's album, he also plays on tracks "Hair" & "Highway Unicorn (Road To Love)."

Watch the video for "You're A Friend of Mine" here.