Episode 21 of Station to Station features my 1990 interview with Clarence Clemons, the original saxophone player for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
In his eulogy for Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen described his bandmate as “a major project and always a work in progress.”
That line stayed with me as I listened to my interview with Clemons we had recorded ahead of his appearance at Lulu’s Roadhouse in Kitchener, Ontario Canada in 1990. He discussed the major projects he was in the middle of or heading into, ‘his works in progress’.
They included the release of a dance album called A Night with Mr. C; he was going on a club tour fronting a band he called the West Coast Edition of the Red Bank Rockers; and following that he was going to head into the studio to work with Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band. This came on the heels of the recent news that Bruce Springsteen had split with E Street Band.
“The break up with Bruce and the E Street Band thing,” said Clemons.
“[It] has afforded me the opportunity to go out and really…find Clarence Clemons and become Clarence Clemons.”
Clemons brought up Springsteen twice in our ten minute conversation. This after his manager at the time gave me strict orders not to ask any questions about the break-up or Springsteen.
Maybe it was still a fresh wound for Clemons, or maybe he wasn’t supposed to talk about it.
So, in our ten minutes on the phone we talked about music, his inspirations, and about how he kept busy during that one year that he gave up the sax.