.

Jackson Browne, Bob Weir, Tom Morello and More Pay Tribute to Clarence Clemons

Page 4 of 6

Bob Weir

Clarence was an old pal, a soulful bro. He was a good hang. Back in the late Eighties and early Nineties, he was living out here in Marin County. He didn't have any commitments to the E Street Band. He was in moving-on mode, and he, Jerry and I were mixed it up a bit.  We were dropping by clubs like Sweetwater and sitting in with various bands. Jerry and I were both single at that time, and Clarence suggested the three of us move in together and have a bachelor pad. Jerry and I almost went for it. It would've been a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone would have survived [Laughs]. Jerry was in good shape, but we were doing a little drinking.

Clarence was always up for playing and always a delight to play with. He had that power and authority. He was a big guy with a lot of lung power, and he really made his sax honk. But he was also real flexible. He could play tenderly, and he could play country and make it stick. There was a period when he sat in with the Dead, and that was where we got to know him. We'd do the R&B and blues stuff together, like "Little Red Rooster" and a version of Willie Dixon's "The Same Thing." I have a feeling he was shooting for a role in that band. Jerry and I would've gone for it, but I'm not sure everyone else would. In the Dead back then, anyone had veto power, and a couple of the guys hated saxophones. Had it not been for a couple of objections, Clarence might've ended up in the Dead.  

The last time he sat in with me was at a Furthur show in April, in Boca Raton. He seemed a bit frail. He showed up at the gig in a wheelchair. But he walked on and managed to stand up, and he just fucking wailed. We played "Turn on Your Lovelight" and one or two others, and he blew everybody away. I miss him, but I'm always going to hear him. Whenever I play "Lovelight," I'll hear him.

NEXT: Alto Reed

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com