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

Page 5 of 6

Alto Reed

I started playing saxophone with Bob Seger in late 1972 – about the same time Clarence started playing with Bruce. Both Bruce and Bob gave each of us similar positions of "sidekick" that developed over the years. And because Bob and Bruce were very aware of each other, I like to think Clarence helped me have a front-and-center position in Bob's band. Having someone else out there doing what I do that helped validate me in that role in the band.

Bruce constantly referred to Clarence as "the Big Man," which really helped create this bigger than life persona. Add that to the fact that he was a great musician – a great saxophonist and melodist and somebody with an extraordinary tone – and you had a match made in heaven.

His playing came from deep within. The way he made the saxophone resonate was almost supernatural. When he played, you heard every ounce of his soul.

We've lost a great musician and a great performer. But a huge part of Rock and Roll has moved on to the next arena, so he's in good company. I send angels Clarence's way to guide him home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Heaven.

NEXT: Gary U.S. Bonds

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