Against a white background, a scrawny man clad in a tight black leather jacket and tighter denim jeans leans against a hunched-over giant wielding a tenor saxophone.
Courtesy: The Improper
This iconic image has defined Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen and the E Street Band since 1975. Tracks like “Thunder Road” and
“Born to Run” make even today’s youth sing at the top of their lungs.
Justin Townes Earle, a nationally recognized independent folk singer-songwriter, once said, “If you don’t like Bruce Springsteen then you don’t like Woody Guthrie meaning you don’t like music,” as he prepared to cover the Boss’s Nebraska hit “Atlantic City.”
Springsteen took motifs and styles from the folk/rock legends of the ‘50s, crafted them from his perspective and added brilliant musicians such as Roy Bittan and Clarence Clemons. The result: 42 years of breathtaking albums, catchy hits and a rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-worthy career.
In 2006, Springsteen paid homage to his hero Pete Seeger and assembled a masterful group to record many of Seeger’s iconic songs. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions connected the gap to Bruce’s listeners where his inspirations came from.
Boss released Working on a Dream in 2009. This album, consisting of Golden Globe winning track “The Wrestler,” sparked a promotional tour that would lead to incredible things.
For the first time in history, The E Street Band would perform entire albums live for to-capacity arenas. Two months before the end of the tour, Bruce wrote the song ‘Wrecking Ball” to pay respect to Giant Stadium and its inevitable demolition to make room for a new stadium.
The E Street Band played five dates at its hometown stadium, selling out the near 80,000 person stadium every night. Bruce played the entirety of Born to Run, that same album with Bruce leaning against Clemons, all five nights.
The tour ended on November 22, 2009 in Buffalo, NY. This author had the chance to see this show, amazed throughout the three-and-a-half-hour-long show.
Unfortunately for The E Street Band, this would end up being the last show with Clarence Clemons who died of stroke complications on June 18, 2011. He was 69.
Many thought that the band couldn’t go on without “The Big Man” as Clemons became known.
On March 6, 2012, Bruce and the band defied all odds and released his latest album, Wrecking Ball.