For the first time ever comes the inside story of Clarence "Big Man" Clemons--his life before, during and beyond the E-Street Band, including unbelievable, never-before-told adventures with Bruce Springsteen, the band, and an incredible cast of other famous characters recounted by himself and his best friend, television writer/ producer Don Reo.
Here are just a few things you'll get from reading it:
*The truth behind the final hours of making Born To Run
*The real story of how the E-Street Band got its name
*What happened when Clarence and Ringo Starr were sitting in a hotel room and Clarence got the call that Bruce was breaking up the band
*How Bruce and Clarence met that dark, stormy night at the Student Prince
*The E-Street band's show at Sing-Sing prison where all of their equipment blows out right as they take the stage
*The secret that Robert De Niro told Clarence and Bruce they had to keep for 25 years
But that's merely a glimpse. This is not your average rock book. It is something creative, something unique, something new. It is the story of E-Street. It is the story of stories. It is the story of the Big Man.
As the saxophonist for the E Street Band, the famed backup band for Bruce Springsteen, Clemons has lived a kind of pop music celebrity that's rare these days, a life spent rising and staying at the top of the album charts and performing before stadiums packed with tens of thousands of people. Along the way, he's mastered the art of telling yarns that are entertaining, whether plausible or dubious. It's a skill acquired during long hours waiting for gigs, traveling to gigs and recovering from gigs (Clemons now suffers from knee, hip and other joint ailments). His storytelling prowess is on display in this memoir, written with friend and producer Reo (My Wife and Kids; 'Til Death). The book is part episodic memoir (printed on white pages) and part bull session ("legends" printed on gray pages). The authors trade chapters about how the E Street Band got its name, how Spring-steen and Clemons met and why Big Man decided not to cut his hair, among other things. The intent is to give readers, especially fans, an idea of life behind the music by sharing the stories bandmates told each other. It's a novel approach to memoir that unfortunately skimps on serious insight and Springsteen's music and too often settles on nostalgia and celebrity name-dropping. Fans of Springsteen (who contributes a foreword to the book) will no doubt be more tolerant and eager to savor every page. (Oct. 21)
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Grand Central Publishing
October 20, 2009
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