A Joint Resolution honoring the memory of Clarence Clemons and designating January 11 of each year as “Clarence Clemons Day” in New Jersey.
Whereas, Clarence A. Clemons, Jr., commonly known to his friends and fans as “the Big Man,” was born on January 11, 1942 in Norfolk County, Virginia and moved to New Jersey in the early 1960s, working as a counselor at the Jamesburg Training School for Boys; and
Whereas, Clarence Clemons was an accomplished saxophone player who, with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven Van Zandt, and Southside Johnny Lyon, popularized the “Jersey Shore sound” genre of rock and roll that emanated from Asbury Park in the 1970s; and
Whereas, In 1971, Clarence Clemons met Bruce Springsteen at The Student Prince in Asbury Park and joined what would become New Jersey’s most famous musical group, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, an event that would be immortalized in the song “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” in which Mr. Springsteen sings, “the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band”; and
Whereas, Clarence Clemons’ saxophone was an essential element to the success of the E Street Band and is an irreplaceable part of songs such as “Thundercrack,” “Jungleland,” “Badlands,” and “Drive All Night”; and
Whereas, The close friendship between Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons is shown by the Big Man’s appearance on the cover of the seminal album “Born to Run,” which shows Bruce leaning against Clarence as the Big Man plays his saxophone; and
Whereas, During the E Street Band’s legendary live concerts Clarence Clemons’ saxophone solos were highly anticipated and he was always introduced last in the band introductions, to the delight of the concertgoers who greeted his every move with roars of approval; and
Whereas, When not working with the E Street Band, Clarence Clemons was a successful film and television actor, the author of an autobiography, and a performer who appeared with an eclectic group of musicians including Ringo Starr, Aretha Franklin, Jackson Browne, and most recently Lady Gaga; and
Whereas, Clarence Clemons would often appear for charitable benefits and concerts at the iconic Jersey Shore music venue The Stone Pony, in Asbury Park; and
Whereas, Clarence Clemons suffered numerous medical aliments over the past few years, yet toured with the E Street Band as recently as 2009 and was participating in an intense regimen of rehabilitation in order to join the band for a tour in 2012, when he passed away from complications of a stroke on June 18, 2011; and
Whereas, It is fitting and proper that the hard work, dedication, achievements, and contributions of Clarence Clemons to New Jersey’s musical heritage be recognized; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. January 11 of each year shall be designated “Clarence Clemons Day” in the State of New Jersey in recognition of the many accomplishments of Clarence Clemons and his artistic contributions to this State.
2. The Governor is requested to annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and citizens of this State to observe “Clarence Clemons Day” with appropriate activities and programs.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This resolution designates January 11 of each year as “Clarence Clemons Day” in memory of the E Street Band saxophone player who passed away on June 18, 2011.
Clarence Clemons, commonly known as the “Big Man,” was an original member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and helped popularize the “Jersey Shore sound” genre of rock music that originated in Asbury Park in the 1970s. Clarence Clemons was a key member of the E Street Band, and his saxophone solos were an important element of both Springsteen’s studio records and live concerts. Clarence Clemons made several appearances in movies and on television. He also performed with a wide variety of musicians such as Ringo Starr, Aretha Franklin, Jackson Browne, and Lady Gaga. Clarence Clemons made numerous appearances, with and without Bruce Springsteen, at the club The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. In light of his extensive cultural contributions to the State of New Jersey, it is fitting that the citizens of this State remember Clarence Clemons on his birthday, January 11, of each year.
Designates January 11 of each year as “Clarence Clemons Day.”