I was overwhelmed with sadness when I read this morning that Clarence Clemons (E Street Band) had passed away due to complications from a stroke he suffered earlier in the week…
My first introduction to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band was through the album Born To Run. The record sleeve begs one to open the gate fold so that you can see who the hell Bruce was leaning on…
I recall being a little hesitant to listen to anything that featured a saxophone player… I wanted to dismiss “old rock n’ roll” in favor of bands that were more along the lines of KISS or Motorhead at the time.
The album art however had a strange pull over me. Something about the pencil thin helvetica font and the grizzly black n’ white appearance of bruce with his trusty telecaster in hand.
After hearing the opening track “Thunder Road” on side A - I became a believer. Side B however had a stronger pull over me… thanks largely in part to the title track : Born to Run.
Closing the record was a song called Jungleland. A song about a boy and girl in a setting that was unrecognizable to me in south texas but familiar all the same.
I still get goosebumps throughout parts of the track… the piano trot at the beginning of the song. The soulful sax solo by Clemons in the middle of the track… and this lyric at the close of the song.
"Outside the streets on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what’s fantasy and the poets down here
Don’t write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be”