From Publishers Weekly
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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"Legends have a way of growing every time they're told. This time, the tales of rock and roll history are brought to life by a legend himself, Clarence Clemons. Big Man
relives Clemons's story in a unique personal narrative that's bound in both history and folklore. This is an essential read for any music lover."
--President Bill Clinton
takes you on an outrageous journey with one of the most charismatic, gracious, kind and talented men of our time. This peek into the world of Clarence is full of fun and laughter, which is exactly what this guy is all about. He's a genuine soul worth his weight in gold. That's why he's been an inspiration to me for years and years, and his incredible music brings great joy to my heart. His role in the E Street Band helped place him and the band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...right where he belongs."
--Pat Riley, NBA Hall Of Fame coach
is one of the greatest books about a big black man ever written. If you want to get really close to a big black man without getting punched in the face, this book's for you!"
"The feeling I get watching Clarence walk to center stage to play his sax must be similar to the feeling a Yankee fan had watching Babe Ruth walk to home plate: you're sure a big man is about to do something that's gonna make you cheer louder than you ever have before. This great book makes that feeling even stronger. Now excuse me while I drive my sleek machine over the Jersey state line."
--Artie Lange, New Jersey native, E-Street fanatic, and New York Times
bestselling author of Too Fat To Fish
is too funny, soulful, outrageous and wise to have been written by two people. I suspect Don Reo is an invented character. A mystical book, an oddly beautiful book, a wonderful book."