Clarence Clemons’ Thoughts On The Physicality Of Playing Rock & Roll Sax

For decades, Clarence Clemons has arguably been the hardest-working rock & roll sax player in the industry. He is currently on the road again, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, on the Working On A Dream tour. 

Over the years, as Clemons has juggled his successful solo career and his work with The Boss, he has always maintained that physical activity was important to his job. He has said:

I take my job as a rock and roll sax player very seriously. To do it the way that I must do it, I must be in good condition. The better shape you’re in, the harder you can rock.

I found this video on YouTube, which I thought gave some very interesting insights into the sax player known as The Big Man. The interview is a few years old; it was taped when Clemons was 42. At the time, he worked out for 3 hours a day and played 4-hour shows at night. Yikes! icon_yikes

Here’s an example from one of the E Street Band performances that shows the physical nature of some of the work that Clarence Clemons was doing. 

Yes, he certainly needs to be in good shape to be able to pull this stuff off night after night, for months on end!

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2009, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.


  1. That sucks. I wonder why it took so long for these to be noticed? Hopefully it wasn’t this article. I wonder if anyone else ever linked to them before. :scratch:

    Well let’s see if the other one gets pulled too.

  2. After seeing your first article on him, I checked this out, but the videos aren’t available any more unfortunately…..

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