Clarence Clemmons Blows With Gaga
Clarence Clemmons (I’m a huge fan) gets a phone call and winds up on the new Lady Gaga album.
You may be asking yourself if stuff like this really happens. Is it really that easy? Yes, it’s that easy once you become a name.
Three weeks ago E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons was putting together an exercise machine in his Florida house when his wife told him that Lady Gaga’s people were on the phone. “They said to me, ‘Lady Gaga wants you to play on her album,’” Clemons says. ‘When do you want me to do it? I’m free Monday or Tuesday.’ They go, “No, she needs you RIGHT NOW in New York City.” Clemons dropped what he was doing and started driving to the airport. “I almost got a ticket I drove so fast,” says Clemons. “It was wild. I was so excited. I’m a Gaga-ite.”
Clemons arrived at the Manhattan studio at midnight with his saxophone, not quite sure what to expect. “She came running down the hall,” Clemons says. “She was like ‘Big Man!’ I was like, ‘Holy shit, man. Damn!’” Gaga wanted him to play saxophone on multiple tracks, including the in-progress song “Hair.” In a recent interview with Ryan Seacrest, Gaga talked about the song. “It’s uptemo, but it’s sort of got this Bruce Springsteen vibe to it,” she said. “I actually had Clarence Clemons come in. He played saxophone. It’s really interesting, because it’s putting saxophone on this really huge electronic record.