The iconic rockstar Bruce Springsteen recently started a podcast with the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, with whom he discussed his close friendship with Clarence Clemons and the ideology behind having a ‘half Black, half white band.’
As you probably know, the E Street Band has been Bruce Springsteen’s backing band since 1972 and it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Bruce Springsteen is one of the most successful rockstars of all time and his most famous album was ‘Born in the U.S.A.‘ which was released in 1984 and was certified 15× platinum in the United States, and came to be known as one of the best-selling albums in history.
Springsteen is especially known for his socially conscious lyrics and his amazing live performances, some of which lasted up to four hours. During his performances, Bruce would take to time to point out each member of the backing band under the spotlight, which was something unheard of in the rock scene. The final introduction would be of Clarence Clemons or the ‘Big Man’ who was the band’s saxophonist.
As you may have heard, just a couple of days ago, a new podcast made it to the headlines of rock news. Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen sat down and created an eight-episode podcast named ‘Renegades: Born in the USA,’ in which they talk about music, race, politics, fatherhood, and more. In the most recent episode, they talked about the E Street Band which in the early days consisted of three White members and three Black ones.
This was highly appreciated by Barack Obama who said that he didn’t know that that was the case for a long time. At this point, Bruce Springsteen started talking about his close relationship with the late Clarence Clemons and said that everything started when one day he asked Clemons to join him at the front of the stage and play next to him during their show the following night.
Springsteen believes that it was the ‘idealism’ in their partnership that made their music and performances so special. He went on to explain that the audience felt happy to see ‘the America that they wanted’ on stage and witness that what they believe in can become reality. He added that the story that they told with Clemons and the other band members explored ‘the distance between the American Dream and the American reality.’
Here’s what Barack Obama said:
“I didn’t know that you know, you got a half Black, half white band.”
To which Bruce responded:
“There was a moment when I say, ‘Hey C, you know, tomorrow night when I go to the front of the stage and I play this, come on up with me and play it next to me.’ And we took those steps the next night.
There was an idealism in our partnership where I always felt our audience looked at us and saw the America that they wanted… wanted to see and wanted to believe in. And this became the biggest story I ever told. I‘ve never written a song that told a bigger story than Clarence and I standing next to each other on any of the 1,001 nights that we played. He lent his power to my story, like I said, the story that we told together, which… was about the distance between the American Dream and the American reality.”
You can check out the podcast below.