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When Clarence Clemons Worked For Fox Chicago

"Hey, who needs Ted Koppel's take on political conventions when you've got E Street Band member Clarence Clemons covering the Dems' gathering," the Tribune reported on August 21, 1996. "Bruce Springsteen's sax player is headed to town to handle special-correspondent duties next week for Fox Thing in the Morning."

TMOVIDEO2 uploaded this video to YouTube, explaining: "Clarence was our guest reporter, filing stories for the morning show at the Chicago Democratic convention . . . late evening parties etc. I was lucky enough to be his cameraman for the week."


Of course, Clemons brought his sax to Chicago.

"This should stop traffic on Michigan Avenue - Clarence Clemons playing sax while Roger Clinton sings Tuesday on Fox Thing in the Morning," the Tribune reported on August 27, 1996.

Three days later, the San Francisco Examiner reported that "Shortly after President Clinton's speech ended at the convention hall, the rock band Los Lobos took the stage at the Navy pier. They were joined late in their set by delegate Clarence Clemons and Stephen Stills."

That same day, USA Today reported that "Chelsea Clinton partied with the Creative Coalition Wednesday night at Planet Hollywood, mingling with William Baldwin, saxman Clarence Clemons and tall, blond Lincoln Brown, 16, son of Phyllis George and a friend Chelsea has known since childhood.

In its convention review, the Tribune wrote this item: "Most unlikely midlife career switch: Bruce Springsteen's sax player Clarence Clemons, dreadlocks bobbing, buxom blond in one hand, mike in the other, chasing celebrities for his new gig as party correspondent for Fox Thing in the Morning.

"'To all those journalists out there, my hat goes off to you,' a panting Clemons said between interviews. 'I thought playing a sax for four hours was hard work. But this is tough.'"

But not everyone was happy with Clemons' appearance here, given that he was an actual delegate too.

"California Democrats already have picked a handful of delegates to the Chicago nominating convention in August, though the local caucuses have gone almost entirely unnoticed in the shadow of the Republican primary battles unfolding across the country," the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported on March 11, 1996.

"But some of the delegates from the North Bay may be better known than some of the GOP presidential candidates: there's sax man Clarence Clemons of Sausalito, actor Peter Coyote of Marin County and Esprit clothing founder Susie Tompkins, who was registered in San Francisco and has a home in Bolinas . . .

"But while sending celebs to Chicago seems like a cool Marin thing to do, it has Sonoma County Democrats hot under their party collars.

"They are joining a protest to state and national Democratic Party officials that complains that celebs are great for parties, but they're not likely to be around for the cleanup work. And although Sonoma County Democrats make up 60 percent of the Sonoma-Marin congressional district, no one from the county was selected to be a Chicago convention delegate.

"It turns out that Coyote is a registered Green Party member, and that Tompkins is registered in the city and not Bolinas.

"'The grass-roots Democrats were shut out,' said Roberta Hollowel, a Santa Rosa party leader who serves on the state party executive committee. 'Clarence Clemons can play the sax with Bill Clinton, but is he going to walk the precincts?'"

Or give money. According to the donor lookup on the website of the Center for Responsive Politics, Clemons never gave a dime to any candidate or party.

Of course, maybe he figured his boss had that department covered.

None of this is to diss Clemons; the Beachwood officially loves him. This is just what we found when we set out to do a "Clarence Clemons in Chicago" retrospective post.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 22, 2011

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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