Back in high school, which was such a long time ago, I played the saxophone in the band, kind of. I wasn’t very good, but that’s probably because I wasn’t very interested in the thing. It was fun, but like most things for teenagers, it lost its luster after a year or two.

I wish I would have learned to play better and possibly flourish with that instrument now. In childhood, I was immersed in country music, which I still am, but I have expanded my horizons. I now have the likes of Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen in my music wheelhouse. What I’ve noticed is that their music features saxophone and a lot of it. When talking about the saxophone, talk starts and stops with Clarence Clemons, Springsteen’s other half in the E Street Band.

I was reminded that it was Clemons’ birthday today via an Instagram post by fellow Springsteen aficionado Dana Wessel.  Clemons would have been 72 today.

Now that I’m a huge Springsteen fan, I wish I would have practiced my saxophone more and moved up to that lovely tenor saxophone, the usual weapon of choice for Clarence. I wish Clarence Clemons would have entered my life earlier, because he entered it after he was gone.

Should I have practiced my saxophone more? Definitely. Would I had I known that Clarence Clemons was a god living amongst mere mortals? You better your ass I would have.

You can’t go through a single song penned by Springsteen and not think of Clarence. It’s such a special connection that few people ever share. So go now and look through your Springsteen collection and think of Clarence and then do it again tomorrow, because it’s just that damn good.

Happy birthday, Big Man.