Reasons to watch:
- E Street Band’s legendary saxophone player, Clarence Clemons, was a man everyone seemed to love, and an integral part of the Springsteen experience.
- The film follows his journey to China, where he sought enlightenment, and the time beyond, featuring interviews with famous figures like Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, and more.
- Stick around after the screening for a talkback with the film’s producer, Joe Amodei, and Springsteen Scholar Shawn Poole!
The world knew him as The Big Man. The Minister of Soul. The Secretary of the Brotherhood. Musician, Singer, Songwriter, and a lifetime member of the E Street Band.
After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s marathon “Rising Tour” came to an end in 2003, Clarence Clemons felt like he needed a break. So he packed up his saxophone and voyaged to China, where he could be more-or-less a nameless traveler in a foreign land.
He anonymously visited cities, ancient temples, and the Great Wall. Filmmaker Nick Mead’s documentary, Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am? follows Clemons on his journey, and his transcendent awakening afterwards.
Tragedy struck when Clemons suffered a stroke and passed away, leaving a hole in the E Street Band and the hearts of the people he affected. The future of the band looked bleak, but Clemons’ nephew and fellow sax player, Jake Clemons, stepped up to continue his uncle’s legacy.
Now the film seeks to answer the question, who was Clarence Clemons? Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, Jake Clemons, former bandmates, friends, and close family members, Who Do I Think I Am? highlights Clemons’ life as a musician and member of the E Street band while also presenting another side of Clemons not many saw when he was away from bright stage lights.
The film’s producer, Joe Amodei, said in a Virgil Films blog post about his experience creating the documentary, “I had my right hand extended out and Clarence took it firmly and shook it with such grace, that it’s hard to explain what the feeling was like. Was this all really happening? I’ve lived E Street for most of my adult life following the band from city to city and overseas as well. His presence in the band was unmistakable and here I was, about to go into business with him.”
But rather than focusing on his status as the legend everyone knew him as, the film focuses instead on the way he lived his life, and the way everyone seemed to love him. It is an intimate portrait of a man who searched for enlightenment and meaning at the unknowingly final years of his life.
Stay after the film for a talkback with producer Joe Amodei and Springsteen Scholar Shawn Poole. Get tickets here.
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