The 13th Annual Clarence Clemons Birthday Celebration was held this year at The Headliner Oasis Nightclub in Neptune. The event honored the life and legacy of the legendary saxophonist and raised $4,200 for the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County. Isaac Fuchs, the event organizer, brought together 36 acts for nine continuous hours of music.
The artists included Clemons’ longtime friend and band member J.T. Bowen, Chuck Lambert, Jo Wymer, Jo Bonanno and the Godsons of Soul, and closed out with the Nick Clemons Band as the headline act. The evening included the presentation of the Clarence Clemons Saxman of the Year award, given to Joey Stann, currently a member of the Bonanno Band.
The Big Man’s Bash is about more than a party, it is a tribute to Clarence’s work with children at a Jamesburg school from 1962-1970. He was a boy camp counselor and mentor for troubled youth.Isaac Fuchs
Nick, the eldest son of Clarence Clemons, started the event in 2011, after his father’s death, says Fuchs. Eventually, Fuchs took over the planning and bookings for the event, Fuchs says, “The Big Man’s Bash is about more than a party, it is a tribute to Clarence’s work with children at a Jamesburg school from 1962-1970. He was a boy camp counselor and mentor for troubled youth.”
Doug Eagles, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, attended the event. He says the fundraiser is so important to supporting the work they do. “We run a variety of programs such as music lessons, homework help, community service, and life skills training and mentoring to build relationships between community activists and kids in the community. “
The event is all about what is positive about Asbury Park. Let’s focus on that. I am so proud of all the people that turned out.Nick Clemons
Nick Clemons says, “The event is all about what is positive about Asbury Park. Let’s focus on that. I am so proud of all the people that turned out.” The Nick Clemons Band played a mix of original tunes and tributes to his father and Bruce Springsteen.
J.T. Bowen has played all 13 Birthday Bashes, says he first met Clarence in the sixties when he was a college student and J.T. was in high school. J.T. sang with both of Clarence Clemons’ first bands, The Red Bank Rockers and The Chosen Few in Asbury Park. “He was a nice man,” says Bowen “Our favorite song to sing together was ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ by Otis Redding.” J.T. also appeared at the Birthday Bash thrown by Jared Clemons, youngest son of the Big Man January 6th, at the Wonder Bar.