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Bruce Springsteen: The Professor Approves

Bruce Springsteen
(Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Longtime E Street Band piano player “Professor” Roy Bittan is impressed with Jake Clemons, the nephew of the late E Street sax player Clarence Clemons, and his role in the band on their Wrecking Ball tour. Bittan tells New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, “To see him onstage is a heartwarming thing. Nobody will ever take Clarence’s place, but he’s doing a phenomenal job. Jake is a great guy, and I know personally how hard he’s worked to make the show what it is. Those solos are iconic. They’re carved in stone. He’s been honoring them by playing them the way Clarence would have, which is the right thing to do at this point.”

But Bittan still has a place in his heart for the seven-member E Street lineup. “The seven of us together were an amazing, rare, beautiful thing. Not seeing Clarence and Danny Federici onstage is now and will always be emotional for me. But life moves on, and we’re all doing our best to honor them both.”

Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band are back home in New Jersey tonight (Wednesday) for the first of three shows at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford. These are his first dates at the venue that replaced Giants Stadium, which he was the last artist to play in 2009.

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