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During Springsteen’s glorious Jan. 14 Light of Day benefit performance in Asbury Park, guitars _ including those of Grushecky and Houserocker Danny Gochnour _ bridged what would have been Clemons‘ solo during the E Street standard “The Promised Land.”

Houserocker Joffo Simmons, who had just given up his drums to E Street’s Max Weinberg, pointed heavenward. Springsteen smiled and offered a shout-out: “Big Man!”

It seemed no coincidence to some when Southside showed up at that show with his new band, the Poor Fools. Springsteen joked that it was hard getting used to seeing his old friend in the new role. In yet another cross-pollination, Soozie Tyrell, a violinist, guitarist and singer who performs with E Street, played with the Poor Fools that night.

A week earlier, several sax players _ including Jake Clemons _ were featured at a touching memorial benefit in Norfolk, Va. The show was buoyed by E Street bassist Garry Tallent, Bon Jovi’s Bobby Bandiera, Southside and a band fronted by the Big Man’s son, Clarence Clemons III, who’s known as Nick.

Jake Clemons showcased some impressive singer-songwriter skills that night. But mostly, the soon-to-be co-successor to the throne _ playing solo and amid a solid sax trio with Stann and Michael Antunes _ was awash in the moment as his horn wailed in honor of the Big Man.