‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,’ Bruce Springsteen


Clarence Clemons and Steven Van Zandt at the Izod Center (then known as the Brendan Byrne Arena) in June 1993.

With the news breaking that the Izod Center will soon be closed, one thinks, naturally enough, about some of the great concerts that have taken place there over the years. Certainly one of the most magical moments I witnessed was on June 24, 1993, when the East Rutherford building was still known as the Brendan Byrne Arena. It was a benefit for several local hunger charities, tacked on to the end of the Bruce Springsteen’s “Other Band Tour” along with a similar benefit at Madison Square Garden. This was Springsteen’s first tour without the E Street Band, but several E Streeters made guest appearances, including Clarence Clemons, who walked onto the stage as Springsteen sang his mythical song about the band’s formation, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out.”

Clemons walked out and started playing, in fact, as Springsteen was singing the line about him (“The change was made uptown/And the Big Man joined the band”). You couldn’t ask for better timing.

This was a perfect cap for the tour, though there was still that Garden show to come, two nights later. And it was also a sign that the band would surely be playing together in the future, though they didn’t actually do a reunion tour until 1999.

Check out the clip below.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter