There is sad news today in the music world, Clarence Clemons,the big man on the sax of the E Street band has passed away at the age of 69 due to complications from a stroke. Thesaxophone player fell ill at his Florida home last Sunday and later underwent two brain surgeries. According to accounts, his situation appeared to be looking up Monday; however, sadly last week his situation took a turn for the worse. Clemons played with the Boss, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since 1971. The unmistakable sax sound was a staple on such songs as Jungleland, Born to Run, Rosalita (VIDEO) and so many, many more. Clemons also played with other music legends the Grateful Dead, Ringo Star, Jackson Browne, Aretha Franklin and Ray Orbison.
I have long been a fan of the music of Springsteen and the E Street Band, especially their music of the 1970′s and 80′s. I spent many a summer and weekend down at the Jersey Shore, Asbury Park and the Stone Pony in my day. Today I lost a piece of my childhood, but I fondly remember some great moment from the past. Tonight the Stone Pony has free admission “Remembering the Big Man”.For those who grew up and went to school in the Jersey area you know exactly what I am referring to, Springsteen, Clemons and the E Street Band pretty much provided anthems for life.
According to Jersey shore music legend, Clemons was playing a gig at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park in September of 1971 when he decided between sets to go to the nearby Student Prince (VIDEO), where Bruce Springsteen was performing. Clemons was the sax player for the E Street Band from its inception until his passing. The Big Man was bigger than life, a friend to everyone who knew him, and we miss him so very much.
"Clarence lived a wonderful life," states Springsteen. "He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."
A statement from Bruce Springsteen:
“Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved thesaxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage.”
“He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life,
“Every time we get together, it’s all brand-new,” Clemons told the Associated Press last year. “Every time, Bruce comes back with something new and something different. I keep wondering: How high can he take it? … How many times can he be reborn? I just want to keep on living so I can keep seeing the change.”
Clarence Clemons was born Jan. 11, 1942, in Norfolk, Va., the son of a fish merchant who bought him an alto saxophone for Christmas one year, instead of the electric train he’d asked for.
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