Monday, June 13, 2011

Bruce Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons suffers stroke

Sad news from E Street.

Clarence Clemons, saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, has reportedly suffered a stroke at his Florida home. broke the news Sunday evening, reporting the Big Man “is seriously ill,” and Rolling Stone has “independently confirmed” the news.

No further details on this breaking news story are available at this time.

Rolling Stone indicates Clemons has gone through a series of medical ailments - mostly involving his back and knees - over the past decade, conditions which caused him to suffer a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort.

"That last tour was hell," Clemons told the magazine in February. "Pure hell." In the past year Clemons had both knees replaced and spinal fusion surgery. "The timing was perfect because it didn't interfere with a lot of stuff that was going on in my life," he says. "It made me stronger, and for the past year I've been in physical therapy a few days a week working my ass off to get back in shape. I'm walking better now, though I still use a cane and crutches. But now I'm having hip problems again. I don't know why."

Clemons last performed with Springsteen and the E Street Band in December of 2010 at Asbury Park's Carousel House for a special web broadcast taping. He performs on two songs on Lady Gaga's new album "Born This Way," and just last month played "The Edge of Glory" with her at the season finale of American Idol. He was supposed to play the national anthem before Game 2 of the NBA Finals last week, but a hand injury forced him to cancel at the last minute; he watched the game from the stands.

When Rolling Stone spoke to Clemons in February, he said that virtually nothing would take him off the road with Springsteen and The E Street Band.

"As long as my mouth, hands and brain still work I'll be out there doing it," he said. "I'm going to keep going 'til I'm not there anymore. This is what's keeping me alive and feeling young and inspired. My spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy told me that my purpose in life is to bring joy and light to the world, and I don't know any better way to do then what I'm doing now."

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Jungleland
London Calling: Live In Hyde Park DVD
Hyde Park – London, UK – June 28, 2009

See also:

VIDEO: Bruce Springsteen rocks Boston with Dropkick Murphys
Super Bowl Flashback: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (2009)