Sunday, June 19, 2011

Springsteen sax man Clarence Clemons passes away at 69

R.I.P. Clarence Clemons (January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011)

Clarence Clemons has died at 69, following complications from a massive stroke on June 12. Despite optimistic signs of improvement after two brain surgeries, Rolling Stone reports Clemons took a turn for the worse later in the week.

Bruce Springsteen broke the news to fans via his website Saturday evening:

It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: “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 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.”

Clemons had a history of health problems over the past decade, and had been in physical therapy over the past year after having had both knees replaced and spinal fusion surgery.

Clarence 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 also played on two songs on Lady Gaga's new album “Born This Way,” and just last month played "Edge of Glory" with her at the season finale of American Idol.

photo credit: Danny Clinch

See also:

Bruce Springsteen issues statement regarding Clarence Clemons
Clarence Clemons recovering from stroke
Bruce Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons suffers stroke
VIDEO: Bruce Springsteen rocks Boston with Dropkick Murphys
Super Bowl Flashback: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (2009)