Clarence Clemons, legendary Springsteen sidekick, dies
June 18, 2011
Clarence Clemons, the legendary saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, died Saturday at the age of 69. [LA Times]
Clemons, whose musical contributions to Springsteen classics included “Born to Run” and “Rosalita,” died in a Palm Beach hospital of complications from a massive stroke he suffered June 12.
“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,” Springsteen said in a statement Saturday. “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.”
While Clemons’ beefy tenor sax work was central to Springsteen’s music, he brought an imposing presence onstage, where he often served as a playful and big-hearted foil to the band’s leader. His nickname “Big Man ” came from the fact that he stood 6 feet 2 and weighed anywhere between 250 and 300 pounds.