Monday, June 20, 2011

Clarence Clemons

World renowned saxophonist, Clarence Clemons died on Saturday at age 69. He died of a stroke. Clarence had been a member of the Bruce Springsteen E Street Band since the 1970's.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "Mr. Clemons' first encounter with Springsteen has become E Street Band lore. In most tellings, a lightning storm was rolling through Asbury Park one night in 1971 while Springsteen was playing a gig there.
As Mr. Clemons entered the bar, the wind blew the door off its hinges, and Springsteen was startled by the towering shadow at the door. Then Mr. Clemons invited himself onstage to play along, and they clicked."I felt like I was supposed to be there. It was a magical moment," Mr. Clemons later recalled. "He looked at me, and I looked at him, and we fell in love. And that's still there."

Bruce Springsteen made a statement shortly after word of Clemons' death got out. He said, "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."

Its hard to imagine the E Street Band without Clemons' powerful sax. Clemons also branched far beyond the E Street Band, and gigged with a long list of famous musicians. Most recently, Clemons appeared in the Lady Gaga video for 'The Edge of Glory,' and also played on the track, 'Hair'. This was a musician who remained active to the very end. He will be missed.

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