Streams

Remembering the Big Man, Clarence Clemons

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The saxophone player for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Clarence Clemons, died in Florida from complications of a stroke on Saturday. He was 69.

The Norfolk, Virginia native moved to New Jersey in his 20s and soon after started playing with the E Street Band and Springsteen.

"Clarence lived a wonderful life," said Springsteen on his Web site. "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."

In addition to the E Street Band, Clemons performed with the Grateful Dead, Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison and Jackson Browne. He also had his own bands called the Temple of Soul and The Red Bank Rockers.

Below, Bruce Springsteen gives a rousing introduction -- "Give me a C-L-A-R-E-N-C-E' ... What's that spell? -- to the Big Man:

Lady Gaga's video for "The Edge of Glory," which debuted this week, features Clemons:

Below, the Big Man (so-called for his 6-foot, 5-inch frame) plays his famous "Jungleland" live in 2009:

Check out a slideshow of Clemons below:

Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen share the centerfold of <em>Born to Run</em>, released in 1975. The iconic photo was taken by Eric Meola.
thejcgerm/flickr
Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen share the centerfold of Born to Run, released in 1975. The iconic photo was taken by Eric Meola.
Former president Bill Clinton laughs as Clarence Clemons plays a rendition of the presidential tune
Denis Poroy/AFP/Getty
Former president Bill Clinton laughs as Clarence Clemons plays a rendition of the presidential tune "Hail to the Chief" at a fundraiser in 1993.
The Big Man and The Boss playing in Barcelona in 2008.
micheleluconi/flickr
The Big Man and The Boss playing in Barcelona in 2008.
The Big Man playing onstage with the guitarist who tours with the Boss and the E Street band, Nils Lofgren, in 2008.
MNicoleM/flickr
The Big Man playing onstage with the guitarist who tours with the Boss and the E Street band, Nils Lofgren, in 2008.
A signed poster of the Big Man.
willwhitedc/flickr
A signed poster of the Big Man.
<em>Rescue</em> by Clarence Clemons and The Red Bank Rockers was released in 1983.
Piano Piano!/flickr
Rescue by Clarence Clemons and The Red Bank Rockers was released in 1983.
The Big Man with
Bloody Nick/flickr
The Big Man with "Sister" Soozie Tyrell and Charlie Giordano in 2009.
Clarence Clemons plays while Springsteen takes the mic in Dublin, Ireland in 2009.
mikeheth/flickr
Clarence Clemons plays while Springsteen takes the mic in Dublin, Ireland in 2009.
Actor Jamie Foxx (2nd L) and Clemons (R) attend Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat in 2005.
Brian Bahr/Getty
Actor Jamie Foxx (2nd L) and Clemons (R) attend Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat in 2005.
Lofgren, Clemons and Springsteen perform during the first show of the 'Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band' in 2002 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.
Frank Micelotta/Getty
Lofgren, Clemons and Springsteen perform during the first show of the 'Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band' in 2002 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.
The Big Man playing in Dublin, Ireland in 2009.
glamismac/flickr
The Big Man playing in Dublin, Ireland in 2009.

Tags:

More in:

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Sponsored

Feeds

Supported by