Man-myth and heart and soul of the E Street Band, saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away this past weekend.
He was the spirit of the E Street Band, and the oaken staff that Bruce Springsteen leaned on.
Clarence Clemons — the Big Man with the big horn — died yesterday of complications from a stroke he suffered last weekend. He was 69.
“Clarence lived a wonderful life,” Bruce Springsteen said in a statement last night. “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.”
When the change was made uptown
And the big man joined the band
One night we were playing in Asbury Park. I'd heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince and on a break between sets I walked over there. On-stage, Bruce used to tell different versions of this story but I'm a Baptist, remember, so this is the truth. A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were on-stage, but staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, "I want to play with your band," and he said, "Sure, you do anything you want." The first song we did was an early version of "Spirit In The Night". Bruce and I looked at each other and didn't say anything, we just knew. We knew we were the missing links in each other's lives. He was what I'd been searching for. In one way he was just a scrawny little kid. But he was a visionary. He wanted to follow his dream. So from then on I was part of history.