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Clarence Clemons Is Dead At 69

Legendary E Street Band saxophonist died nearly a week after suffering a stroke in his Florida home

Clarence Clemons, 69, the legendary saxophone player who was the "Big Man" in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died Saturday night after suffering complications from a stroke.

Springsteen, who began his nearly 40-year relationship with Clemons in Asbury Park, broke the news on his website, brucespringsteen.net, Saturday night, nearly a week after Clemons suffered a stroke on Sunday, June 12.

Springsteen's connection with Clemons ran deep, performing with the saxophone player at arenas and stadiums around the world.

But if Clemons was performing solo in Sea Bright, Red Bank, Belmar or Seaside Heights, there was always a good chance that Springsteen would jump on stage and join his good friend.

Springsteen, in a statement on his website, said: "It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7 p.m. tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons, passed away."

Springsteen said Clemons "lived a wonderful life," loved the saxophone and "gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage."

Springsteen said:

"His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 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 recent years, even in ill health and assisted by using a walker, Clemons often played at the Angry Moon, a cigar shop in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., near where he lived.

"He played there often, and usually unannounced," said Carmen Scharibone of Point Pleasant, who also frequented the Angry Moon while staying at his condo in Palm Beach Gardens.  "He was terrific, a real crowd-pleaser.

"He loved entertaining people," Scharibone said.  "He would play right along with the piano player, whoever was playing on that particular night.

"Those of us who went to the Angry Moon on a regular basis will miss him.  He was a lot of fun." 

Weekend editor Don Wilno contributed to this story.

Doug June 19, 2011 at 04:14 AM
So very sad to hear this news. It looked like he was making positive progress after the stroke last weekend. RIP Clarence. Thanks for the music and being one of the originators of the Shore Sound. Bruce will find it hard to continue the band without you.
tired of nothing ever gettin done! June 19, 2011 at 05:19 AM
So sorry to hear of about Clarence R.I.P. you will be missed by many! And to you Bruce so sorry to hear of your lost be strong!!!!
Karen June 19, 2011 at 05:49 AM
This is so sad. Will miss you Big Man!! Esteet band will be no more. Be strong Clarence's family and Bruce. RIP and play loud. your music will live on forever~~ Jersey Girl
George Signore June 19, 2011 at 02:55 PM
I believe, and hope, that I speak for many, many life-long Jersey Shore residents when I say nothing sounded more like “Home” than the empowering, rasping blasts of the Big Man’s horn as it took Bruce’s music with the E-Street band soaring through our musical hearts and souls where it will forever be etched upon us like a badge of honor. For those of us who’s roots are in deep Jersey beach sand and had the good fortune to grow up in what is now a passing era of one of the greatest, richest and most fertile music scenes in the world, led by Bruce and the E-Street Band, we should be forever grateful. My heart felt sympathy goes out to all of those closest to Clarence, and to all of us who loved his music. With the recent loss of Danny Federici, and now with Clarence gone, so goes an era of greatness and the chance of ever hearing live the heartwarming sounds of home they so bestowed upon us, however, their sounds will thankfully never be lost to us completely, nor will they be ever forgotten.
mike June 19, 2011 at 04:55 PM
RIP Big Man. The E Street band will never be the same without you and Danny. Hope Bruce can keep the legacy going and find some worthwhile replacements.

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