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Entries in Clarence Clemons (9)

Thursday
Jun232011

New Jersey Flying Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of Clarence Clemons

Harry Scott/Redferns(TRENTON, N.J.) -- New Jersey is paying tribute to late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons on Thursday by having flags flown at half-staff throughout the state "in special recognition of his contributions to the state, people, and culture of New Jersey," according to the governor's website.

Gov. Chris Christie issued a statement praising the beloved Bruce Springsteen sideman, who passed away Saturday from complications of a stroke.

"Clarence Clemons represented the soul and spirit of New Jersey," said Christie. "His partnership with Bruce Springsteen and the rest of the E Street Band brought great pride to our state and joy to every fan of this music around the world."

The governor, a die-hard Springsteen fan, added, "On a personal note, when I heard about the Big Man's passing on Saturday night, I was struck with an overwhelming feeling that the days of my youth were now finally over.  My condolences to Clarence's family and all the members of the E Street Band."

On another note, new details have emerged about the private memorial service held for Clemons on Tuesday in Palm Beach, Florida, including specifics about the previously-reported eulogy delivered by Springsteen.

"Clarence was a man of unconditional love, but his love came with a lot of conditions," the Boss said, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. "He was a complex guy...an ongoing project.  But when you were in his presence, it was like being in a sovereign nation."

The newspaper also reported that Springsteen performed a solo version of his classic "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" during the service, while he, the E Street Band and Jackson Browne played a rendition of Browne and Clemons' 1985 duet "You're a Friend of Mine" to close out the proceedings.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun222011

Springsteen Delivers Eulogy at Clarence Clemons' Memorial Service

Harry Scott/Redferns(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Bruce Springsteen delivered the eulogy at a Tuesday memorial service for his late saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Clemons, who lived in Palm Beach County, Florida, died Sunday due to complications from a stroke.

The 69-year-old horn player was remembered at a private service attended by 200 family members and close friends, including members of Springsteen's E Street Band and Jackson Browne.  Browne and Clemons teamed up in 1985 for a hit duet, "You're a Friend of Mine."

According to the Post, Clemons' widow, Victoria, also spoke at the memorial, and Springsteen, Browne and the band members performed.  The service was followed by a private reception.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun192011

Music Fans Remember 'The Big Man'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Music fans are remembering Clarence Clemons, the powerhouse who helped catapult Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to the rock and roll Hall of Fame.

The saxophonist died Saturday of complications from a stroke he suffered on June 12. He was age 69.

Known to his fans as "The Big Man" for his towering 6-foot-5 frame and his mighty tenor sax riffs, Clemons was the rhythm and soul of the E Street Band and a fixture in Springsteen's legendary live concerts and the signature sound of so many of the band's songs.

He grew up in Norfolk, Va., and attended Maryland State College on both a football and music scholarship but music quickly won out.

Before graduating he moved to Newark, N.J., where the myth that became the premiere American rock band of the 1970s began.

"Bruce and Clarence had this special bond, anyone in the E Street Band would tell you that, but really it was onstage where it really turned to magic," said Robert Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

The importance of Clemons' role in the band was underscored by Springsteen himself in the song "10th Avenue Freeze Out," in which the lyrics explain how the E Street Band found success when "the big man joined the band; from the coastline to the city, all the little critters raised their hand."

Clemons had played with Springsteen since 1972. His stage presence with Springsteen had been a central feature of their concerts; his saxophone a defining element on such mega hits as "Thunder Road," "Badlands" and "Jungleland."

Although Clemons was best known for his work with the E Street Band, as recently as last month he performed on the American Idol finale episode with Lady Gaga.

Clemons also released several solo albums, and collaborated with other stars, including the hit single with Jackson Browne in the 1980s "You're a Friend of Mine" and Aretha Franklin's hit "Freeway of Love."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jun192011

Bruce Springsteen: 'Clarence Lived a Wonderful Life'

Harry Scott/Redferns(NEW YORK) -- A “great friend” and “partner” are the words used by Bruce Springsteen to describe band-mate Clarence Clemons, who passed away Saturday night at the age of 69.

Clemons, who played alongside Springsteen as part of the E Street Band, died as a result of complications resulting from a stroke he suffered on June 12.

Springsteen released the following statement on the passing of Clemons:

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.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun182011

Clarence Clemons, E Street Band Saxophonist, Dead at 69

Harry Scott/Redferns(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- E Street Band saxophone player Clarence "Big Man" Clemons has died from complications stemming from a stroke he suffered last week, a spokeswoman has confirmed to The New York Times.  He was 69 years old and had suffered numerous health problems in recent years. Clemons died in a hospital in Palm Beach, Florida.

Since the early 1970s, Clemons' saxophone had been an integral part of Bruce Springsteen's music, and the onstage camaraderie between the two men was a key element to the E Street Band's marathon live shows.  It is Clemons who appears with Springsteen on the cover of his seminal 1975 album Born to Run -- one of rock's most iconic images.  Clemons' solo on that album's closing track "Jungleland" is generally considered one of his finest recorded moments.

Clemons' last appearance onstage with Springsteen was in December, when he and the original members of the E Street Band played a special show in Asbury Park, N.J., highlighting songs from the album The Promise.

In addition to his work with Springsteen, Clemons also played and recorded with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin, Jackson Browne and Roy Orbison, to Ringo Starr, the Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker and, most recently, Lady Gaga.  Clemons played on two tracks from her #1 album, Born This Way, including the current top 10 hit "The Edge of Glory."  He can also be seen in that song's video, which just debuted this past week.

A larger-than-life figure, Clemons also appeared in the movie New York, New York, as well as other films, and in the TV show Diff'rent Strokes.  In 2009, he published his autobiography, Big Man: Real Life and Tall Tales.  He was married five times, and is survived by his fifth wife, Victoria, as well as by four sons.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun142011

Springsteen Statement on Clarence Clemons: 'Initial Signs Are Encouraging'

Harry Scott/Redferns(NEW YORK) -- Bruce Springsteen has issued a statement regarding the health of E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemons, who suffered a stroke this past Sunday.  In the statement, Springsteen confirms the stroke and adds, "While all initial signs are encouraging, Clarence will need much care and support to achieve his potential once again.  He has his wonderfully supportive wife, Victoria, excellent doctors and health care professionals, and is surrounded by friends and family."

Springsteen adds, "I thank you all for your prayers and positive energy and concern.  This is a time for us all to share in a hopeful spirit that can ultimately inspire Clarence to greater heights."

Fans who want to send a get-well message to Clarence Clemons can use the email address notestoclarence@clarenceclemons.com.

Meanwhile, a source close to the Big Man tells Backstreets.com, "It's sort of status quo right now, but the status quo is good. We're amazed -- the doctors are amazed at the advances he's made. Bear in mind, he's still machine-assisted. But his vital signs continue to improve, and the goal is to wean him off each machine as he gets stronger."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun142011

Clarence Clemons Reportedly 'Responsive' after Stroke

Harry Scott/Redferns(NEW YORK) -- A spokesperson for the E Street Band tells ABC News Radio that they currently don't have any information about the health of Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, who suffered a stroke on Sunday.  But reports indicate that the horn player may be improving.

A "close friend" of Clemons told the Springsteen fan site Backstreets that the saxophonist seems to be out of the woods.

The source told the website, "Yesterday, it did not look good at all.  Today...miracles are happening.  His vital signs are improving.  He's responsive.  His eyes are welling up when we're talking to him.  He was paralyzed on his left side, but now he's squeezing with his left hand....it's nothing short of miraculous."

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has called on her fans to support Clemons -- who played on her current single "Edge of Glory" -- in his recovery.

She tweeted, "Little monsters, my very close friend...Clarence Clemons is very sick. Can we all make some get well videos?" 

Later on Monday, she tweeted that she was in bed with her mother "thinking about Clarence," and added, "I can't wait for you to see the beautiful video we made together. He's a really special person."

That would be the "Edge of Glory" video, which has yet to have an announced premiere date.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun132011

E Street Band's Clarence Clemons Suffers a Stroke

Harry Scott/Redferns(NEW YORK) -- Saxophonist Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band has reportedly suffered a stroke.

RollingStone.com says it has confirmed an earlier report from 411.com that Clemons is "seriously ill after a stroke at his home in Florida."  RollingStone.com says it has no information about the severity of the stoke, but has independently confirmed Clemons did suffer one.

Clemons has suffered a number of medical ailments over the past several years, including spinal fusion surgery and two knee replacements.  The Big Man was scheduled to play the national anthem for game 2 of the NBA Finals last week, but had to cancel due to a hand injury.

Just last month, the sax player joined Lady Gaga on the American Idol stage to perform "Edge of Glory," one of two songs Clemons is featured in on Gaga's Born This Way album.  Clemons last performed with The Boss and the E Street Band in December 2010 at Asbury Park's Carousel House for a special web broadcast.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

Clarence Clemons to Join Lady Gaga for 'Edge of Glory' on 'American Idol' Finale

FilmMagic/Getty(LOS ANGELES) -- Lady Gaga will return to American Idol next week -- with The Big Man in tow.  Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, tweets that he'll be joining Lady Gaga for her performance on the American Idol finale on Wednesday, playing on her latest hit, "The Edge of Glory." Clemons added a sax solo to the track on the album, and now he'll do it live onstage.  

Gaga has spoken in interviews about how Springsteen was a major influence on the sound of her new album Born This Way, and "Edge of Glory" is one of the songs that is particularly Springsteen-esque.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio