R.I.P. Clarence Clemons

Sad news: Legendary saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, who delighted everyone at Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concerts for decades, has passed away at 69, following complications from a stroke suffered a week ago.

He was always one of the highlights of the concerts for me. When he started playing, everything seemed to kick up a notch. This clip is from Hyde Park in London in 2009. Clarence comes in around the two minute mark.

R.I.P. Clarence.

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    Thanks (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by miresmike on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 06:35:36 AM EST
    Thanks for your post, i like the video.

    May he rest in peace. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by scribe on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 09:56:12 AM EST
    I first became a fan of Bruce and his band as a kid, back in the days when The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle was his latest album - 1974 or so - before Born to Run was released, before they were on the covers of magazines, before they filled stadiums, before worldwide acclaim, before anyone outside the NY-Philly area had heard of them.  The stage shows in those days were legendary and with reason - they played for hours and with such energy and love that it was inescapably infectious.  The poesy in Bruce's lyrics then had not yet truly hit its stride and Clarence's sax and his presence made up for that, giving those songs the energy they still have today.  

    They were a pair whose artistry fed off each other to yield something greater than either alone, as great as they both were and are.

    And, of course, seeing Clarence funk it up, Santa hat and all, during one of their Christmas-time shows at the old Spectrum in Philly remains a strong and pleasant memory, more than 30 years on.

    While I'm quite saddened that Clarence is no longer with us, I'm glad for his sake that he did not have to suffer a long time post-stroke.  And I'm glad for everyone he was able to work - last, with Lady Gaga, I believe - until the end.

    And, finally, I'm glad I still have a cassette player and my cassettes of concerts from the mid-70s, recorded from the live radio broadcasts, which need a listening.

    We'll miss you, Clarence, and remain grateful to you for enriching our lives.

    Just so sorry (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    Needless to say the shows will never be the same. He was so much the heart of the band. I was lucky to have experienced it, and I am so glad I got my sister out here to come with me in the pit last time.

    My heart goes out to his family and the band. It must be heartbreaking to face life today without the Big Man.

    aw man.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kempis on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 07:22:19 AM EST

    The Big Man, RIP. (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:05:32 PM EST

    Funny Story (none / 0) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:38:42 PM EST
    From Wiki:
    Clemons has recalled their(Springsteen) meeting in various interviews:
        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.