E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons dies at 69 [Updated: Bruce Springsteen issues statement]
Saxophonist Clarence Clemons has died, a spokeswoman for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band confirmed Saturday. He was 69 years old.
Clemons, respsonsible for some of the most iconic and identifiable saxophone solos in rock & roll history, including the classic solo on Springsteen's hit "Born to Run," died of complications from a massive stroke he suffered last Sunday at his home in Florida.
Last week his family had set up an email address for anyone wishing to send get-well messages, and Springsteen posted his first message to fans about Clemons’ condition, describing the stroke as “serious.”
Clemons recently played on Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” album. He is also prominently featured in the video for her single, "The Edge of Glory."
He is survived by his wife, Victoria, and four sons. No word yet on any services.
Updated June 18, 7:12 p.m.: Bruce Springsteen's website has issued the following statement regarding the death of Clarence Clemons:
It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.
Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: "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 oppurtunity 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."
Pop & Hiss will update this post as information comes in.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy and Randy Lewis
Photo: Clarence Clemons with Bruce Springsteen during the E Street Band's 2009 tour stop at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times