On Saturday June 18, E Street Band member Clarence Clemons passed away in a hospital in Palm Beach, Fla. due to complications from a stroke that he had suffered the previous Sunday. He was 69.
Clemons’ death will be grieved by his Rock ‘n Roll music partner Bruce Springsteen with whom he has worked with since 1972. In a statement made Saturday night after learning of the musician’s death Springsteen said “With Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music.”
Because Clemons was Black and the rest of the band was White, at the time it was difficult for the band, because they could not perform in many places. But this did not hold the group or Clemons back from becoming successful.
Clemons will be remembered most for a music career that extends from his Top 20 hit “You’re a Friend of Mine” in 1985 to his most recent appearance on Lady Gaga’s album “Born This Way.”
Although music was his main priority, the saxophonist spent his college years at Maryland State College as a football player, before he was injured. Nicknamed “Big Man” for being 6 foot 4 and about 250 pounds, it is evident he was talented in many ways.
In his lifetime, Clemons also took up acting in Martin Scorsese’s “New York, New York” and the television show “Different Strokes.”
In addition to his music, acting, and sports ability, the people who traveled on the road with Clemons will also remember him for his eccentric ways and charisma. He was known as the partier and had a shrine in his dressing room he called Temple of Soul. In an interview he once said “I grew up with a very religious background. I got into the soul music, but I wanted to rock; I was a rocker. I was born a Rock ‘n Roll sax player.” Clemons is survived by his wife Victoria, sons Clarence Jr., Christopher, Charles, Jarod, as well as his many friends and fans.