6.18.2011

the big man is gone: clarence clemons dead at 69


What terrible, sad, shocking news. Clarence Clemons, the Big Man, the heart and soul of the E Street Band, has died.

My heart goes out to Bruce, who must have lost a brother today, as well as all the other E Streeters, and Clemons' four sons.
Mr. Clemons’s first encounter with Mr. Springsteen has become E Street Band lore. In most tellings, a lightning storm was rolling through Asbury Park one night in 1971 while Mr. Springsteen was playing a gig there. As Mr. Clemons entered the bar, the wind blew the door off its hinges, and Mr. Springsteen was startled by the towering shadow at the door. Then Mr. Clemons invited himself onstage to play along, and they clicked.

"I swear I will never forget that moment," Mr. Clemons later recalled in an interview. "I felt like I was supposed to be there. It was a magical moment. He looked at me, and I looked at him, and we fell in love. And that's still there."
Springsteen:
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.

New York Times obit here.

4 comments:

allan said...

Teardrops on the city ...

***

Growin' Up (1985)
10th Avenue Freeze Out (1976)
Thunder Road (1976)
Rosalita (1978)
Detroit Medley (1978)
Twist And Shout (1984)
Sherry Darling (2009)

allan said...

Springsteen: "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."

laura k said...

Thanks, Allan. I added Bruce's statement to the post.

I can't even look at those clips from 76 and 78 yet.

New Nova Scotian said...

Terribly sad. Clarence was a wonderful addition to life these last thirty years or so. A wonderful man, an instinctive marvelous sax player. His passing, so suddenly, is very sad.