June 18th, 2011
09:30 PM ET

E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons dies

[Updated at 10:30 p.m ET] Legendary rock saxophonist Clarence Clemons died Saturday of complications from a stroke, bandmate Bruce Springsteen said. He was 69.

Clemons had played sax in Springsteen's E Street Band off and on since 1972.

"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," Springsteen said in a statement.

"His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 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."

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soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. LDVOICE

    Goodbye Big man and thanks for all you have given we will, never never forget you

    June 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cheflawrence

    He defined cool for me before I knew what cool was. Before I heard of Dizzy and all the rest. The world of music is not as good tonight. Make God rock!

    June 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. arch

    The band won't be the same with out you! Rest in peace.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    I am so incredibly sad.
    A part of my youth, a part of all of our important past is no longer with us.
    Bruce is the Conductor of the Powerful E Street Train, but the Big Man was the engine. Clarence was the Soul to Bruce's heart; the Perfect opposite that created an Energy I so often absorbed and revel in each time I hear that saxophone.
    It was that way when I was 16 and it's that way now.
    Rest in Peace, Clarence Clemons.
    Can you imagine the concert in Heaven tonight?

    June 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      why do you think he is in heaven?

      June 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. michael edwards

    A beautiful human being.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. poppa smurf

    great musician, you will be missed. to prevent strokes everyone, don't eat as much fried chicken.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. miklefty

    Promised Land will never be the same.....we will miss you C....Glad I got to travel the country to see you guys so much

    June 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jim

    His talent deserves much more then a simple blurb

    June 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • juliejet

      So true. Get with it CNN. At least one generation is mourning deeply tonight.

      June 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. craig

    there is a darkness at the edge of town tonight...rest in peace big man

    June 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bornandraised

    Farewell Big Man. Thank you for making my New Jersey upbringing something to brag about.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JerseyGuy

    The angels must have needed some more heart and soul sounds. Love Big Man RIP

    June 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cheflawrence

    I hope they don't bury his sax with him, but I would understand it if they did.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. stevo

    RIP Big Man, you will be missed.

    June 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anne Taylor

    Rest in Peace. You will be missed

    June 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bruce Fan

    RIP, Big Man!

    And, CNN, this has been all over the media for the last hour or more. Rolling Stone posted a little after 3:00 p.m. EDT. He's been sick for a week. Surely SOMEONE at an organization your size had a bio ready of probably the most famous rock sax player ever! How about just "Born in Norfolk, Virginia, on January 11, 1942, Clemons is best known as "The Big Man" of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band. Clemons saxophone is featured prominently in many of Springsteen's best known songs, including "Born to Run". His first meeting with Springsteen was immortalized in "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out", and in introducing the band, Springsteen would always save Clemons for last, working the crowd into a frenzy as he introduced "on saxophone, the Big Man, Clarence Clemons!"."

    See, that took me 30 seconds!

    June 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wheel

      Well said!

      June 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
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