Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band’s saxophonist, has suffered a stroke, according to several reports.
Clemons, known and loved as The Big Man, is a founding member of the E Street Band and Springsteen’s stage sidekick. Clemons, 69, the most famous member of the band after The Boss. He is immortalized in “10th Ave. Freezeout” from 1975’s “Born To Run,” in the verse, “When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band/from the coastline to the city all the little pretties raise their hands/I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh/when Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half/With a 10th Ave. freeze out.” Scooter is Springsteen’s alter ego.
As Springsteen often says when introducing Clemons: "You wanna be him, but you can't." He's simply the personification of cool. As someone who's seen more than 30 Springsteen shows over more than 25 years, it's been sad to watch health issues diminish some of Clemon's abilities, but there hasn't even been a show that he hasn't still brought, at the very least, a smile to my face. On some nights, especially during his challenging "Jungleland" solo he's brought much, much more.
Clemons in on a Top 10 record on the Billboard Hot 100 right now: he plays saxophone on Lady Gaga’s “The Edge Of Glory.” He’s also on the track, “Hair.”
Roger Friedman’s Showbiz411.com broke the news mid-afternoon on Sunday and Rolling Stone later confirmed it. According to Showbiz411, Clemons is “said to be seriously ill after a stroke at his home in Florida.”
We reached out to Clemons' publicist and as of Monday morning, she said there was no official update. We have no idea how "official" this person is, but a "source" on Springsteen fan site Backstreets.com, reported that Clemons came through two surgeries following the stroke and is responsive. We have not been able to verify that information, but since it's good news, we hope it's true.
UPDATE: Via Twitter, Lady Gaga asked her fans to wish Clemons well: "Little monsters, my very close friend +musician on The Edge of Glory, Clarence Clemons is very sick. Can we all make some get well videos?"
UPDATE 6/14: Bruce Springsteen issued the following statement on Tuesday, June 14: By now, many of you have heard that our beloved comrade and sax player Clarence Clemons has suffered a serious stroke. While all initial signs are encouraging, Clarence will need much care and support to achieve his
potential once again. He has his wonderfully supportive wife, Victoria, excellent doctors and health care professionals, and is surrounded by friends and family.
I thank you all for your prayers and positive energy and concern. This is a time for us all to share in a hopeful spirit that can ultimately inspire Clarence to greater heights. -- Bruce Springsteen
For those who wish to send a message to Clarence Clemons:
There is now an e-mail address email@example.com that you can send a note if you want. It is for notes only and not an information site and no one will be able to respond right now