Guest Author - Carla Cano
Clarence Clemons died Saturday, June 18, 2011 after having a stroke on June 12, 2011. He underwent two surgeries before succumbing to complications caused by the stroke. He was 69 years old.
Clarence Clemons was most remembered as the Saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Clarence and Bruce met in 1971 and by 1972 Clarence had joined the rock band. They worked together for over 30 years. His saxophone brought a deep, rich depth to Bruce Springsteen’s music. Their magic together was hard to dispute. Clarence was clearly evident in songs such as, “Jungleland”, ”Prove it All Night”, ”Bobby Jean” and more, that shot Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to the stardom levels they have reached.
The Big Man, as Clarence was often called, came from humble beginnings, born January 11, 1942 in Virginia. He started playing saxophone as a child and he also played football. He attended Maryland State College on scholarships for music and football and majored in sociology. He left college shortly before graduating and worked as a child counselor for several years. He went on to marry five times and had four sons.
Clarence had an extensive music resume. He worked with many people in addition to the E Street Band. He collaborated with musicians as Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, Ringo Starr, Twisted Sister and recently Lady Gaga. He performed on the American Idol stage with Lady Gaga during the season finale. He worked with many styles and people exploring and experiencing many genres. He also had his own band called the Temple of Soul. Clarence even though he was experiencing pain in his knees and back and over the years had surgery to try to rid himself of the pain, continued to bring his love of music to fans around the world.
Clarence also did some acting over the years. He did some TV appearances such as Different Strokes, Nash Bridges, The Sentinel and others. He did a few movies as well. He was in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures, Fatal Instinct and Blue Brother 2000 to name a few. He also co-wrote an autobiography, Big Man: Real Life and Tall Tales.
He will be missed and remembered by many. He had a large impact on many music lovers over the span of his career. The sound and flavor he brought into everything he did will be remembered and cherished. Positive thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans during this time of mourning.
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