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Clarence Clemons, Saxophonist for Springsteen, passes at 69
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/19/11 4:22 am | updated: 06/19/11 4:22 am
 
Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, passed away Saturday night in a hospital in Palm Beach, FL, a week after suffering a stroke at his home in Singer Island, FL. He was surrounded by family members at the time of his death.

"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," Springsteen said in a statement posted on the band's website. "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."

Clemons' saxophone was as an important part of the success of Springsteen's hits such as "Born to Run" and "Tenth Ave Freeze Out" as the guitars and drums. It was also his stage presence and interaction with Bruce that brought live shows alive as well.

Larger than life at 6'4", and a baritone sax sound that is equally as large, Big Man will be missed and mourned by Springsteen fans. The Stone Pony in Ashbury Park, NJ where Clemons first met Bruce in a story of legend, will open it's doors early today, Sunday, as a gathering spot.

It was a stormy night in 1971 and Springsteen was playing a gig there. The wind blew the front door off the hinges, as Clemons walked in. Springsteen was startled by the towering figure in the doorway. Clemons invited himself onstage to play, and the rest is history.

 
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