Not only did [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band[/lastfm] lose one of its most prominent band members over the weekend, but the music world was hit hard with the sad news of the passing of saxophonist Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons.
He was the towering figure on stage alongside Springsteen who brought the signature funk and soul sound on hits including “Thunder Road,” “Jungleland” and “Born To Run” and leaves behind an “immeasurable loss” with his band mates of nearly forty years.
Springsteen released a statement regarding his close friend and band mate, Clarence, shortly after his passing on Saturday, June 18th at the age of 69. He issued this warm statement on his website about his impact with The E Street Band and legacy in music:
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.
In addition to playing with Springsteen for almost forty years, Clemons also lent his groovy sax sound on collaborations with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Jackson Browne[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Aretha Franklin[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ringo Starr[/lastfm] and more recently playing on [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Lady Gaga[/lastfm]‘s Born This Way album.
His involvement and presence with The E Street Band with be greatly missed, but never forgotten by fans around the world. Watch a stunning sax solo by Clemons on “Jungleland” live from Madison Square Garden in 2009: