Clarence Clemons, the legendary saxaphonist of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, suffered a “massive stroke” this past Sunday, June 12th. According to Backstreets, Clemons has since undergone two brain surgeries at a Florida hospital, and he is said to be “responsive and in stable condition, though still in a fight for his life.”
Update: Bruce Springsteen has released the following statement:
“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.
Clemens, 69, has suffered numerous health problems in recent years. Speaking recently with Rolling Stone, Clemens revealed that he has had both his knees and hips replaced and went through spinal fusion surgery. “That last tour was hell,” Clemons told Rolling Stone.
Clemens, who stands 6’4″ and who is often referred to as ‘The Big Man’, was born in Norfolk, VA on January 11th, 1942. Alongside Garry Tallent, Danny Federici, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, and David Sancious, Clemons formed the E Street Band in 1972. He has been performing and touring with Springsteen and the band ever since, and his licks on tracks like “Born to Run” and “Jungleland” are among the more memorable moments in the band’s iconic history.
In addition to his work with Springsteen and the E Street Band, Clemons has also released a number of solo albums, collaborated with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Jackson Browne, and Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, and appeared both on film (New York, New York, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and TV (Diff’rent Strokes, Nash Bridges). Most recently, he played saxophone on Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way.