Saxophonist Clarence Clemons died in Florida on Saturday after suffering a stroke a week ago.
The American musician and actor, Clemons, 69, who was also known as 'Big Man' had played a crucial role in shaping Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. The saxophonist had died to complications following the stroke he suffered about a week back, Springsteen's spokesman said.
Clemons, who had married five times, had four sons, Clarence III, Charles, Christopher and Jarod, and was blind in one eye.
It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away, Springsteen wrote on his website.
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, he said.
Meanwhile, a New York Times report said Clemons's jovial onstage manner, soul-rooted style and brotherly relationship with Springsteen made him one of rock's most beloved sidemen.
From the beginnings of the E Street Band in 1972, Clemons played a central part in Springsteen's music, complementing the group's electric guitar and driving rhythms in songs like Born to Run and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out with muscular, melodic saxophone hooks that echoed doo-wop, soul and early rock 'n' roll, a report in Gothamist said.
Clemons - known affectionately to fans and friends as the Big Man-Clemons was 6'4 and 250 pounds-- was the heart and soul of the E Street Band. His playing on tracks like Born To Run, Thunder Road, Jungleland, Dancing In The Dark and countless more represent some of the most famous sax work in the history of rock & roll, Rolling Stone reported.
The story I have told throughout my work life I could not have told as well without Clarence, Springsteen himself wrote in an introduction to Clemons's memoir.
Within hours of the death of legendary saxophone player, a candle and a handwritten sign saying RIP Big Man appeared outside the rock club in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where Clemons and Bruce Springsteen had their first meeting. Clemons had heard about the hot young rocker and he walked into one of his club shows on a bitterly windy night.
When I first walked on that stage and hit the first note, I saw things that are happening today, then, Clemons had told Reuters in an interview in 2009. I knew that he (Springsteen) was what I was looking for and I was what he was looking for to take that next step to the big time. It was just love, man, at first sight.
Caroline O'Toole, the rock club's general manager said Clemons was even bigger in Asbury Park, where fans grew up with his booming sax as part of the Jersey shore sound, AP reported.