Monitor

Clarence Clemons (1942-2011)

Saying goodbye to E Street saxophonist the Big Man

Longtime Bruce Springsteen sideman and iconic saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away on June 18 due to complications from a stroke. He was 69. The beloved horn player, nicknamed the Big Man, helped found Springsteen's E Street Band in 1972, and his signature tones enriched some of the Boss' classics. He enjoyed success as a solo artist and as a collaborator with Aretha Franklin. ''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,'' Springsteen said in a statement. ''His loss is immeasurable.... His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.''

Clarence's Best Moments
Springsteen, ''Born to Run'' (1975)
Bruce's breakout hit would not have been nearly as big without Clemons' joyous accompaniment.

Springsteen, ''Jungleland'' (1975)
The best sax solo in rock history.

Springsteen, ''Prove It All Night'' (1978)
Clemons goes toe-to-toe with Bruce's guitar for some classic interplay.

Twisted Sister, ''Be Chrool to Your Scuel'' (1985)
Clemons shows he can do metal, too.

Lady Gaga, ''The Edge of Glory'' (2011)
In his last guest appearance, Clemons lends the glammy single some big-lunged bluster.

Originally posted Jun 24, 2011 Published in issue #1161 Jul 01, 2011 Order article reprints