By Tonya Whitaker
NDG Staff Writer
Clarence Clemons, the towering saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, died Saturday at a Palm Beach, Fla., hospital. The New York Times reported Clemons was 69.
A spokeswoman for Springsteen said Clemons died from complications from the stroke he suffered last Sunday.
Clemons was one of the original members of the E Street Band, which was founded in 1972. His melodic saxaphone was present in Springsteen’s songs such as Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark. Despite his stature as “The Boss”’ sidekick, Clemons was a celebrity in his own right. Away from the E Street Band, the 6-foot-5 entertainer recorded a song in the 1980s with Jackson Browne called Friend of Mine, appeared on an episode of Diff’rent Strokes and jammed with President Bill Clinton during his 1993 inauguration ball.
Clarence Anicholas Clemons was born Jan. 11, 1942, in Norkfolk, Va. The New York Times reported he received his first saxophone at age 9. He attended Maryland State College (now the University of Maryland Eastern Shore) on a football and music scholarship. He tried out for the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns, but a knee injury ended his desire to play the sport.
He is survived by his wife, Victoria, and four sons, Clarence Jr., Charles, Christopher and Jarod.