The Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away on Saturday, June 18, after complications following a stroke, and the music world has offered an outpouring of support, tribute and remembrance for the big man who electrified Springsteen's sets with his signature horn.
During the encore of U2's concert at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Saturday night, frontman Bono dedicated an impassioned rendition of the band's "Moment of Surrender" to Clemens, telling the crowd, "I want you to think about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I want you to think of Clarence Clemons. This man has carried music, and music carried him… until this day."
Across the country in Hartford, CT, Eddie Vedder also paid respects to Clemons, dedicating "Better Man," with the lyrics changed to "bigger man," to the passed sax man after learning the news during his set.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin posted on his band's official website, "RIP our favourite saxophone player, Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons," accompanied by a video of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's "Jungleland". Bon Jovi, playing a show in Denmark, played a cover of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" from Springsteen's breakthrough album Born To Run.
The tweets were fast and full of love as well, with Slash tweeting, "Clarence Clemons was one of the finest musicians/people in this business. He will be sorely missed. RIP", while Def Leppard wrote, "The Leppard family would like to pass on their sincerest condolences to Clarence Clemons's family, and to Bruce and the E-Street Band."
The Boss himself offered the most poignant, painfully beautiful tribute of them all: "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."
He will be missed.