Clarence Clemons suffers massive stroke

I just read the bad news that Clarence Clemons, saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band has suffered a massive stroke. He apparently had two brain surgeries on Sunday. He is said to be responsive and in stable condition, and making some progress.

A friend has told the press “He was paralyzed on his left side, but now he’s squeezing with his left hand. This is the best news we’ve heard since (the stroke) happened — it’s nothing short of miraculous.”

Sadly I’ve had some experience of strokes in my own family and when they don’t kill you they can still cause devastating damage, including paralysis and loss of speech, that many sufferers often do not recover from.

So this could be the end of the E Street Band as we know it. The band lost keyboard player Danny Federici in 2008, but Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons would be an even bigger loss, as he has always featured so largely in their stage show. Second only to The Boss himself in stage presence.

Clemons was famously photographed with Bruce Springsteen on the cover of his breakthrough album Born to Run and in the lyrics of the second song of that album 10th Avenue Freeze Out.

When the change was made uptown
And the big man joined the band
From the coastline to the city
All the little pretties raise their hands
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When scooter and the big man bust this city in half

We wish Clarence nothing but the very best in his recovery

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