Clarence Clemons Dies at 69: Relive The Big Man’s Greatest Sax Solos

  • Share
  • Read Later
Ronald C. Modra / Sports Imagery / Getty Images

Clarence Clemons performs the National Anthem at Sun Life Stadium on April 1, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

After suffering a stroke last week in Florida, the legendary sax man in Bruce Springsteen’s band has passed away. But his legacy of rip-roaring saxophone riffs will live on forever.

Clemons was an essential ingredient in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, bringing his sax talent to many of the Boss’s most famous songs. The two met in an Asbury Park, N.J. bar on a now-legendary night in 1971. “Bruce and I looked at each other and didn’t say anything, we just knew,” Clemons said of the meeting. “We knew we were the missing links in each other’s lives.”

(PHOTOS: Remembering Clarence Clemons)

Clemons was known as The Big Man, for both his larger-than-life personality and his 6-foot-5-inch build. He’d suffered a host of medical ailments in recent years, including spinal surgery and a double knee replacement. But he continued to stay strong throughout the years because of his booming musical talent.

Clemons’ boss, The Boss himself, paid tribute to the tenor saxophonist in a statement. “His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years,” Springsteen wrote.

While most famous for his contributions to the E Street Band, Clemons had the chance to bring his talent into the younger generation, with a feature on Lady Gaga’s most recent single “Edge of Glory.” His legacy will live on in the form of sweet sax riffs. Below, we present some of The Big Man’s best.

(LIST: The 100 Best Albums of All-TIME)


A glorious two-minute sax solo is just the ticket to Clemons’ epic talent


Springsteen’s rocking guitar is hardly any competition when The Big Man takes the stage with his tenor