Clarence Clemons, legendary sax player for Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band has suffered a massive stroke at his Florida home according to reports. While his condition is still very serious, it is suggested that it has improved slightly, with the legendary ‘big guy’ apparently showing some vital signs. According to a source identified as a close friend of Clemons (probably Springsteen himself) on fan website Backstage, “His vital signs are improving. He’s responsive. His eyes are welling up when we’re talking to him. He was paralyzed on his left side, but now he’s squeezing with his left hand.”
Clemons has suffered from ill health in recent years, at times being forced to play in a wheelchair. However, the sax virtuoso, who has been collaborating with Springsteen for 40 years, has fought back from each setback, with fans hoping he makes it through this one. When The Boss was inducted in to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, he declared that Clemons was “a source of myth and light and enormous strength.” Clemons’ distinctive sax playing can be heard on many of Springsteen’s classics, from the ultimate sax solo on ‘Born To Run’ to “Hungry Heart” and “Thunder Road”.
Despite having two knee replacements and spinal surgery, Clemons has kept up a workaholic lifestyle, recently contributing to two of the tracks of Lady Gaga’s recent album Born This Way. Says Clemons of his recent bout of surgery; “The timing was perfect because it didn’t interfere with a lot of stuff that was going on in my life,” he reckons. “It made me stronger, and for the past year I’ve been in physical therapy a few days a week working my ass off to get back in shape. I’m walking better now, though I still use a cane and crutches. But now I’m having hip problems again. I don’t know why.”