Clarence Clemons Suffers A Stroke
Clarence Clemons, legendary member and saxophone player of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, suffered a stroke on Sunday at his Florida home, leaving the entire left side of his body paralyzed.
Clemons, 69 was said to be stable and responsive on Monday after reportedly having undergone two brain surgeries. “Yesterday, it did not look good at all,” a friend told the Springsteen magazine, Backstreets.com, on Monday. “Today … miracles are happening. 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.”
Members of the E Street Band had been asked to head to Florida as quickly as possible, according to Showbiz411.com.
Clemons, also known as “The Big Man,” began performing with the E Street Band in 1972, collaborating on Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. In addition to appearing on 20 albums with Springsteen, including Born to Run, Clemons has worked with a number of other artists, including Jackson Browne, Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr and most recently, Lady Gaga, with whom he performed on her new album, Born This Way, and on the American Idol Season 10 finale last month. “You can see the years of influence and you can see her lighting up when he's playing [with her in the studio],” Gaga’s longtime collaborator Fernando Garibay said.
Recently, however, Clemons has had problems with his health, and following Springsteen and the band's tour in 2009, he had to have both knees replaced and a spinal fusion surgery. But that didn't break his resolve. “As long as my mouth, hands and brain still work I'll be out there doing it,” he told Rolling Stone. Although he was undergoing rehab from the surgeries, he was hopeful that the band would go on another tour in 2012.
While Clemons hasn't played with the E Street Band since December 2010, he was to perform the National Anthem at the NBA Finals Game Two last week. However, the appearance was canceled due to a hand injury, and Clemons watched from the stands instead.
Twitter was filled with messages of support for the musician. Lady Gaga tweeted Monday: “Little monsters, my very close friend +musician on The Edge of Glory, Clarence Clemons is very sick. Can we all make some get well videos?” Clemons’ nephew Jake, also a saxophonist, tweeted a statement to fans, saying: “Please do not lose Hope!”