Saxophonist Clarence Clemons suffered a stroke last night at his Florida home and is reported to be in serious condition.
For all the times I waited on line for Bruce Springsteen tickets - staying overnight at the Meadowlands once - I was also waiting to see Clarence. When Bruce would say "... and here's The Big Man" and Clarence would come out of the stage shadows and his music would fill the air I was in heaven.
The saxophone is a soulful instrument and Clarence takes that soul to a level that I find almost impossible to describe. He would hit the sweet notes and I'd feel that chill up my spine and my eyes would tear. At the end of a set he'd flash his billion dollar smile and glide back into the spot he held at stage right.
I can't believe Clarence is 69 years old; he is ageless to me, a giant gentle man who will play on forever.
I hope he can feel my love and respect and hopes for recovery across the miles; the way I always felt his soul as it wafted through the air on the music only he can make.