Bruce Springsteen Eulogizes Clarence Clemons
Bruce Springsteen eulogized his longtime friend Clarence Clemons in front of family and bandmates who gathered yesterday in Florida to say goodbye to the E Street Band saxophonist. Clemons passed away over the weekend from complications of the stroke he suffered a week prior.
In front of an invited audience of 150 Springsteen remembered Clemons by saying “Clarence was a man of unconditional love, but his love came with a lot of conditions," a comment that brought laughter and agreement from the assembled group. Springsteen went on to say "he was a complex guy … an ongoing project. But when you were in his presence, it was like being in a sovereign nation.”
Springsteen later performed a tender acoustic version of the song that features one of Clemons’ signature moments, ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.’ Additional performances followed, including a solo saxophone performance of ‘Amazing Grace’ by Clemons’ nephew. Springsteen would later join guest Jackson Browne and members of the E Street Band for a joyful rendition of ‘You’re A Friend of Mine,’ Clemons’ Browne-featuring solo hit.
Clemons’ fifth wife Victoria revealed that she will carry out Clarence’s wish to have his ashes scattered in a “special spot in Hawaii” with the help of “all of the special women in his life.” Three out of his four ex-wives were in attendance for the ceremony, and sat with Victoria during the service.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that flags in New Jersey will be flown at half-staff on Thursday to honor Clemons. Christie said “Clarence Clemons represented the soul and spirit of New Jersey. His partnership with Bruce Springsteen and the rest of the E Street Band brought great pride to our state and joy to every fan of this music around the world.”