The New Jersey Senate has passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck declaring January 11 of each year “Clarence Clemons Day” in New Jersey. The former E- Street Band saxophonist and Monmouth County icon died at 69 from complications following a stroke.
“The New Jersey Shore would not be the same without the music of Bruce Spingsteen’s E- Street Band,” said Beck (R-Monmouth), “and the E-Street Band would not have been the same without the sound of a saxophone played by Clarence Clemons. For me as a resident of Red Bank, where he once owned a rock club, the loss rings ever more true. New Jersey lost an icon last year, an inextricable part of our shoreline’s cultural history that started by a happenstance meeting between Bruce Springsteen and the Big Man in Asbury Park in 1972.”
Clarence Clemons was a founding member of the E- Street Band, playing with the group from its inception in 1972 until his death in 2011. He attended the former Maryland State College (University of Maryland Eastern Shore), where he played football until a knee injury ended his career. Before Mr. Clemons joined the E-Street Band, he worked as a youth counselor in Newark.
His other professional endeavors included solo recordings, collaboration with artists from Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga, several movie roles, and a stint operating a music club in Red Bank called Big Man’s West.