Clarence Clemons, beloved saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street band, suffered a stroke on Sunday, June 12 at his home in Florida. Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 broke the news while he was covering the Tony awards last night. "This situation, as described to me this evening, sounds pretty dire. I am told that members of the E Street Band were advised to get down to Florida as soon as possible."
But this morning, longtime Springsteen authority Backstreets revealed that Clemons is in stable condition and responsive after undergoing two brain surgeries, and is in better condition than anyone expected. "Yesterday, it did not look good at all. Today miracles are happening," one of Clemons' close friends told the site. "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. This is the best news we've heard since [the stroke] happened -- it's nothing short of miraculous. The next five days will still be critical. But he's a fighter."
The 69-year-old is the oldest member of the band, and has had a number of heath issues over the past few years that have caused him ongoing knee and back pain. He confessed to Rolling Stone last year, "That last tour was hell. Pure hell."
As a result, Clemons has had spinal fusion surgery and two knee replacements and has been undergoing physical therapy, although none of that has slowed him down. The iconic musician -- who has been with Springsteen since his debut Greetings From Asbury Park back in 1973 -- recently put his trademark sax on two songs on Lady Gaga's Born This Way including her new single "Edge of Glory" and performed with her on the American Idol finale last month.
Last week he was scheduled to perform the national
anthem at game two at the NBA Finals, but was forced to cancel at the eleventh
hour due to a hand injury.
Bruce Springsteen hasn't yet issued a statement, but we'll keep you updated. Until then, our prayers are with the Big Man.