Bruce Springsteen posts full Clarence Clemons eulogy online


Image Credit: Hillery Smith Garrison/AP Images

The passing of legendary E Street Band saxophonist and “The Edge of Glory” guest star Clarence Clemons still cuts deep among his friends, family, colleagues and fans.

To continue his memorial to his friend and sideman, Bruce Springsteen posted a version of his eulogy for Clemons on his official site. As expected, it’s a touching, rousing, heartfelt statement about Clemons life and work.

“From the first time I saw my pal striding out of the shadows of a half empty bar in Asbury Park, a path opening up before him; here comes my brother, here comes my sax man, my inspiration, my partner, my lifelong friend,” Springsteen wrote about his first encounter with Clemons. “Standing next to Clarence was like standing next to the baddest ass on the planet. You were proud, you were strong, you were excited and laughing with what might happen, with what together, you might be able to do. You felt like no matter what the day or the night brought, nothing was going to touch you.”

Springsteen continued, “Clarence was big, and he made me feel, and think, and love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man? Too f—ing big to die. And that’s just the facts. You can put it on his grave stone, you can tattoo it over your heart… Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.”

The end of the eulogy also included a number of Clemons’ soubriquets, including “The Big Kahuna” and “The Man With A P.hD in Saxual Healing” (the latter of which might be the greatest nickname in history) and closed with Clemons’ own words: “I’m gonna leave you today with a quote from the Big Man himself, which he shared on the plane ride home from Buffalo, the last show of the last tour,” Springsteen wrote. “As we celebrated in the front cabin congratulating one another and telling tales of the many epic shows, rocking nights and good times we’d shared, ‘C’ sat quietly, taking it all in, then he raised his glass, smiled and said to all gathered, ‘This could be the start of something big.'”

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Comments (17 total) Add your comment
  • Alex F

    What I found most interesting about the full text of the eulogy were the many, many references to what a difficult man Clarence was, and that he was kind of a screw-up. Seemed shocking for a friend’s final words.

    • greg

      If by shocking you mean honest, I agree.

      • Tom

        I’ve been jamming out on the sax all afternoon thinking about this.

  • Jack

    It’s not the “full” eulogy; Bruce himself posted this was an “edited” version. Please do your research EW.

    • LoveforPeace

      What is EW trying to do? Are they playing a game with their twitter feed as well?

  • Mia

    You should go to the Rolling Stones website for the complete eulogy.

    • Alex F

      I read it off springsteen’s website. that’s the one I was talking about it. hence my distinction between the “full” version and excerpts appearing in this article.

      • Vishal

        A lot of ploepe keep saying that Clarence was the most important member of the band after Springsteen. But it’s not true. The person who has always had the biggest influence on his sound is Bittan. I realize that Clemons added huge value to the band and it’s really sad that he’s gone but he could be replaced. Roy Bittan on the other hand, well it would be really difficult.

  • Roekest

    Yeah, this jacked up EW article doesn’t do Clarence justice. Head to RS for a full, even if edited by The Boss himself, version.

  • Ellie

    Alex, I didn’t find it shocking. I’m so tired of eulogies that make the deceased out to be some kind of saint. I much prefer what Bruce did, talk about the full human being who was Clarence Clemons, without sugarcoating his faults. I hope when I die, I have a friend who is brave enough, and true enough to our friendship, to do the same.

    • Alex F

      Not me! They best be blowing smoke up my patooty!

      • Ellie


  • Allison

    If you read the full eulogy on Bruce’s website, you’ll find that he doesn’t cannonize Clarence, doesn’t place him up on a pedastal…he takes the time to let you into his relationship with the Big Man. How they evolved thru the years, and just the person that he really was…scars and all. When it comes down to it, it’s a heartful set of memories from one friend to another.

  • Dee Jones

    That was nice and moving! RIP Big C

  • PN

    That was a very moving eulogy that Bruce Springsteen did for his longtime best friend and bandmate Clarence Clemons.

  • houston

    thank you Big Man……….for all the goosebumps

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