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Fans gather in Asbury Park to mourn death of Clarence Clemons


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Fans reeling from the death of Bruce Springsteen's famed saxophonist Clarence Clemons gathered yesterday in Asbury Park to honor the burly wailer, who died Saturday at age 69.

More than 300 people turned out to support Clemons at the storied venue Stone Pony, where mourners listened to music from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and traded memories, the New York Times reported. Outside, some left flowers and signs, and the club's marquee read, "God Bless Clarence Clemons," the Times said.

Clemons, aka the "Big Man," started working with Springsteen in 1971 and was a charter member of the backing group that came to be known as the E Street Band. He died six days after suffering a stroke.

"His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years," Springsteen said.

Clemons' death came three years after organist Danny Federici, Springsteen's longest-serving musical partner, lost a battle with cancer.

The iconic saxophonist had been in poor health for years, suffering back and hip problems. He had double knee-replacement surgery in 2008, and walked for the first time in three months when Springsteen and the E Street Band played the Super Bowl early in 2009. The band's eight-month world tour that year was "pure hell," he told Rolling Stone earlier this year.

He is survived by his wife and four sons.

(with Reuters)

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