On Sunday evening, the shocking news surfaced that E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons had suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in Florida. While reports have trickled out about his condition, there had been no official word until Bruce Springsteen released a statement this afternoon. Here is the text in full:
Message from Bruce Springsteen on Clarence Clemons:
By now, many of you have heard that our beloved comrade and sax player Clarence Clemons has suffered a serious stroke. While all initial signs are encouraging, Clarence will need much care and support to achieve his
potential once again. He has his wonderfully supportive wife, Victoria, excellent doctors and health care professionals, and is surrounded by friends and family.
I thank you all for your prayers and positive energy and concern. This is a time for us all to share in a hopeful spirit that can ultimately inspire Clarence to greater heights. -- Bruce Springsteen
For those who wish to send a message to Clarence Clemons:
There is now an e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org that you can send a note if you want. It is for notes only and not an information site and no one will be able to respond right now.
UPDATE: Backstreets – the indispensible Springsteen news organization – posted another update on Clemons this afternoon from a "close friend" who says there's an "upbeat" mood at the hospital. (Rolling Stone has not independently verified this account.) "It's sort of status quo right now," the source says. "But the status quo is good. We're amazed — the doctors are amazed at the advances he's made. Bear in mind, he's still machine-assisted. But his vital signs continue to improve, and the goal is to wean him off each machine as he gets stronger."
The source continues: "It's going to be a long haul. There's a lot he'll have to relearn. But we're hopeful for a full recovery. We don't yet know if it's possible, but the movement and responsiveness on his left side is a good sign. More than anything, we want people to know how much we appreciate their prayers, all the fans keeping Clarence in their thoughts. It's coming in from all ends of the earth. And right now, those prayers are coming true."