Bruce Springsteen Gives ‘The Big Man’ a Memorable Send-off at Funeral of Clarence Clemons
BY Mike Jaccarino
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Since “the change was made uptown and the big man joined the band” Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons have cut an inseparable duo.
The surviving half of the legendary rock ‘n’ roll one-two punch – Springsteen – gave his departed sidekick a memorable send-off Tuesday, eulogizing him at his Palm Beach funeral.
“Clarence was a man of unconditional love, but his love came with a lot of conditions,” Springsteen told the invitation-only assemblage, according to The Palm Beach Daily News.
“He was a complex guy … an ongoing project. But when you were in his presence, it was like being in a sovereign nation.”
The Garden State favorite son expanded on his eulogy with a “tender” and “softened” solo rendition of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” – the iconic paean he penned to the deeply fraternal bond he shared with Clemons, according to the paper.
Nicknamed “The Big Man,” Clemons served as Springsteen’s long-time saxophonist in the E Street Band. The Florida resident died Saturday, a week after suffering a stroke. He was 69.
Turns out that Clemons had a odd last wish,his fifth wife, Victoria, told the 150 or so people gathered at his funeral.
Three of Clemons’ four ex-wives were in attendance at Royal Poinciana Chapel Tuesday.
The service concluded on an upbeat note, according to the paper, which said that Springsteen, the E Street Band and Jackson Browne bid mourners goodbye with a “rollicking” rendition of “You’re a Friend of Mine,” Clemons’ 1985 hit with Browne.