Bruce Springsteen remembers playing guitar for Clarence Clemons in the hospital as he was dying

Bruce Springsteen has opened up about the final moments of E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ life in a new interview.

In an interview with Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show, Springsteen, who was on the show to promote his upcoming covers album “Only The Strong Survive,” recalled visiting Clemons in the hospital after the saxophonist suffered a stroke. Despite two brain surgeries, Clemons’ medical problems were too severe, and he died on June 11, 2011 at the age of 69.

On the day of his death, Springsteen brought his guitar into Clemons’ room. “I had a feeling that he could listen to me, because I could squeeze his hand,” said Springsteen Stern. “I took the hunch and brought the guitar, and I hit ‘Land of Hope and Dreams.”

Clemons — also known as “The Big Man” — was a founding member of the E Street Band when it formed in 1972. He played on nearly every Springsteen album up until 2012’s “Wrecking Ball,” including “Born To Run,” which appeared on the album cover alongside Springsteen himself. After his death, Clemons was succeeded by his nephew Jake Clemons in the E Street Band.

‘Only The Strong Survive’, Springsteen’s 21st studio album and second of the covers, will be released next Friday, November 11. Three previous singles were released: ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ (originally by Frank Wilson), ‘Nightshift’ (originally The Commodores) and ‘Don’t Play That Song’ (originally by Ben E. King).

The Boss recently appeared on stage with The Killers at their Madison Square Garden show, joining them for “A Dustland Fairytale” as well as performing their own hits “Badlands” and “Born to Run”.

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