Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen
06/19/2011 at 01:20 PM EDT
For Bruce Springsteen, a blinding light went dark.
The rocker paid tribute to his longtime friend and saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died
Saturday at age 69 from complications of a stroke.
"Clarence lived a wonderful life," Springsteen, 61, said on his Web site.
"He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage."
Calling the loss of the E Street Band member "immeasurable," Springsteen gave thanks to have known the towering 6', 4" sideman he called The Big Man for nearly 40 years.
"He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music," says Springsteen. "His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."