Clarence Clemons' eye surgery delays Springsteen tour. The Big Man is successfully treated for a detached retina

By Gary Susman
November 06, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Houston, we have a problem. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s tour was briefly derailed after Monday’s concert in Houston because saxman Clarence Clemons needed eye surgery. It’s not clear how The Big Man suffered a detached retina, but a band spokesperson said Tuesday that Clemons’ retina had been successfully repaired. Still, the band had to delay its scheduled Wednesday show in nearby Austin until March 2, the Austin American-Statesman newspaper reported, and the status of other dates scheduled for later in the week, including Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, remains uncertain.

Clemons, who turns 61 on Jan. 11, is not known to have had previous eye problems. In fact, in an interview published Wednesday in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, he says he’s on a new health regimen. ”I’ve sort of adopted a new lifestyle,” he says. ”First thing is I hired a trainer, and she’s my assistant and my cook and my mentor. She travels with me, and we work out every day. We do weight workouts, aerobics, stretching. I’ve been planning to do a calendar when I hit 61, so I’m getting in shape for that.

Clemons also has a new album of his own in stores this week. Called ”Clarence Clemons Temple of Soul — Live in Asbury Park,” the saxman recorded it live with his own horn-heavy Band of Faith last summer at Sprinsteen haunt The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J. Clemons sings and plays saxophone and percussion on the album, which includes three Springsteen compositions: ”Small Things,” ”Paradise by the ‘C’,” and ”Savin’ Up.”

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