This Sunday, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will wrap up their two-year tour by performing their 1973 debut album Greetings From Asbury Park in its entirety (stick with Rolling Stone for a full report). After that, Springsteen's next moves are unclear. His manager, Jon Landau, says the only plans for 2010 are the release of the long-delayed Darkness on the Edge of Town box set and a DVD of the Working on a Dream tour. "The Darkness box set is 93 percent done," he tells RS. "It's absolutely fantastic and there are just some finishing touches that we need to turn our attention to and finalize and we'll get it out there." As for the Dream DVD, Landau says, "We're working on some different approaches to a DVD for this tour. We'll release it sometime fairly soon, post-Christmas." Grab the next issue of RS, out November 25th, to read E Street's reflections on their magical two years on the road.
The Darkness box will likely contain a remastered edition of the disc, a new documentary about the making of the LP, as well as live footage from the 1978 tour. A handful of pro-shot shows circulate through the fan community, but there's no word on which concert will be brought out of the vaults for the set. In 2005, fans were stunned when a previously unknown complete performance from London in 1975 appeared on the Born to Run box set. The Darkness on the Edge of Town tour is widely regarded as the high water mark of Springsteen's live career.
There are no plans for another E Street Band album or tour next year. "We just had back-to-back tours and back-to-back records," Landau says. "That's never happened before, so we're going to have substantial downtime at this point. The E Street Band does have an illustrious future, but I don't have anything more specific to tell you about next year except those two media projects that are on the horizon."
The E Street Band have mixed feelings about the tour coming to an end. "I really don't want the work to end, but I need to go home," says guitarist Nils Lofgren. "It's kind of an inherent level of homesickness that wears on you. I'm really looking forward to being home and actually unpacking my suitcase. It sat there with my dogs giving me dirty looks for two years."
Steven Van Zandt has similar feelings. "It feels very much like The Sopranos," he says. "Everybody was like, 'Well, we're extremely successful and still very high on the ratings,' but David Chase knew it was time to stop. In the end I agreed and I feel like it's the same thing here." He says he hasn't had any discussions with Springsteen about future work. "I'm always afraid to stop," he says. "You think, 'If we stop, can we get this thing going again?' After a year or two off, you find yourself at the bottom of Mt. Everest looking up and thinking, 'How are we gonna get there?' I will be surprised if we don't continue and if you ask me if I think we'll continue I'll certainly say yes. It's just a matter of what happens to everybody physically, beginning with Clarence [Clemons] I suppose. He may fantasize about retiring, but with all his ex-wives I doubt it."