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See Rare Bruce Springsteen Photos From ‘Born to Run’ Era

Barbara Pyle’s amazing images captured singer, E Street Band just as they were about to explode

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Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

When 1975 began, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were still playing tiny clubs and fearing that Columbia would drop them after two failed albums. By the end of the year, Springsteen had appeared on the cover of Time and Newsweek in the same week and was being hailed as a rock & roll visionary destined to save the entire genre.

It was an extraordinary time for Springsteen and the band, and photographer Barbara Pyle was there to capture much of it on film. Pyle's new book, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 1975 (in stores on November 23rd), showcases a wealth of super-rare photos from the pivotal year, many of which are on display at London's Snap Galleries from now until November 28th. Here are some key shots from the collection. 

bruce springsteen

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

On the Bus

"Normally you never saw Bruce with a book, but he sat down on the bus with John Broven's Walking to New Orleans, which told the story of Louisiana rhythm and blues.  He'd loved New Orleans and its music so much that he wanted to find out more about it and the musicians he'd met while he was there."

bruce springsteen

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Exiting the Bus

Springsteen and the E Street Band began 1975 playing tiny clubs like Philadelphia's Main Point. By the end, they were headlining some of the most prestigious theaters in the country, with hordes of fans outside trying to get in.

bruce

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Playing Pool

Guitarist Steve Van Zandt had been a close friend of Springsteen for many years, though he didn't join the E Street Band until 1975. 

bruce springsteen clarence clemons

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Clarence and Bruce

"Bruce and Clarence loved each other. From Bruce's eulogy for Clarence, Royal Poinciana Chapel, Palm Beach, June 21st, 2011: 'My pal was a tough act but he brought things into your life that were unique; and when he turned on that love light, it illuminated your world. I was lucky enough to stand in that light for almost 40 years, near Clarence's heart, in the Temple of Soul.'"

bruce springsteen

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Bruce and His Girlfriend

"Bruce with his girlfriend at the time, Karen Darvin. We picked her up from her parents' house in Dallas, Texas."

stevie van zandt and Garry Tallent

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Stevie and Garry

Steve Van Zandt poses with Garry Tallent, who is the only member of the E Street Band to be in every incarnation of the group. 

bruce springsteen and the E street Band

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

914 Sound Studios

"914 was a bit of a dump. I only took a few photos there, and a shot of Clarence with his car at the gas station across the street. Much later, I watched the band preparing for the road in a rented rehearsal hall in New Jersey. I was working as a 'stringer' for Time magazine then. The editor there, Arnold Drapkin, would say to me, 'You're going to Jersey to photograph Bruce who?' I would always answer back the same: 'You won't be saying 'Bruce who?' for long!'"

bruce springsteen and the E street Band

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Meeting Lee Dorsey

"I took Bruce along with the rest of the E Streeters to meet Lee Dorsey at his Ya-Ya Lounge on North Villette, between Canal and Iberville — he names his joint after one of his earliest hits. Bruce, Stevie, promoter Johnston and roadies Doug Sutphin and Mike Batlin loved his pool tables."

bruce springsteen

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Fast Food

"In those days, Bruce was a huge fast food fan. His little green house on West End Court in Long Branch, New Jersey, was literally littered with fast food containers."

bruce springsteen and the E street Band

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Outside the Ya-Ya Lounge

They whole band poses with Lee Dorsey. A few years later, Van Zandt would work with Dorsey on a Southside Johnny album. 

bruce springsteen

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

Dressing Room

"While recording Born to Run, the band had to grab gigs wherever they could just to survive. They took dozens of college jobs. Most of the time they didn't even have dressing rooms. They got what they got. This locker room at Widener University in Chester, PA, was better than most."

bruce springsteen and the E street Band

Barbara Pyle/Reel Art Press

The Whole Band

Backstage before a show. Clarence is wearing a bright-white suit that he wore at many gigs in that time period. 

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