After months of rumors, Bruce Springsteen has confirmed that a world tour with the E Street Band is scheduled for the summer. The tour will likely begin in Europe and than come to the U.S. for several months, hitting arenas and amphitheaters. It will be the first full set of dates for Springsteen and the E Street Band since 1988’s Human Rights Now! Amnesty International Tour.
The E Street Band – saxophonist Clarence Clemons, pianist Roy Bittan, bassist Garry Tallent, keyboardist Danny Federici, drummer Max Weinberg, and guitarists Steven Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren – formed in the early Seventies and may be the best-known backing band in history. But during the Amnesty tour, its energy began to stagnate, and in 1989 Springsteen dismissed the group.
All E Street Band members have been asked to participate on this tour, including Van Zandt, who left the group in 1984. “It seems new again,” says the guitarist. “It will be fun to see those guys again. There’s plenty of good stuff to play.” Perhaps the biggest question mark is Weinberg, who has a full-time gig as the leader of the house band on NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Weinberg did not return calls, and a show spokesman said it was too premature to know whether Weinberg will be able to hit the road.
The Springsteen tour immediately becomes one of the hottest tickets of the summer season, which includes Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies. “You couldn’t ask for better news for us and for fans,” says one promoter. “Bruce and the E Street Band are one of the top concert attractions in history.”
This story is from the January 21, 1999 issue of Rolling Stone.