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November 21, 2011 / jhsaeger

E-Street Band Teases Summer Plans

     On Sunday night, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band announced on their website that they will hit the road in 2012, visiting Europe and the United States.  Springsteen and the E-Street Band will also release their first record since 2009’s Working on a Dream.  While the brief statement did not contain any concrete details, it appears that new information is on the horizon.  
     The biggest challenge for the E-Street Band, of course, will be how to go on without longtime saxophone player Clarence Clemons.  Clemons, who passed away in June, had played with the E-Street Band since its inaugural album in 1972 and would become one of the most recognizable figures in the music world.  
    The band will have to figure out how to fill Clemons’ void on two levels: his influence on some of the band’s signature hits and his dominating stage presence.  While he left his stamp on songs like “Born to Run” and “Jungleland,” Clemons was one of the reasons the E-Street Band rose in its stature as a live band.  His bond with Springsteen and the other members of the group helped to create a palpable chemistry that energized every stage they have graced.
     There has been no word on who could take his place with the band, but I have to wonder if someone like Mark Rivera (Billy Joel, Ringo Starr, Peter Gabriel) or John Scarpulla (Daryl Hall, Luther Vandross) will step in.  
     Individual members of the E-Street Band have been busy with solo projects over the last year.  Drummer Max Weinberg left his role as Conan O’Brien’s drummer/muse to tour with Max Weinberg’s Big Band, where he is the thunderous centerpiece of a band with a large horn section that covers the likes of Sinatra, Krupa, and Rich.  Nils Lofgren’s new record, Old School, will have the affable guitarist sharing the spotlight with Paul Rodgers, Sam Moore, and Lou Gramm, hits on December 6th.  Guitar player Steve Van Zandt has also been busy as the host of the internationally-broadcast radio program Little Steven’s Underground Garage.  The Boss, meanwhile, is fresh off of a pair of concerts in Pittsburgh and has been working on material with Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers.  

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