Bruce Springsteen spent all of 2018 turning an acoustic one-man show into a massive Broadway residency. He ended the year by releasing a Netflix special and a live album. And when he finally finished that run, there was rampant speculation that he’d kick off another massive, stadium-sized tour with the E Street Band, the rock institution he’d led since 1972. There was so much speculation, in fact, that Springsteen had to release a statement denying that there’d be an E Street Band tour in 2019. Instead, Springsteen announced Western Stars, a solo album inspired by the folky California pop music of the ’60s and ’70s. (He also shared the lovely single “Hello Sunshine.”) But now he’s also gone ahead and said that, yes, there will be another E Street Band album, the first since 2012’s Wrecking Ball. And yes, there will be a tour, too.
Last night, Springsteen did an appearance in Hollywood with fellow ’70s great Martin Scorsese. The talk was ostensibly to remind Emmy voters that they should show some love to Springsteen On Broadway. But as Variety reports, he also came bearing news. While talking about the nature of songwriting and inspiration, Springsteen said this:
It’s like I’ve spent about seven years without writing anything for the band. I couldn’t write anything for the band. And I said, “Well, of course… You’ll never be able to do that again!” And it’s a trick every time you do it, you know? But it’s a trick that, because of that fact that you can’t explain, cannot be self-consciously duplicated. It has to come to you in inspiration.
And then about a month or so ago, I wrote almost an album’s worth of material for the band. And it came out of just… I mean, I know where it came from, but at the same time, it just came out of almost nowhere. And it was good, you know. I had about two weeks of those little daily visitations, and it was so nice. It makes you so happy. You go, “Fuck, I’m not fucked, all right? There’ll be another tour!”
If you’ve never seen the E Street Band live — or, hell, if you’ve seen them dozens of times — this is delightful news. An E Street Band show is something that you should absolutely witness at least once in your lifetime. It’s fucking ridiculous how good it is. We shouldn’t expect the album or the tour for a long while, but we might as well start getting excited now. In the meantime, Western Stars is out 6/14 on Columbia.