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E-Street Band Surprised Itself

Steven Van Zandt
(Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

Steve Van Zandt is amazed at how strong Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band came out in 2013, after weathering the loss of Clarence Clemons in June 2011. Van Zandt shed some light on the inner workings of the recent Wrecking Ball tour, telling, “I think we’ve surprised ourselves this year. It’s one of the best tours ever. Artistically it’s been particularly satisfying in that we really did have to reinvent ourselves. I mean, you’re not going to replace Clarence Clemons. Losing Danny (Federici in 2008) was obviously a setback but losing Clarence up front like that threatened the future of the band. For all of us it was, ‘Now what? Do we continue? Do we call it something else?'”

He explained that Springsteen decided that the best way to move forward was to salute the past: “What we decided in the end was to try and summarize everything Bruce has been doing these past 35 years. Hang on, these past 40 years! I’ve just erased Greetings From Asbury Park (NJ), The Wild, The Innocent (And The E Street Shuffle) and Born To Run from history. . . We worked to create a framework within which the folk stuff, the solo stuff and the E Street Band obviously could all be accommodated. It was orchestrated in a way that allows for any musical idea Bruce has to be explored in a moment’s notice.”

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