Greasy Lake
Bruce tour begins

Associated Press , 1992-06
By

Stockholm was ``Lucky Town'' for 15,500 Bruce Springsteen fans with tickets to the opening concert Monday in the rock superstar's first world tour in four years. ``I missed playing. I missed getting out. I missed the fans,'' Springsteen said in a Swedish television interview just before the concert. ``I've been home awhile. I've worked hard on the records,'' he added.

Springsteen's new albums, ``Lucky Town'' and ``Human Touch,'' were the first he has made without the E Street Band. The tour of Sweden, Germany, France and Britain is the first he has made without that old gang. The tour moves to the United States on July 23. Springsteen held an exclusive ``dress rehearsal'' in Los Angeles on June 5, and tapes of it have been extensively played, and well-received, on European radio stations.

The rock 'n' roller has had a devoted audience in Sweden since the 1975 ``Born to Run'' tour. He has returned to play there on every European tour since. ``It's nice to start the tour here,'' Springsteen said. ``It's nice to be back among people who have always been hospitable.'' Springsteen's second concert in Stockholm, on Wednesday, coincides with the Sweden-England soccer match in the European Championships. The Swedish team had tickets to the concert Monday. ``I don't like Springsteen. But I came along for a little relaxation,'' said Anders Limpar, who plays for Arsenal in England.

Since his last European tour, in the summer of 1988, Springsteen has changed bands and wives, become a father of two and moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Now over 40, he says he has turned a new page in life, and some fans may wonder if the absence of that highway-cruising, working-class, regular-guy persona of earlier days will cost Springsteen his special touch.

He is without drummer Zachary Alford, guitarist Shane Fontayne and bassist Tommy Sims. Only Roy Bittan on piano and keyboard remains from the old band. There also are six backup singers. Springsteen will play two concerts each in Frankfurt, German, Paris and Barcelona, Spain, and five in London. His U.S. tour opens with 11 shows at the Meadowlands complex in East Rutherford, N.J., near New York. Concerts are planned through August in Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Largo, Md., and Philadelphia.
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