The Bruce Springsteen Timeline


Bruce forms a new band, Child, which quickly changes its name to Steel Mill when it turns out there is another band called Child. Steel Mill is Springsteen's most famous early band. Their style is characterized by long bluesy instrumental passages and Springsteen's lyrical experiments. The lineup changes a couple of times, but among the members are Danny Federici, Steve Van Zandt, Robbin Thompson, and Vini Lopez.

January-February 1970

Steel Mill drive cross-country to California to try and make a break on the West Coast. They play a few dates at the Matrix in San Francisco to critical acclaim and record a few demos in a studio. They are even offered a record deal, but turn it down and return home to the East.

January 23 1971

At the height of their popularity (Steel Mill's crowds were sometimes counted in the thousands for their outdoor gigs) Bruce breaks up the band after a final gig at the Upstage Club in Asbury Park. Bruce spends the rest of 1971 experimenting with new band formations known under such names as the Bruce Springsteen Jam, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, and finally the Bruce Springsteen Band.

November 12 1972

According to Backstreets: the Man and His Music, this night sees the first show ever with the E Street Band. In addition to the above-mentioned people who recorded the Greetings album (minus David Sancious who won't join until June 1973), the band includes Danny Federici.

February 12 1974

While touring extensively in support of the second album, Bruce decides to fire drummer Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez from the band. A couple of weeks later he is replaced by Ernest "Boom" Carter.

September 19 1974

After having been hired via an ad in the Village Voice, Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan join the E Street Band, replacing Ernest Carter and David Sancious on drums and piano respectively.

November 18 1975

Bruce and the band commence on their first European tour ever, playing four shows in three cities. It is before the first of these shows that Bruce runs through the concert hall tearing down posters with the words "Finally London is ready for Bruce Springsteen".

April 7 1981

The postponed European tour finally kicks off in Hamburg, Germany. This is the first full-scale tour for Bruce outside North America. The tour will include 33 shows in 10 countries. England alone gets 16 of these shows, including six at Wembley Arena in London. The shows are now considerably shorter than the year before and will remain so for the rest of the tour.

September 14 1981

The River Tour ends in Cincinatti, OH. This is also Steve Van Zandt's last show as an official member of the E Street Band until 1999. The band has played for full arenas practically everywhere, and Bruce has established himself as one of the heavy-weights. According to him this is also the first time in his career where money is no longer a problem to him.

June 29 1984

The Born in the USA Tour begins in St. Paul, MN. Steve Van Zandt is officially out of the band and has been replaced by Nils Lofgren. The band has also been expanded with backup singer Patti Scialfa.