The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

September 23 1949

At a hospital in Long Branch, NJ, Adele Springsteen gives birth to a baby boy, who will be named Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen.

January 6 1957

Eight-year-old Bruce watches Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show, and the first seed is sown for his future career.

December 25 1962

Bruce receives his first guitar as a Christmas present (by some accounts), but his hands are too small and he can't really use it yet.


Bruce joins his first band, the Castiles, a five-piece rock band with Beatles and Rolling Stones influences. The band is mostly a cover band and performs at local malls and "battles of the bands".

May 16 1966

The Castiles record a single in the Bricktown Studio in New Jersey. It contains two songs written by Springsteen and singer George Theiss: "Baby I" and "That's What You Get". The single is pressed in five copies of which only two are known to be in existence today.


The Castiles break up when most of the members begin to find other interests in life. Bruce, however, has his mind set on a musical career and forms a new band called Earth. Bruce meets Steve Van Zandt for the first time. Bruce briefly attends Ocean County College, but soon realizes he will never adjust to the educational system. Bruce's parents move to California. Bruce himself remains in New Jersey staying at friends' houses and at a surfboard factory in Asbury Park. It is in Asbury Park he from now on will have his base and shape his musical style.

May 2 1972

Mike Appel takes Bruce to see Columbia talent scout, John Hammond, who discovered Bob Dylan, Bessie Smith, et al. Bruce plays a short set for him in his office, and Hammond is so impressed that he organizes a real audition that same night at the Gaslight Club in New York for other Columbia hotshots. The audition is a success and Columbia agrees on making a record contract.

May 3 1972

Bruce records the famous Hammond Demos at the CBS Studios in New York. It is Bruce alone in the studio with a guitar and a piano, and John Hammond himself at the mixing board. Four of the songs, "Mary Queen of Arkansas", "Saint in the City", Growin' Up" and "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" are later released on Tracks.

October 27 1975

Bruce appears simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek.

April 29 1976

After a show in Memphis, TN, Bruce and Steve Van Zandt take a cab to Elvis' house, Graceland. Bruce climbs over the wall and attempts to meet Elvis, but a guard shows him the gate.