The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

January 19 1986

Bruce makes a small-scale return to the stage when he and most of the E Street Band perform at a benefit for the 3M plant in Freehold which is about to be shut down.

February 1986

Bruce turns down a $12 million offer from Chrysler president Lee Iaccoca to use "Born in the USA" in a commercial.

Spring-summer 1986

A live album is in the works, and Bruce spends this time selecting and mixing songs.

October 13 1986

In his first real acoustic gig since 1972, Bruce performs at Neil Young's Bridge Benefit show. He is joined by Danny Federici and Nils Lofgren on accordion and guitar respectively. This is also the first time "Born in the USA" is performed live in its original acoustic blues arrangement.

November 10 1986

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live 1975-85 hits the stores. The five-album live box set recaptures Bruce's career as a performing artist and is met with huge expectations.

January 1987

For the third time in a row Bruce is elected Artist of the Year in the Rolling Stone poll.

January 21 1987

Bruce inducts Roy Orbison into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Spring-summer 1987

Bruce works on a follow-up album to Born in the USA in his home studio in Rumson, NJ. Most of the time he works by himself, but members of the E Street Band make individual appearances throughout the sessions, but at no time is the band gathered in the studio together.

October 6 1987

Tunnel of Love is released. The album is a drastic turnaround for Bruce. When he could have made Born in the USA Part II and continued on the high wave he was riding on, he instead turns inward and releases 12 low-key, mature songs about love and relationships. The album sells considerably less than Born in the USA, but nonetheless goes double platinum on its first day of release and is three weeks later number one on the charts.

Fall-winter 1987

Rumors are circulating of a tour. At one point Bruce is considering playing a solo acoustic tour without the E Street Band.