The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

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.

Summer 1972

Bruce and a hastily assembled band consisting mainly of Garry Tallent, Vini Lopez, Clarence Clemons, and David Sancious record Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ.

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.

January 5 1973

Bruce's debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, is released in the US.

Spring 1973

Bruce and the E Street Band tour both the East Coast and the West Coast in support of the new album. In May and June they even play some gigs as the opening act for Chicago. These gigs, playing large arenas for crowds indifferent to his music, make Bruce vow never to play arenas again, a vow he would break only three years later.

July-August 1973

The band record The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.

November 5 1973

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle is released in the US.

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.

May 9 1974

A show at Harvard Square Theater in Cambridge, MA, is attended by music critic Jon Landau, who is inspired to write his famous "I saw rock 'n' roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen" article. The article not only forms the basis of an aggressive promotional campaign a year later, but is also the first connection between Bruce and his future manager.