The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

October 17 1980

The River is released as a double album.

November 8 1980

The River becomes Bruce's first number one album on Billboard's chart.

November 15 1980

The "Hungry Heart" single becomes Bruce's first Top 10 hit on Billboard's chart when it reaches number 5.

December 31 1980

The band ends a three-night stand at Nassau Coliseum in New York with a New Year's Eve show which, until some of the marathon shows of the 2012 European Wrecking Ball Tour, ranked as Bruce's longest show ever, lasting close to four hours and containing 38 songs.

March 13 1981

A planned European tour is postponed due to exhaustion on Bruce's part.

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.

July 2 1981

Having returned home from Europe in June, Bruce and the E Street Band continue the tour by opening the new Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, with a six-night stand.

August 20 1981

One of the best and most famous shows of Bruce's career takes place at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. It is a benefit for the Vietnam Veterans of America and turns into a moving and passionate tour de force.

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.

January 3 1982

In his bedroom at his home in Holmdel, NJ, Bruce records most of what will become the Nebraska album on a four-track tape recorder.