The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

January 1 1979

The Darkness Tour ends with a marathon show in Cleveland, OH. Despite the fact that a firecracker, thrown by an overzealous member of the audience, explodes in Bruce's face, the show becomes his hitherto longest with 31 songs, but that record will be topped on the next tour.

April 3 1979

Bruce again enters the studio with the E Street Band, this time to record what becomes The River.

April 1979

On a motorcycle trip, Bruce crashes into a tree and injures his leg, forcing him to stay in bed for three weeks. The accident creates a rumor that he has been killed.

September 22-23 1979

Bruce and the band join a host of other artists, including Jackson Browne, Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty, for two anti-nuclear benefit shows at the Madison Square Garden in New York, known as the No Nukes shows. Bruce does a 90 minute set each night and debuts "The River". On the second night, which is also his 30th birthday, Bruce throws a cake into the audience and later on drags his ex-girlfriend, photographer Lynn Goldsmith, on stage for a public humiliation. Some of the songs from Bruce's performances are later used for the No Nukes album and movie.

Fall 1979

The River sessions drag on and on. At one point in the fall an album known as The Ties That Bind is practically ready for release, but Bruce pulls it back at the last minute and instead continues recording new songs.