The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

January-April 2016

To everyone's surprise Bruce decides to launch a major tour in support of the new River box set, naming it the River '16 Tour. The shows include a performance of the entire River album plus assorted favorites.

April 23 2016

Following the shocking death of Prince two days previously, Bruce opens the show in Brooklyn, NY, with a heart-wrenching cover of "Purple Rain".

May-July 2016

The River 2016 Tour continues in Europe where, except for a few selected shows, the full-album concept is put to a rest. Instead Bruce and the band play a chunk of the album each night interspersed with both hits, rarities, covers, and requests. The shows become longer and in some cases last 3:30-3:50 hours.

August-September 2016

The River 2016 Tour is back in the US for another three weeks of shows. The River album now plays a very small role, having instead given way to a new concept where Bruce goes back in time playing several songs from the first two albums, including "New York City Serenade" which opens the shows and features a string section. The shows keep getting longer and in a couple of cases reach the four-hour mark, making them the longest shows ever in the US.

September 14 2016

The River 2016 Tour ends with another monster show at Gillette Stadium in Boston, MA. Incidentally, this is exactly, to the date, 35 years after the original tour ended

September 23 2016

On his birthday Bruce releases a new compilation album that is a companion to his upcoming autobiography. The album is called Chapter & Verse and includes previously unreleased tracks from as far back as The Castiles, Steel Mill and Bruce Springsteen Band days as well as well-known tracks from throughout his career.

September 27 2016

Bruce Springsteen's autobiography Born to Run is published worldwide. He has been working on it on and off since 2009. It is met with much critical acclaim that focuses on Bruce's revelations of his depressions and his father's mental illness.

Fall 2016

Bruce is busy promoting his autobiography by doing book signing appearances in several US cities as well as Toronto and even London. He also sits down for a couple of book talks where he is interviewed in front of an audience and reads from his book sporting a pair of not very rock 'n' roll reading glasses.

November 7 2016

Bruce makes his only election campaign appearance, performing at a rally for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia. In his speech he has the following to say about Donald Trump: "This is a man whose vision is limited to little beyond himself, who has a profound lack of decency that would allow him to prioritize his own interests and ego before American democracy itself. Somebody who'd be willing to damage our long-cherished and admired system rather than look to himself for the reasons behind his own epic failure."

Unfortunately, Bruce's speech and performance of "Thunder Road" and "Long Walk Home" makes no difference for the election result and Trump wins not only Pennsylvania but the election.

November 22 2016

In what may be the biggest honor of his life, Bruce Springsteen receives the Presidential Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. The medal is presented by President Obama personally. Bruce is one among several honorees. They include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, and Bill Gates.

Obama's remarks about Springsteen: "He was sprung from a cage out on Highway 9. Quiet kid from Jersey, just trying to make sense of the temples of dreams and the mystery that dotted his hometown: poolhalls, bars, girls and cars, altars and assembly lines. And for decades, Bruce Springsteen has brought us all along on a journey consumed with the bargains between ambition and injustice, and pleasure and pain, the simple glories and scattered heartbreak of everyday life in America.

To create one of his biggest hits, he once said, "I wanted to craft a record that sounded like the last record on Earth. The last one you'd ever need to hear. One glorious noise. Then the Apocalypse." Every restless kid in America was given a story, "Born to Run."

He didn't stop there - once he told us about himself, he told us about everybody else: the steelworker in "Youngstown," the Vietnam vet in "Born in the U.S.A.," the sick and marginalized on the "Streets of Philadelphia," the firefighter carrying the weight of a reeling but resilient nation on "The Rising," the young soldier reckoning with "Devils & Dust" in Iraq, the communities knocked down by recklessness and greed and the "Wrecking Ball." All of us with our faults and our failings, every color and class and creed, bound together by one defiant, restless train rolling toward the "Land of Hope and Dreams." These are all anthems of our America, the reality of who we are and the reverie of who we want to be.

"The hallmark of a rock 'n' roll band," Bruce Springsteen once said, "is that the narrative you tell together is bigger than anyone could have told on your own." And for decades - alongside the Big Man, Little Steven, a Jersey girl named Patti, and all the men and women of the E Street Band - Bruce Springsteen has been carrying the rest of us on his journey, asking us all, What is the work for us to do in our short time here?

I am the President, he is the Boss. And pushing 70, he is still laying down four-hour live sets- if you have not been at them, he is working. Firebreathing rock 'n' roll. So I thought twice about giving him a medal for freedom, because we hope he remains, in his words, a "prisoner of rock 'n' roll" for years to come."