Even as the E Street Band follows Bruce Springsteen into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, some 15 years after the Boss’ induction, putting their impact on his career into perspective remains difficult.
Still, if Springsteen had to narrow it down, he says, it would be in the way the group allows his imagination to soar.
“The significance of the band — beyond its great sound — I would say is that the E Street Band, at the end of the day, when I think of those words, it makes me dream in CinemaScope,” Springsteen tells E Street Radio. “To me, that along with their incredible live performances and durability on the road, that may be the single most important effect that the band has on me. Whenever I think of them, I think of something big — because I know we are going to be able to deliver this size, and this vision, when we go out and play.”
Springsteen will induct the group into the Rock Hall, putting capstone on a collaboration that goes back to 1973. Bassist Garry Tallent is the lone original member remaining. Both Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons have passed. Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg joined in 1974, followed by Steven Van Zandt in 1975. Nils Lofgren and Patti Scialfa came on board in 1984.
Despite a period apart in the 1990s, Springsteen says their relationship remains a strong as it is complex: “These are things that are not quantifiable,” he says, “because it’s based in personality. It’s based in personal history. Rock ‘n’ roll itself is extra musical, or super musical. In other words, it’s about so many other things than just the music. The music is a cornerstone, but it’s about so many other things. Relationships, time, neighborhoods, the shared experience, knowing them a long time and making it work.”