Rocker Bruce Springsteen has announced plans for an album and tour in 2012, both of which will feature his iconic E Street Band. The album will be Springsteen's first since "Magic" was released in 2007. A note on the band's website reads, in part:
"We want you to know that the music is almost done (but still untitled), we have almost settled on the release date (but not quite yet), and that we are all incredibly excited about everything that we're planning for 2012. That's all the info we have for right now, but we'll get back to you — real soon."
The press release went on to mention a few upcoming European shows, but no word on a US tour. The European dates will be the first played by the band since the death of saxophonist Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons, long considered an integral part of the group who often served as a comic foil for The E Street Band's marathon concerts.
"A lot of you have been hearing that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be on tour in 2012. That is absolutely correct. The European dates run from the middle of May until end of July and are being announced this week. Info on the US dates and the World tour dates will coming up shortly."
Clemons passed away in June after suffering from a stroke, though he is not the first E Street Band member to have died. Longtime organist and accordion player Danny Federici died in 2008 after a prolonged battle with melanoma. Bruce Springsteen formed the E Street Band in 1972 and almost exclusively performed with them until 1989. The group reformed in 1998, releasing two critically acclaimed albums. 2002's "The Rising" and the Grammy-winning "Magic".
Speculation that the band could no longer continue without Clemons had been spreading in the months leading up to the announcement. In June, Springsteen released a statement about his fallen bandmate:
"His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."