Bruce Springsteen releases 1981 live album to raise money for New Jersey pandemic relief fund
(Credit: Brendan Byrne Arena cover)

Watch a 23-year-old Bruce Springsteen prove he was already The Boss back in 1973

We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you proof that Bruce Springsteen was The Boss before anybody even realised it. In 1973, a 23-year-old Springsteen was opening up for Dr. Hook and delivered the kind of performance which let everybody know what the future had in store.

Springsteen’s album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. had been on the shelves for a few months but it had arrived with little fanfare outside of the heavy-weighing “new Dylan” moniker. The charts had been relatively untouched by the singer.

CBS, however, were pretty sure of Springsteen’s success and were keen to give the all-American singer a shot in the spotlight and booked him for their ‘Week To Remember’ Los Angeles concert series. Featuring among many other great names in music, The Boss was given his chance to shine.

Springsteen was given the chance to open up for New Riders of The Purple Sage and Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. The latter were still enjoying a wave of success after their song ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’ and the opportunity to perform for a guaranteed crowd was too good to pass up. So Springsteen took to the stage at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles on May 1st, 1973 ready to rock.

The singer-songwriter didn’t have the catchy name for his band yet but that didn’t stop them rocking out a ream of tracks. They couldn’t provide a full set but they did provide dancefloor-fillers ‘Spirit In The Night’ and ‘Thundercrack’ as well as a new one, ‘Wild Billy’s Circus Story’. You can see the performance below.

The performance must’ve given extra impetus to Springsteen’s pursuit of musical legend as shortly after their Cali trip the band got together to begin recording The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. It also saw Springsteen include David Sancious on keys within the band and their name finally lands on paper, the E-Street Band was born.

Instant success wasn’t on the cards but Springsteen and the E-Street Band had begun their journey to stardom. With this performance, he proved he was The Boss.

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