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E Street Band’s Bittan in dark about live dates

Keyboardist says he knows as much as fans do about Springsteen's plans

The E Street Band’s keyboardist Roy Bittan says he knows as much as fans do about future live dates with Bruce Springsteen.

And he says there’s no point asking him as he’s in the dark and waiting for The Boss to reveal his plans.

He tells Rolling Stone: “People always want to know what we're doing. I understand that. The music business is generally one in which people make plans far in advance, and they don't veer from their plans. 

“But with Bruce, it's just simply that he writes songs, he makes an album and then he figures out where he wants to go and play.

“There's always some plans in the mix but until he says, ‘The album is done, let's go,’ I don't ever really know. It's kind of been that way for 40 years. I just go along with it and I'm sure at some point he's gonna say, ‘OK, this is what I want to do," and it'll happen. But until then, it's just as much a waiting game for me as it is for the fans.”

Springsteen famously takes requests from fans at gigs and Bittan says with such a large body of material, he and the rest of the band sometimes forget what they’re about to play.

He adds: “The songbook must be at least 250 songs, and then all the cover things we've done. So there are moments when he's going, ‘One, two, three,’ and you're still trying to figure out what you have to play. 

“Sometimes he calls a song and you haven't played it in 10 years. It's a little freaky but I guess that's one of the things about having a lot of people on stage. Chances are there are a few of us that know how it's supposed to go.”

Last year, Springsteen gave fans the opportunity to purchase live shows from his High Hopes tour and also raised $600,000 after he auctioned himself for a US charity.

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