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  • Writer's picturePete Chianca

Live from New York! A video history of Bruce Springsteen on Saturday Night Live

Yes, we're as excited as you are: Dec. 12 on Saturday Night Live, it's ... TIMOTHEE CHALAMET! Oh yeah, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

We don't know exactly how they'll pull it off -- presumably some mysterious combination of quarantines, testing and intra-band social distancing -- but as long as this particular group of at-risk seniors is careful and well-protected we can't imagine a happier development this holiday season.

One thing's for sure: It will be hard for Bruce and the band to top their 2015 appearance in support of The Ties That Bind box set -- the band actually got three slots, ripping through both "Meet Me in the City" and "The Ties That Bind" before closing the show with one of the happiest versions of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" ever, featuring Tina, Amy, and Sir Paul for good measure. You can relive those three performances here:

Sadly, Bruce's prior two SNL appearances are harder to come by in terms of available video, in particular the 2002 stop in support of The Rising, where the band performed "Lonesome Day" and "You're Missing." Those performances will have to live on in our memories for now, but there is video of Bruce rehearsing "You're Missing" and "My Hometown" on solo piano, always worth a spin (and in some ways feeling like a precursor to Springsteen on Broadway):

Similarly, his 1992 appearance with the Other Band is available only in the form of rehearsal footage of "Lucky Town," but it's a suitably rocking version:

This time around we can expect the first live band performances from Letter To You, which is certainly cause for celebration. Meanwhile, if you missed it on Stand Up For Heroes last week, here are Bruce's appearances there -- beautiful duets of "House of a Thousand Guitars" and "See You In My Dreams" with Patti, and sandwiched in between a fine solo version of "Long Walk Home" -- handily assembled into one video by Ivan Audero.

Also on the video front, Springsteen this week gifted us with a new lyric video featuring some vintage clips for "The Power of Prayer" (which, like the lyrics sheet from the album, misspells Ben E. King's name -- D'oh!), and turns up unexpectedly in a new song from Bleachers, the band fronted by producer extraordinaire and fellow Jerseyite Jack Antonoff.

Hopefully those will hold you over, and in the meantime, a few items of note for Springsteen completists (you know who you are):

Bruce was back in the DJ seat on E Street Radio with Episode 15 of "From My Home To Yours" with "music about music," expertly transcribed as usual by Jay Lustig at is having their annual Springsteen sale! Concert downloads and CDs are 25% off through Dec. 2.

You can add the "Friggin Mask" billboard to your list of Springsteen Jersey landmarks.



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