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By RICHARD AMRHINE
With the announcement of his upcoming tour, I entertained fantasies of reveling at yet another concert with Bruce and the E Street Band. I flashed back to the Capital Centre in 1979, to the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill in 1987, to the MCI Center in 1999. Everyone likes to reflect on their Glory Days, the times of their lives. These were among mine.
I admit that my days of dropping everything to wrangle tickets for a rock concert may be in the past, but I was on hand for a telephone dialing marathon on July 13 as friends attempted to land their tickets. Venues across the country that seat 25,000 people were selling out in 18 minutes, as fast as modern telephone marketing could handle the onslaught.
The phenomenon is without compare. There's nobody who commands such a universal, worldwide following. Yet Springsteen does it without regular hits on the radio, though "The Rising" is about to change that, and make concert tickets even harder to get as a new generation gets hooked.
I love my Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Hornsby. And there is so much good new music coming out all the time.
But Bruce Springsteen has laid claim to a class by himself. We need him, and he's coming through.
Bruce Springsteen's new album, "The Rising," comes to record stores on Tuesday. That morning, in a rare live TV appearance, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be featured on NBC's "Today" show with a broadcast from Asbury Park, N.J.
Springsteen himself will be on ABC as Ted Koppel's guest Tuesday on "Nightline" at 11:35, and again Wednesday (actually Thursday morning) at 12:05 on "Up Close."
Bruce and the band are also scheduled to appear on "Late Night with David Letterman" Thursday and Friday nights at 11:35 on CBS.
RICHARD AMRHINE is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star. You can write to him c/o The Free Lance-Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401; send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call 374-5406.