After a three-year jag that's seen two solo albums and ping-ponging around the globe, the members of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band are is expecting some time off when their current North American run ends Nov. 22 in Buffalo.
"We are gonna take, I don't know how long -- a year, year and a half, two years," guitarist Steven Van Zandt said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. "Up to now we've been working a lot, and it's great."
Springsteen told some European interviews earlier this year that his next project will be without the E Street Band, which has led to rumors this could well be the last E Street tour. Guitarist Nils Lofgren told Billboard.com that nothing has been definitively discussed -- and that's nothing new.
"As far as I know we'll wrap up at Thanksgiving, and that'll be it for the time being," Lofgren said. "For 25 years since I joined up, my experience is that...at the end of the tour -- for instance, the 'Born in the U.S.A.' Tour -- that was it, no future plans. I got back to my solo thing...writing my next batch of songs and just get on with my musical life. And if there's another call and project, I'm honored to be a part of it."
Van Zandt added that, "You never know, do ya? It could be the last show, could be the last tour. You never know. We do every show like it's our last show, anyway. But don't wait around; if you're waiting to come see us, come now. This is a good time to see us."
A couple of the E Streeters are already plotting out their near-term futures. Saxophonist Clarence Clemons will publish a memoir, "Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales" -- co-written with Don Reo and featuring a foreword by Springsteen -- on Oct. 21. And keyboardist Roy Bittan plans to finish a solo album, "Out of the Box," that he started working on before 2007's "Magic" and plans to finish up and hopefully release in 2010.
"I'm gonna try to either get it out as an album or...get it into maybe some films," Bittan told Billboard.com. "All the pieces are very different...extremely eclectic. Some of it tinges a little on electronica, some of it is very classic...Spanish or Italian type music, a little Ennio Morricone. There's some rock happening, a little R&B. There's a lot of things maybe you woudn't expect from a guy who plays in E Street."
Springsteen and company's upcoming dates include front-to-back- performances of "Born to Run" in Chicago (Sept. 20) and Nashville (Nov. 18), five final show at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert on Oct. 29 in New York City.