"I would like to get more music out -- I know, I say that every time," 51-year-old Bruce Springsteen says with a laugh of his recording plans with the E Street Band. "It's not going to be our usual am

"I would like to get more music out -- I know, I say that every time," 51-year-old Bruce Springsteen says with a laugh of his recording plans with the E Street Band. "It's not going to be our usual amount of time to make a record -- we don't have the time to waste anymore."

Springsteen will tomorrow (April 3) release the two-disc concert set "Live In New York City" (Columbia), to be complimented Saturday (April 10) by a nearly two-hour television special of the same name on HBO. He acknowledges that he and his reunited band recently spent "a good weekend" in the studio working on new material. "It's an ongoing, creative unit," he says.

As to when fans can expect to hear a new studio release, that's unknown, although Springsteen is hoping this foray into the studio doesn't take as long as previous ones. His last studio album was 1995's "Ghost of Tom Joad," which came three years after "Human Touch" and "Lucky Town." None included the E Street Band.

The Internet could also offer some salvation, as Springsteen sees it as a way to possibly "release music in a more relaxed fashion." Likely candidates for such an effort are some projects he describes as "half-finished, sitting around."

For now though, the live album and HBO special will have to satiate the desires of his fans, who are already clamoring for material from the band's lengthy, tour-closing performances that didn't make the cut. Some of that material may see release via a much hoped for DVD release. Springsteen cites a stunning version of "Blood Brothers," the band-as-brothers song that closed out the final show, complete with a new verse written during the afternoon of that show.

"Oooooh," he replies when asked about that performance at New York's Madison Square Garden. "Up there on the last night, the feeling was pretty strong. It was the last night -- what could I say?"

His band's 10-night run at the Garden yielded high moments, as well as some controversy. The newly debuted song "American Skin" -- inspired by the police shooting of Amadou Diallo -- drew insults from New York police officials and a call for cops to boycott the Boss' New York concerts.

"The commentary seemed... well, it wasn't particularly thought out," the artist reflects now. "I was surprised at the push-button demagoguery which immediately pops up. You become the ride for a few days."

"I wasn't expecting it," he continues. "For me, it was a continuation of my work for the last 20-25 years. I think race is the central issue facing this country in the new century, and I wanted to write about it." Despite the boycott, Springsteen and the band performed the song each night in New York.

As for the HBO special, Springsteen says videotaping his performances was something he long intended, but never got around to doing. "It was done almost as kind of an afterthought, you know?" he says of taping the last two nights of the New York stand.

The resulting footage allowed him to finally witness what millions of fans worldwide had seen over the last 28 years: the E Street Band in full roar. "When you're in the band, you don't see the band," Springsteen explains. "Getting a chance to see it, like watching [drummer Max Weinberg] play, or seeing how the band was working as a unit 25 years down the road -- that's the thing that excited me the most.

"That was our concern when we began the tour, to come out and do justice and service to what we'd done previously -- and then some. And then some," he says. "The band was playing at its best. To sit back and watch it, it was fun."

Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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