Bruce Springsteen Talks ‘Broadway’ Return, New Music With Killers and John Mellencamp, and 2022 Tour?

By Michele Amabile Angermiller

Popular on Variety

Bruce Springsteen is getting back to work this summer, playing a big role in Broadway’s return by bringing back his $108-million-grossing “Springsteen on Broadway” for the entire summer, but that isn’t all he has in the works, as he revealed in a call on Sirius XM’s E Street Radio.

“I am looking forward to being in front of an audience,” he told hosts Dave Marsh and Jim Rotolo. “It’s going to be quite a thing. I’m actually glad to be working.”

In addition to the show — tickets go on sale today, and fans must be fully vaccinated for two weeks to attend —Springsteen says he spent time in Indiana with John Mellencamp, working on a few songs for a fall release, as well as a project with Brandon Flowers and the Killers on a track that could debut as soon as this month.

“It’s [Brandon] and I with the band, we have done something that is going to come out soon, in a week or so,” he said. I’ve been staying busy.”

Also in the works, unreleased material that “the fans will have fun with” and a tour in the works for 2022.

“There are various things we are working on. We have something that is going to come out in the fall,” he teased. “I have got projects I have been working on… We worked on a lot of things from the vault. I will let it be a surprise.”

Springsteen shared a few details about his time with Mellencamp.

“I worked on three songs on John’s album and I spent some time in Indiana with him,” he said. “I love John a lot. He’s a great songwriter and I have become very close and had a lot of fun with him. I sang a little bit on his record.”

As for the Broadway show, Springsteen said he was asked to help with the revival of the Great White Way, but wasn’t sure because he was planning a 2022 tour with the E Street Band.

“[Manager] Jon [Landau] mentioned it to me,” he said. “I knew we were going to tour with the band next year, so I said, ‘Maybe I’ll take the time off.'” But a conversation with a friend convinced him to return to Broadway — although it was unclear whether that was a confirmation that a long-expected 2022 E Street Band tour is definitely in the works (Springsteen’s didn’t really say during the interview; a rep did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment).

“I had a friend who  got so enthusiastic about it to me that he talked me into it sitting on my couch one night,” Springsteen said. “The next day I said, ok, we’ll do  some shows. It really came around kind of casually.”

“It will be just nice to be back there again [and] lend a hand,” he continued.

Asked if the show will be the same as the original run — which covered Oct. 2017 to Dec. 2018 —Springsteen said he may tweak it a bit.

“I have a script. I haven’t looked at it. The truth is, I didn’t rehearse it much the first time. My recollection is we played a few dress rehearsals and I played it once here at Monmouth College [University in New Jersey], but that was all I did,” he said.  “You can’t really stand there and talk to yourself in the afternoon. I am not going to tell myself those same stories. Part of it is there is an element of spontaneity, even if the script is relatively fixed.”

With just a few weeks to go before opening night, Springsteen said he is getting to work right away.

“I got it set up for Monday, I am going to start freshening up the script and going through it again and see if I am going to make some small changes or not. It’s pretty much going to be the same show that it was because I think it’s what people expect and that is what I have,” he said.

“There will be some small [changes], but I don’t think too much,” he continued “It lasted for 236 shows a week, pretty much the way it was. It had gotten a little longer which means I probably added things. I would like to tighten it up a bit, if anything. I would like to get it a little closer to what it was when I initially debuted it on Broadway than towards the end a little bit.  I’d like to do that.”

Springsteen has been keeping himself busy as a radio DJ, recording 23 episodes of his show “From My Home to Yours,” hosting a podcast with President Barrack Obama, and celebrating his 30-year anniversary with wife Patti Scialfa.

“[The radio show] Keeps me digging into music which I have found to be very satisfying — new groups and old things I didn’t know existed,” he said.

Springsteen On Broadway’ will return this summer for a limited run of performances at New York City’s  St. James Theatre. Shows begin June 26 with additional performances through September 4. The original run earned Springsteen earned a Special Tony Award for the performances, which were later adapted into a film and a soundtrack album.