What’s the meaning behind the name “The E Street Band”?

Bruce Springsteen had played in many bands, with names such as Steel Mill and Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, but when he signed his record contract, he did it as a solo artist. When he went on tour behind Greetings from Asbury Park, he had just five guys backing him up, and they didn’t even have a name—on some 1974 posters, the act is billed as “Bruce Springsteen and Band.” As original keyboardist David Sancious remembered it, “We needed a name.” On a long drive back from a show, the group brainstormed names for hours, without anything clicking. By the time they got back to the Jersey shore, it was daylight. They were headed for the house of Sancious’s family, where the band sometimes practiced. The address: 1105 E Street, Belmar, New Jersey. Springsteen saw a street sign, and started saying it over and over: “E Street, E Street. E Street Band. Yeah.” That Belmar neighborhood had one other name that Springsteen made famous: a nearby cross-street was Tenth Avenue—later to be known for its freeze-outs.

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)

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