Flashback | Bruce Springsteen Opens For Allman Brothers Band
According to BruceBase, both Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt were fans of the Allmans and lobbied hard to get on the bill. Problem was, The Boss didn’t have a band. Steel Mill had broken up, so Springsteen rounded up a group of his musical friends and utilized the moniker “Friendly Enemies.” Bruce was backed by Steve Van Zandt (guitar), Garry Tallent (bass), David Sancious (keyboards), Vini Lopez (drums, vocals), Southside Johnny (harp, vocals), Albee Tellone (sax, vocals), former Rogues member John ‘Hotkeys’ Waasdorp (electric piano), Bobby Feigenbaum (tenor sax), Bobby Williams (drums, vocals) and Tinker West (congas) at the Asbury Park performances.
While both the Allman Brothers Band and Bruce Springsteen setlists from March 27, 1971 have gone undocumented, there’s a bit on BruceBase about that evening which really warms out hearts: “Apparently, The Allman Brothers got a kick out of Bruce’s combination of zany props and inspired music. Backstage between shows Duane Allman gave some slide guitar tips to Steve Van Zandt and also played some impromptu slide on top of a soundboard tape listening session of Bruce’s early show that Tinker West was conducting. Allman was quoted as saying ‘that’s one cookin’ band, man.'”
The Allman Brothers Band were slated to return to Asbury Park later that year, but sadly the gig was cancelled after Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident.