Springsteen Announces Reunion Tour With E Street Band

Details on summer of '99 worldwide outing expected next month.

Bruce Springsteen plans to reunite with his celebrated backing group,

the E Street Band, for their first tour together in 10 years beginning

in the summer of 1999.

The blue-collar New Jersey rocker made the announcement Tuesday (Dec. 8),

confirming one of the year's hottest tour rumors.

Shore Fire Media, Springsteen's publicity firm, offered no specifics

in a brief

press release but stated that Springsteen's manager, Jon Landau, has

confirmed plans for a worldwide tour are in the works.

"Details will be announced after the first of the year," a Shore Fire

representative who did not want to be named said Tuesday.

The tour will be Springsteen's first with the E Streeters since

the 1988-89

Human Rights Now! world tour to benefit Amnesty International.

Coincidentally, Shore Fire also confirmed Tuesday that the Boss

will perform

at another Amnesty benefit show Thursday in Paris.

During the 1970s and '80s, the E Street Band gained a

reputation as one of

the tightest and hardest-working backing bands in music,

routinely putting

on shows that lasted longer than three hours.

Springsteen fired the group in fall 1989, saying he wanted

to challenge

himself by working with other people.

When Springsteen was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame this year

without the E Streeters -- who won't be eligible to join him

until next year

-- many fans cried foul.

Speculation about a possible reunion tour began

brewing in earnest earlier

this fall, when Springsteen announced the November release of

Tracks,

a four-CD box set of rare and unreleased material, much of which features

him performing with the E Street Band.