Springsteen—and Two More—Before the Fame

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In my new book, Springsteen on Springsteen, I talk about interviewing the Boss in early 1974, when he was too poor to afford even a record player.

He wasn’t the only soon-to-be-famous musician I encountered that year. Shortly after I spoke with Springsteen, I scheduled an interview with a then up-and-coming duo called Carlson & Gailmor. A publicist at their record label, Polydor, asked whether I’d mind if another fledgling duo joined us for lunch. This second pair—who hadn’t yet finished work on their debut album—would not be the subject of a story. They simply wanted to tag along to get a sense of what it was like to deal with the media and of what sorts of questions they might expect if their careers took off and they found themselves being interviewed. I said sure, and the couple joined us. I remember them arguing over lunch—something to do with money; I also remember that they seemed ambitious. But the details of our conversation have been lost to time.

At any rate, we shook hands after our meal and walked off in different directions. In the months that followed, Carlson and Gailmor’s album flopped. But early the next year, I read some news about the other duo. Their names were Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks and, on New Year’s Eve, they’d joined a struggling band called Fleetwood Mac.

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