1964-06-13 Springsteen Residence, Freehold, NJ

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Bruce watches The Rolling Stones' debut appearance on national U.S. television show Hollywood Palace. Although they don't know one other at this point, as fate would have it a kid a year younger than Springsteen in nearby Middletown named Steven Van Zandt is also transfixed to the television this night. Van Zandt has described watching this Stones performance as the defining moment in his decision to get a guitar and learn how to play. And this is indeed what happened - around August 1964, Van Zandt formed his first band, The Whirlwinds, which performed mainly surf-style instrumentals and which consisted of Van Zandt (guitar), Bruce Gumbert (accordion) and Neils Lybeck (drums). The group spent nearly all its brief, five-six month, existence practicing in the garage and did not have any paid gigs, although Bruce Gumbert has confirmed to Brucebase that they did play "au gratis" once at a private party. Lybeck would eventually form 'The Chlan' in 1965, while Van Zandt formed 'The Mates' in 1965 and both Gumbert and Van Zandt would re-unite again in spring 1966 when both joined 'The Shadows'.

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