For Bruce Springsteen fans, there's always the fear that the current E Street Band tour will be the last one-some of us still haven't recovered from when his disbanded the E Street Band from 1989-1999. Springsteen has said many times that he will never announce a so-called "farewell" tour; he'll just finish a tour and there simply won't do another one.

So that's why some comments by members of the E Street Band, reported on www.Billboard.com  are causing heart palpitations among the faithful--even though,quite frankly, they're nothing new.  In a conference call with reporters on Sept. 16,  guitarist Steve Van Zandt said, "It could be the last show, could be the last tour. You never know. We do every show like it's our last show, anyway. But don't wait around; if you're waiting to come see us, come now. This is a good time to see us."

However, guitarist Nils Lofgren said the band members never know what's coming after a tour concludes.  "As far as I know we'll wrap up at Thanksgiving, and that'll be it for the time being," Lofgren said. "For 25 years since I joined up, my experience is that...at the end of the tour -- for instance, the 'Born in the U.S.A.' Tour -- that was it, no future plans. I got back to my solo thing...writing my next batch of songs and just get on with my musical life. And if there's another call and project, I'm honored to be a part of it."

Springsteen and the E Street Band have been on a worldwide tour for the past two years, spanning both the "Magic" and "Working on a Dream"  CDs.  Springsteen has already announced that his next project will be a solo CD without the band.  The current tour end Nov. 22 in Buffalo, N.Y.

As the members get older-- the astonishingly fit Springsteen turns 60 in a few weeks-- health issues have hit some of the band and have helped fuel the "last tour" rumors.   Lofgren had both hips replaced during a recent tour hiatus, The Big Man, saxophonist Clarence Clemons, at 67, is the oldest member of the band, and he often has to be helped on and off the stage because of his arthritis.  Original member, keyboardist Danny Federici, died of melanoma last year. Through it all, the band has soldiered on and delivered some of its most potent and vital shows during this tour.