August 7, 2002 at 8:44 PM EST - Updated July 26 at 11:45 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - It's not unusual for Bruce Springsteen to begin a concert tour at home. This time, home is also a region recovering from a terrorist attack, which also transformed his art.
Springsteen's album "The Rising," inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, is the fastest-selling disc in his career, with 526,000 copies sold since its release July 30.
His 46-city concert tour began Wednesday in his home state, at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.
Many of the more than 3,000 people killed Sept. 11 were from New Jersey, including more than 150 from Monmouth County, where Springsteen owns a farm.
Springsteen has said he was inspired to make the album partly by a fan's shout, "We need you," when he was taking his kids to the beach shortly after the attacks. It is his first rock album in nearly two decades with his longtime compadres, the E Street Band.
"The Rising" includes a mix of remembrance, gospel-like exhortations such as the title song, and catchy pop tunes designed to help people move on with their lives.
Springsteen concerts are usually marathons that are part revival meeting, part party, and always with a social message.
He is booked for 39 concerts in 39 North American cities (including a stop at Gund Arena in Cleveland on Aug. 14), then seven in Europe, the first leg of what is expected to be at least a year on the road.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)