Starting in late spring 2012, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will mount their first international tour in three years. The news follows...

Starting in late spring 2012, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will mount their first international tour in three years.

The news follows the June death of E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons, which dealt a heavy blow to the musical community and ignited speculation about the band’s future. But the late November 20 announcement from the Boss’ camp serves to put those fears to rest.

“A lot of you have been hearing that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be on tour in 2012. That is absolutely correct,” reads the message on Springsteen’s official Web site. Though brief, the statement goes on to say that a new album also is in the works for 2012.

Initial plans have Springsteen and his musical cohorts traveling the European tour circuit from May through July, making stops at a couple major UK festivals along the way.

Four dates in England are the first to be confirmed, since those onsales are right around the corner. Headline shows are set for June 21 at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, June 22 at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, June 24 at the Isle of Wight Festival, and July 14 at Hard Rock Calling in London.

Onsales begin November 25 for the Isle of Wight Festival, to be followed by December 3 onsales for Springsteen’s Stadium of Light and Hard Rock Calling dates. Ticket sales are not yet set for the Etihad Stadium concert.

Details about the band’s 2012 U.S. tour — and additional European concert dates — are coming “real soon,” according to the statement on Springsteen’s site.

Springsteen’s last venture — the Working on a Dream Tour — crisscrossed the United States through late 2009. The outing ignited a firestorm over Ticketmaster’s handling of the Springsteen onsales, during which some consumers were redirected to secondary subsidiary TicketsNow.

The controversy led to a war of words between Ticketmaster and Springsteen’s camp. Meanwhile, fans affected by the redirects took matters into their own hands and filed a class action suit against Ticketmaster for its practices, which was only recently settled for $16.5 million.

However, that wasn’t the only issue that put Springsteen’s last tour on the legal radar. Some venues on the 2009 tour used Ticketmaster’s paperless ticketing for select seating sections. As a result, Springsteen’s name has become intertwined with debates regarding paperless ticketing legislation in several states.

Bruce Springsteen itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

June 21Sunderland, ENGStadium of Light
June 22Manchester, ENGEtihad Stadium
June 24Isle of Wight, ENGIsle of Wight Festival
July 14London, ENGHard Rock Calling