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Bruce Springsteen

September 23, 1949

Artistfacts for Bruce Springsteen

  • Springsteen broke up his E-Street Band in 1989 and performed as a solo artist for most of the '90s. In 1995, he did a solo tour in small venues to support the rather depressing Ghost of Tom Joad album.
  • Springsteen's concerts in the 1970's and '80s were a religious display of energy, charisma and stamina, usually carrying on for over 4 hours straight. The E Street Band was reunited in 1999 for a world tour that started in Europe and kicked off in America with 15 dates at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Bruce and the E Street Band still play for 3 hours minimum. (thanks, Jacob - Harrison, NY)
  • Bruce is the president and sole benefactor of The Foundation, a charity that provides low income people in Monmouth County, New Jersey, with home repairs.
  • He hates his nickname "The Boss." It was given to him by overwhelmed musicians in Asbury Park, NJ in the early '70s.
  • He retains strict control of his publishing and doesn't allow his songs to be used in commercials. However, sales of Levi's went up after Born In The USA showed him wearing their jeans on the album cover.
  • Springsteen never had a job besides making and playing music.
  • Writing through characters is a way for Springsteen to keep his ego in check and remain a keen observer of the world around him. "The mistake is in thinking that you are those songs," he said in a 1974 interview with ZigZag. "To me a song is a vision, a flash, and what I see is characters in situations."
  • Springsteen performed on David Letterman's last show on NBC.
  • He inducted Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, U2 and Creedence Clearwater Revival into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was inducted by Bono in 1999.
  • He appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek on October 27, 1975, becoming the first entertainer to do so.
  • E-Street Drummer Max Weinberg is the drummer for the late night talk show Late Night with Conan O'Brien. (thanks, Joe - Los Angeles, CA)
  • One of the villains in the Dick Tracy comic strip wore an E Street Band T-shirt.
  • In 1984, Springsteen expressed his anger at President Reagan for trying to use his music for political purposes. When living in California in the mid-1990s, Springsteen found himself one of Reagan's neighbors.
  • The decision to build the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was based partly on a survey showing that people who attended Springsteen concerts also love to gamble.
  • Despite his massive popularity, Springsteen has never had a #1 single. (thanks, Chase - Pasadena, CA)
  • Bruce Springsteen's rider for his 2002-2003 tour included a security guard to watch over his guitars exclusively.
  • Bruce's father, Douglas Springsteen, was largely unemployed when he was growing up, leaving his mother, Adele Ann, to be the family's breadwinner with her job as a legal secretary.
  • Bruce's younger sister, Pamela, is a still photographer. She took photos for his Human Touch, Lucky Town and The Ghost of Tom Joad albums.
  • Springsteen was called up to serve in Vietnam, but failed his physical examination having suffered a concussion in a motorcycle accident when he was 17. This together with his "crazy" behavior at induction resulted in being enough to get him a 4F, which disqualified Bruce from serving in uniform.
  • A 1985 Springsteen gig almost rocked the Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden to pieces. The owners had to spend $5 million drilling concrete pillars down through clay into solid bedrock.
  • Springsteen was born in a Roman Catholic household and peppers his lyrics with spiritual imagery. In 2013, Rutgers University in New Jersey began offering students a course on the theological underpinnings of Springsteen's lyrics, looking at how he has interpreted biblical texts in his work. Good luck with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!"
  • He made a cameo in the 2000 John Cusak movie Hi Fidelity.
  • Bruce Springsteen's first vehicle was a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air. "In '70s New Jersey, the car was still a powerful image," Springsteen wrote in his book Songs. "That summer I bought my first set of wheels for $2,000. It was a '57 Chevy with dual, four-barrel carbs, a Hurst on the floor and orange flames spread across the hood."
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Comments: 28

About the 99 reunion of the E street Band ... I was at the concert June 99 i Dublin ... Just recently I heard the E street Band - The River Tour at Telia Parken, CPH DK - Many songs also not from The River, but Sherry Darling is one of my favorites :-) cheers, bjarneBjarne - Dk
John from Edinburgh... are you talking about "Bruce and I". What a great summation of what he means to people all over the world. When Born to Run came out I was just out of high school and the guy's music literally got me through some tough times. Today I've seen him in concert, have all his music and some great memories. Thanks BossMark - Great Falls, Mt.
Have recently seen the new Bruce documentary, it sums up everything that this guy means to me, modest, down to earth, brilliant songwriter and musician, a must see film especially if you are a fan.John - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Bruce springsteen as Bono says a remarkable man i have now seen the master 106 times and living in England that has taken some time and money and if i had my time again i would do it all over again i have missed two shows in the UK since 1983 having also traveled all around europe and finally in New york the 99+100 shows at MSG WOW thats something i will never forget the second night and 100th show in the pit at the front. if im like most Bruce fans out there. i can almost always find a song or story that relates to what im feeling or going through in life. Even the first time i saw Bruce was the river tour in 1981 i was only 13 but even that young there was something about the night i will never forget hearing Born to run for the first time live the energy he was giving out seemed to get to me even so young and i think i can say in the last 28yrs over 10.000 day there will be less that 100 days when i have not played Born to run. even when it comes on the radio and thats alot today with digital radio (absolute classic rock) for those in England. i still get a shudder down my back. One good thing is when i go to shows its great to see how many young people are there so even today the young people are finding things in his music and shows so there is still hope for the world KEEP-ON-ROCKINDavid - Hertford, United Kingdom
well...what can i say. he is the best artist ever. his music is well written and tells amazing stories. i am only 13 so all of my friends are listening to that rap stuff that doesn't even pass as music. but bruce is just amazing especially live. i have seen him twice in concert and im seeing him later in may or june too. some of his new stuff is good but his old stuff is simply genius. my favorite albums are probably the river and born to run...and definitely darness on the edge of town. i just love his musicLauren - Basking Ridge, Nj
I saw Springsteen in Detroit in Nov. '07 and it was an almost religious experience. I managed to find myself leaning on the stage dead center to The Boss himself. Besides the amazing performance, Bruce demonstrated that he is very aware of his status yet remains down to earth about it. There was a child not much more than six years old who was on his dad's shoulders for the entire show. I saw Bruce point him out to Little Steven and then to the whole band but just pointing him out. After an amazing rendition of Reason to Believe he handed the harmonica he was just playing to the little boy. By the end of the show the boy had collected something from pretty much every member of the band; a set of Max's drum sticks, some used picks from Steve, Clarence's sax strap. He also took a sign from the boy that said 'Ramrod Please'. There was a policy that night that signs were not allowed by The Palace. He help up the sign and introduced the boy to everyone present. He proceded to actually play Ramrod for the kid. He hadn't played the song live with the band in I believe five years. It seemed to catch all the band members by surprise yet it was one of the greatest versions of the song I have heard and I have heard a few. Just though some Springsteen fans would enjoy the story. (P.S. you can even see for yourself at Backstreets.com)Neal - Swanton, Oh
Emory's story about the adam ant scuffle and bruce's supposed "underbite" sounded funny, so i looked up adam's discography, and found no such song lyric, let alone tune title on ANY adam ant album EVER..complete confabulation.......adam ant ,however, HAS admitted to beating up WOMEN..read his lyrics of 1995's "wonderful"...but as far as busting Springsteen's "punk ass jaw"? That's just a story that blossomed from Mr Emory's fertile imagination,nurtured by all the manure he's spreading.Peter - Wilmington, De
bruce used to lie in bed listening to roy orbison...and is known to love roys voice !Dean - Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
I did't know the meaning of the song "Born In The U.S.A." and when I read the lyrics, sounded like Mr. Springsteen had a relative in the war. Anyway I was trying to select music for a Veterans Conference and thought to research that song. I'm so glad I did! I appreciate him just for singing that particular song. I've heard other songs by Mr Springsteen that I like but, I salute him as an artist, coming from the TOP!!!Nadine - Fllint, Mi
i originally got into springsteens music after reading the book "things change". thunder road's my favouriteKatherine - Perth
Bruce Springsteen grinded it out a bit in the local New Jersey shore club circuit during 1966-71. He had several bands including Castilles, Earth, Child, Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom and Steel Mill, which featured Steve Van Zandt (bass), Vini Lopez (drums), Robbin Thompson (vocals) and Danny Federici (organ). Luckily many nice quality soundboards exist of Steel Mill including 11/27/70 Sunshine Inn (opening for Black Sabbath), 01/18/71 D'Scene Club and 8/14/70 Richmond, Virginia.Barry - New York, Ny
I love Bruce Springsteen. My two favorite songs are Blinded by the light and Rosalita. I love Bruce's Blinded way better than manfred mann's......Bruce's style is catchier.Anthony - New York, Ny
I have been a Springsteen fan since Born to Run was released in late 75. It was the first album I purchased for myself (2 vinyls, 3 8 tracks, 2 casettes, and finally the CD). I have quite a collection of Springsteen music and have seen the band 9 times. One of which was at the Cleveland Agora (a bar) in 1978. Growing up in Cleveland, I have seen many rock concerts from Zeppelin to The Stones, to Pink Floyd, to the Who and Springsteen and The Band are by far the greatest live band ever! PURE TALENT!!Deb - Cleveland, Oh
well Bruce Springsteen.... well i am the only guy of my age who loves this guy soo much!!! there are some who like some of his songs in school but i can relate to him so much that i find it strange sometimes.... his songs Born To Run, Thunder Road, Badlands, Dancing In The Dark, Lonesome Day, Nothin Man, No Surrender, Brilliant Disguise etc etc are un-parallel! and the thing about him that has impressed me apart from his awesome lyrics and music is his modesty! hats off to the Boss.....he sure is the best and surely deserves to be in the category of greats like Bob Dylan! i sure do wish that i was born in the early 70s or even in the 60s just so that i could go to NJ and attend his concerts there! :P......you're a genius Springsteen!Zohair - Rawalpindi, Pakistan
I just became a fan of Bruce in 2003,and i wish i have noticed his music earlier.
but i believe anybody who really listens fell in love with his music.
Rachel - Hilversum, Netherlands
bruce is the boss the best everDavid Murphy - Ballymore Eustace, Ireland
I have seen Springsteen four times now, most recently on his Devils and Dust tour in Vancouver. The show removed any doubt in my mind that the Boss is truly head and shoulders above any living recording artist (what about the Stones you say - they look like a joke to me, still doing the same old thing in their adult diapers). Most significantly, the show clearly demonstrated an artist performing at his peak. Yet Again.

And oh yes, he is an artist. No question.
Greg - Vancouver, Bc, Canada
A testiment to Springsteen: Name another artist that can give you goosebumps upon hearing their songs? Few if any except Springsteen. Self Test: My City of Ruins, Streets of Philadelphia, Drive All Night, The River, Youngstown, The Fever, Atlantic City, and on and on and on.....Ken - Pittsburgh, Pa
I agree with Nick from Melbourn....Bruce IS one of the best, if NOT THE BEST singer/songwriter in the world! And I've been a fan since the beinning of his career, AND have seen him live too many times to count. Don't get me wrong, I like many bands, but I fing myself going back to the E Streeters. Diane Z, from Jersey.Diane - Bloomfield, Nj
Bruce IS the greastest rock start ever and is fully deserves that title...Redheaded Woman - Cork, Ireland
Nick,
I doubt we'll be getting Bruce back in Australia for quite a while. The tour was a disaster both financially and technically - the agency that brought him here went broke shortly afterwards - and certainly when I saw him in Melbourne not too many folk seemed to know his new album at all. He worked hard and did his best (as always), but I'm not sure he'll recall that tour with a great deal of pleasure.
Steve - Melbourne, Australia
one of the greatest songwriter/storytellers of all time.Reed - Hagerstown, In
Not many people know this but Springsteen got his severe underbite as a result of a fist fight with Adam Ant. Doctors said he may never chew again; he showed them. Adam Ant wrote a song about it, "Busted your Punk Ass Jaw", it's on his second album. He don't drink, don't smoke, what do he do? Bust Springsteen's jaw, that's what.Emory - Baltimore, Md
The man is a legend!Nick - Melbourne, Australia
Great singer, great man, great musicianNick - Melbourne, Australia
A lot of great albums indeed by Bruce. His best and in my Top 20 of all time; angry, beautiful, lyrically incredible and his without a doubt best guitar album, although trashed by the so-called critics; "DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN." I saw Bruce in a local bar in the "Burgh" get up and start jammin with a local bar band. Truly, a down-to-earth guy.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
He's a true artist and musician.Sylvan - Berkeley, Ca
Bruce Springsteen is an absolute gem. He has come up with some of the best music in history and thoroughly deserves his place is rock history. I've got every CD and they all are absolutely awesome. Let's hope he tours Australia again!!!Nick - Melbourne, Australia
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