The following biography
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Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen
(born September 23, 1949), nicknamed "The Boss," is an American
singer-songwriter-performer who records and tours with the E Street Band.
Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock, poetic lyrics, and
Americana sentiments centered on his native New Jersey.
Springsteen's recordings have
included both commercially accessible rock albums and more somber folk-oriented
works. His most successful studio albums, Born in the U.S.A. and Born to Run,
showcase a talent for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily American life;
he has sold more than 65 million albums in the United States and more than 120
million worldwide and he has earned numerous awards for his work, including
20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award. He is widely regarded
by many as one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century, and in
2004, Rolling Stone ranked him as the 23rd greatest artist of all time in its
100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.
Also known as The Boss
Born September 23, 1949
(1949-09-23) (age 62)
Long Branch, New Jersey, United
Genres Rock, folk rock, heartland
rock, hard rock, roots rock
Instruments Vocals, guitar,
harmonica, bass guitar, piano, percussion
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts E Street Band,
Steel Mill, Miami Horns, The Sessions Band
Notable instruments: Fender
Telecaster, Takamine Guitars, Gibson J-45, Hohner Marine Band Harmonica
Springsteen was born in Long
Branch, New Jersey, and spent his childhood and high school years in Freehold
Borough. He lived on South Street in Freehold Borough and attended Freehold
Borough High School. His father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen, was of Dutch and
Irish ancestry and worked, among other vocations, as a bus driver; his surname
is Dutch for jump stone. His mother, Adele Ann (née Zirilli), was a legal
secretary and was of Italian ancestry. His maternal grandfather was born in
Vico Equense, a city near Naples. He has two younger sisters, Virginia and
Pamela. Pamela had a brief film career, but left acting to pursue still
photography full time; she took photos for the Human Touch and Lucky Town
Raised a Roman Catholic,
Springsteen attended the St. Rose of Lima Catholic school in Freehold Borough,
where he was at odds with the nuns and rejected the strictures imposed upon him,
even though some of his later music reflects a Catholic ethos and included a few
rock-influenced, traditional Irish-Catholic hymns.
In ninth grade, he transferred to
the public Freehold Regional High School, but did not fit in there, either. Old
teachers have said he was a "loner, who wanted nothing more than to play his
guitar." He completed high school, but felt so uncomfortable that he skipped his
own graduation ceremony. He briefly attended Ocean County College, but
1962–1972: Early years
Springsteen had been inspired to
take up music at the age of seven after seeing Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan
Show. At 13, his mother bought him his first guitar for $18; later, she took out
a loan to buy the 16-year-old Springsteen a $60 Kent guitar, as he later
memorialized in his song "The Wish".
In 1965, he went to the house of
Tex and Marion Vinyard, who sponsored young bands in town. They helped him
become lead guitarist and subsequently the lead singer of The Castiles. The
Castiles recorded two original songs at a public recording studio in Brick
Township and played a variety of venues, including Cafe Wha? in Greenwich
Village. Marion Vinyard said that she believed the young Springsteen when he
promised he would make it big.
Called for induction when he was
18, Springsteen failed his physical examination and did not serve in Vietnam. In
an interview in Rolling Stone magazine in 1984, he said, "When I got on the bus
to go take my physical, I thought one thing: I ain't goin'." He had suffered a
concussion in a motorcycle accident when he was 17, and this together with his
"crazy" behaviour at induction and not taking the tests, was enough to get him a
In the late 1960s, Springsteen
performed briefly in a power trio known as Earth, playing in clubs in New
Jersey. Springsteen acquired the nickname "The Boss" during this period as when
he played club gigs with a band he took on the task of collecting the band's
nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates. Springsteen is not
fond of this nickname, due to his dislike of bosses, but seems to have since
given it a tacit acceptance. Previously he had the nickname "Doctor". From
1969 through early 1971, Springsteen performed with Steel Mill, which also
featured Danny Federici, Vini Lopez, Vinnie Roslin and later Steve Van Zandt and
Robbin Thompson. They went on to play the mid-Atlantic college circuit, and also
briefly in California. In January 1970 well-known San Francisco Examiner music
critic Philip Elwood gave Springsteen credibility in his glowing assessment of
Steel Mill: "I have never been so overwhelmed by totally unknown talent." Elwood
went on to praise their "cohesive musicality" and, in particular, singled out
Springsteen as "a most impressive composer." During this time Springsteen also
performed regularly at small clubs in Canton, Massachusetts, Richmond, Virginia,
Asbury Park and along the Jersey Shore, quickly gathering a cult following.
Other acts followed over the next two years, as Springsteen sought to shape a
unique and genuine musical and lyrical style: Dr Zoom & the Sonic Boom
(early–mid 1971), Sundance Blues Band (mid 1971), and The Bruce Springsteen Band
(mid 1971–mid 1972). With the addition of pianist David Sancious, the core of
what would later become the E Street Band was formed, with occasional temporary
additions such as horn sections, "The Zoomettes" (a group of female backing
vocalists for "Dr. Zoom") and Southside Johnny Lyon on harmonica. Musical genres
explored included blues, R&B, jazz, church music, early rock'n'roll, and soul.
His prolific songwriting ability, with "More words in some individual songs than
other artists had in whole albums", as his future record label would describe it
in early publicity campaigns, brought his skill to the attention of several
people who were about to change his life: new managers Mike Appel and Jim
Cretecos, and legendary Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond, who, under
Appel's pressure, auditioned Springsteen in May 1972.
Even after Springsteen gained
international acclaim, his New Jersey roots showed through in his music, and he
often praised "the great state of New Jersey" in his live shows. Drawing on his
extensive local appeal, he routinely sold out consecutive nights in major New
Jersey and Philadelphia venues. He also made many surprise appearances at The
Stone Pony and other shore nightclubs over the years, becoming the foremost
exponent of the Jersey Shore sound.
1972–1974: Initial struggle for success
Springsteen signed a record deal
with Columbia Records in 1972, with the help of John Hammond, who had signed Bob
Dylan to the same label a decade earlier. Springsteen brought many of his New
Jersey–based colleagues into the studio with him, thus forming the E Street Band
(although it would not be formally named as such for several more years). His
debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released in January 1973,
established him as a critical favorite, though sales were slow. Because of
Springsteen's lyrical poeticism and folk rock–rooted music exemplified on tracks
like "Blinded by the Light", (which would later be a hit for Manfred Mann and go
to number one, making it the only time Springsteen had a number one single as a
songwriter), and "For You", as well as the Columbia and Hammond connections,
critics initially compared Springsteen to Bob Dylan. "He sings with a freshness
and urgency I haven't heard since I was rocked by 'Like a Rolling Stone,'" wrote
Crawdaddy magazine editor Peter Knobler in Springsteen's first
interview/profile, in March 1973. Crawdaddy discovered Springsteen in the rock
press and was his earliest champion. (Springsteen and the E Street Band
acknowledged by giving a private performance at the Crawdaddy 10th Anniversary
Party in New York City in June 1976.) Music critic Lester Bangs wrote in
Creem in 1975 that when Springsteen's first album was released "... many of us
dismissed it: he wrote like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, sang like Van Morrison
and Robbie Robertson, and led a band that sounded like Van Morrison's." The
track "Spirit in the Night" especially showed Morrison's influence, while "Lost
in the Flood" was the first of many portraits of Vietnam veterans and "Growin'
Up", his first take on the recurring theme of adolescence.
In September 1973 his second album,
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, was released, again to critical
acclaim but no commercial success. Springsteen's songs became grander in form
and scope, with the E Street Band providing a less folky, more R&B vibe and the
lyrics often romanticized teenage street life. "4th of July, Asbury Park
(Sandy)" and "Incident on 57th Street" would become fan favorites, and the long,
rousing "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" continues to rank among Springsteen's most
beloved concert numbers.
In the May 22, 1974, issue of
Boston's The Real Paper, music critic Jon Landau wrote after seeing a
performance at the Harvard Square Theater, "I saw rock and roll future, and its
name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made
me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time." Landau
subsequently became Springsteen's manager and producer, helping to finish the
epic new album, Born to Run. Given an enormous budget in a last-ditch effort at
a commercially viable record, Springsteen became bogged down in the recording
process while striving for a wall of sound production. But, fed by the release
of an early mix of "Born to Run" to progressive rock radio, anticipation built
toward the album's release. All in all the album took more than 14 months to
record, with six months alone spent on the song "Born To Run". During this time
Springsteen battled with anger and frustration over the album, saying he heard
"sounds in [his] head" that he could not explain to the others in the studio. It
was during these recording sessions that "Miami" Steve Van Zandt would stumble
into the studio just in time to help Springsteen organize the horn section on
"Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" (it is his only written contribution to the album),
and eventually led to his joining the E Street Band. Van Zandt
had been a long-time friend of Springsteen, as well as a collaborator on earlier
musical projects, and understood where he was coming from, which helped him to
translate some of the sounds Springsteen was hearing. Still, by the end of the
grueling recording sessions, Springsteen was not satisfied, and, upon first
hearing the finished album, threw the record into the alley and told Jon Landau
he would rather just cut the album live at The Bottom Line, a place he often
On August 13, 1975, Springsteen and
the E Street Band began a five-night, 10-show stand at New York's Bottom Line
club. The engagement attracted major media attention, was broadcast live on
WNEW-FM, and convinced many skeptics that Springsteen was for real. (Decades
later, Rolling Stone magazine would name the stand as one of the 50 Moments That
Changed Rock and Roll.) With the release of Born to Run on August 25, 1975,
Springsteen finally found success. The album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard
200, and while there were no hit singles, "Born to Run" (Billboard #23),
"Thunder Road", "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" (Billboard #83), and "Jungleland" all
received massive album-oriented rock airplay and remain perennial favorites on
many classic rock stations. The songwriting and recording was more disciplined
than before, while still maintaining an epic feel. With its panoramic imagery,
thundering production and desperate optimism, Born to Run is considered by some
fans to be among the best rock and roll albums of all time and Springsteen's
finest work. It established him as a sincere and dynamic rock and roll
personality who spoke for and in the voice of a large part of the rock audience.
To cap off the triumph, Springsteen appeared on the covers of both Time and
Newsweek in the same week, on October 27 of that year. So great did the wave of
publicity become that Springsteen eventually rebelled against it during his
first venture overseas, tearing down promotional posters before a concert
appearance in London.
A legal battle with former manager
Mike Appel kept Springsteen out of the studio for nearly a year, during which
time he kept the E Street Band together through extensive touring across the
U.S. Despite the optimistic fervor with which he often performed, his new songs
had taken a more somber tone than much of his previous work. Reaching settlement
with Appel in 1977, Springsteen returned to the studio, and the subsequent
sessions produced Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978). Musically, this album was
a turning point in Springsteen's career. Gone were the raw, rapid-fire lyrics,
outsized characters and long, multi-part musical compositions of the first two
albums; now the songs were leaner and more carefully drawn and began to reflect
Springsteen's growing intellectual and political awareness. The cross-country
1978 tour to promote the album would become legendary for the intensity and
length of its shows.
By the late 1970s, Springsteen had
earned a reputation in the pop world as a songwriter whose material could
provide hits for other bands. Manfred Mann's Earth Band had achieved a U.S.
number one pop hit with a heavily rearranged version of Greetings' "Blinded by
the Light" in early 1977. Patti Smith reached number 13 with her take on
Springsteen's unreleased "Because the Night" (with revised lyrics by Smith) in
1978, while The Pointer Sisters hit number two in 1979 with Springsteen's also
In September 1979, Springsteen and
the E Street Band joined the Musicians United for Safe Energy anti-nuclear power
collective at Madison Square Garden for two nights, playing an abbreviated set
while premiering two songs from his upcoming album. The subsequent No Nukes live
album, as well as the following summer's No Nukes documentary film, represented
the first official recordings and footage of Springsteen's fabled live act, as
well as Springsteen's first tentative dip into political involvement.
Springsteen continued to
consolidate his thematic focus on working-class life with the 20-song double
album The River in 1980, which included an intentionally paradoxical range of
material from good-time party rockers to emotionally intense ballads, and
finally yielded his first hit Top Ten single as a performer, "Hungry Heart".
This album marked a shift in Springsteen's music toward a pop-rock sound that
was all but missing from any of his earlier work.This is
apparent in the stylistic adoption of certain eighties pop-rock hallmarks like
the reverberating-tenor drums, very basic percussion/guitar and repetitive
lyrics apparent in many of the tracks. The title song pointed to Springsteen's
intellectual direction, while a couple of the lesser-known tracks presaged his
musical direction. The album sold well, becoming his first topper on the
Billboard Pop Albums chart, and a long tour in 1980 and 1981 followed, featuring
Springsteen's first extended playing of Europe and ending with a series of
multi-night arena stands in major cities in the U.S.
The River was followed in 1982 by
the stark solo acoustic Nebraska. Recording sessions had been held to expand on
a demo tape Springsteen had made at his home on a simple, low-tech four-track
tape deck. However during the recording process Springsteen and producer Landau
realized the songs worked better as solo acoustic numbers than full band
renditions and the original demo tape was released as the album. Although the
recordings of the E Street Band were shelved, other songs from these sessions
would later be released, including "Born in the U.S.A." and "Glory Days".
According to the Marsh biographies, Springsteen was in a depressed state when he
wrote this material, and the result is a brutal depiction of American life.
While Nebraska did not sell as well as Springsteen's two previous albums, it
garnered widespread critical praise (including being named "Album of the Year"
by Rolling Stone magazine's critics) and influenced later significant works by
other major artists, including U2's album The Joshua Tree. It helped inspire the
musical genre known as lo-fi music, becoming a cult favorite among
indie-rockers. Springsteen did not tour in conjunction with Nebraska's release.
1984–1991: Commercial and popular phenomenon
Springsteen probably is best known
for his album Born in the U.S.A. (1984), which sold 15 million copies in the
U.S. and became one of the best-selling albums of all time, with seven singles
hitting the Top 10, and the massively successful world tour that followed it.
The title track was a bitter commentary on the treatment of Vietnam veterans,
some of whom were Springsteen's friends and bandmates. The lyrics in the verses
were entirely unambiguous when listened to, but the anthemic music and the title
of the song made it hard for many, from politicians to the common person, to get
the lyrics—except those in the chorus, which could be read many ways. The
song was widely misinterpreted as jingoistic, and in connection with the 1984
presidential campaign became the subject of considerable folklore. Springsteen
also turned down several million dollars offered by the Chrysler Corporation to
use the song in a car commercial. (In later years, to eliminate the bombast and
make the song's original meaning more explicitly clear, Springsteen performed
the song accompanied only by acoustic guitar. An acoustic version also appeared
on Tracks, a later album.) "Dancing in the Dark" was the biggest of seven hit
singles from Born in the U.S.A., peaking at number 2 on the Billboard music
charts. The music video for the song featured a young Courteney Cox dancing on
stage with Springsteen, an appearance which helped kickstart the actress's
career. The song "Cover Me" was written by Springsteen for Donna Summer, but his
record company persuaded him to keep it for the new album. A big fan of Summer's
work, Springsteen wrote another song for her, "Protection". Videos for the album
were made by noted film directors Brian De Palma and John Sayles. Springsteen
was featured on the "We Are the World" song and album in 1985. His live single
"Trapped" from that album received moderate airplay on U.S. Top 40 stations as
well as reaching #1 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart.
During the Born in the U.S.A. Tour,
Springsteen met actress Julianne Phillips, whom he would marry in 1985.
The Born in the U.S.A. period
represented the height of Springsteen's visibility in popular culture and the
broadest audience demographic he would ever reach (aided by the release of
Arthur Baker's dance mixes of three of the singles). Live/1975–85, a five-record
box set (also on three cassettes or three CDs), was released near the end of
1986 and became the first box set to debut at number 1 on the U.S. album charts.
It is one of the most commercially successful live albums of all time,
ultimately selling 13 million units in the U.S. Live/1975–85 summed up
Springsteen's career to that point and displayed some of the elements that made
his shows so powerful to his fans: the switching from mournful dirges to party
rockers and back; the communal sense of purpose between artist and audience; the
long, intense spoken passages before songs, including those describing
Springsteen's difficult relationship with his father; and the instrumental
prowess of the E Street Band, such as in the long coda to "Racing in the
Street". Despite its popularity, some fans and critics felt the album's song
selection could have been better. Springsteen concerts are the subjects of
frequent bootleg recording and trading among fans.
During the 1980s, several
Springsteen fanzines were launched, including Backstreets magazine, which
started in Seattle and continues today as a glossy publication, now in
communication with Springsteen's management and official website.
After this commercial peak,
Springsteen released the much more sedate and contemplative Tunnel of Love album
(1987), a mature reflection on the many faces of love found, lost and
squandered, which only selectively used the E Street Band. It presaged the
breakup of his marriage to Julianne Phillips and described some of his
unhappinesses in the relationship. Reflecting the challenges of love in
"Brilliant Disguise", Springsteen sang:
“ I heard somebody call your name,
from underneath our willow. I saw something tucked in shame, underneath your
pillow. Well I've tried so hard baby, but I just can't see. What a woman like
you is doing with me. ”
The subsequent Tunnel of Love
Express tour shook up fans with changes to the stage layout, favorites dropped
from the set list, and horn-based arrangements. During the European leg in 1988,
Springsteen's relationship with backup singer Patti Scialfa became public and
Phillips and Springsteen filed for divorce in 1988. Later in 1988,
Springsteen headlined the worldwide Human Rights Now! tour for Amnesty
International. In late 1989 he dissolved the E Street Band, and he and Scialfa
relocated to California, marrying in 1991.
1992–2001: Artistic and commercial ups and downs
In 1992, after risking charges of
"going Hollywood" by moving to Los Angeles (a radical move for someone so linked
to the blue-collar life of the Jersey Shore) and working with session musicians,
Springsteen released two albums at once. Human Touch and Lucky Town were even
more introspective than any of his previous work and displayed a newly revealed
confidence. As opposed to his first two albums, which dreamed of happiness, and
his next four, which showed him growing to fear it, at points during the Lucky
Town album, Springsteen actually claims happiness for himself.
An electric band appearance on the
acoustic MTV Unplugged television program (later released as In Concert/MTV
Plugged) was poorly received and further cemented fan dissatisfaction.
Springsteen seemed to realize this a few years hence when he spoke humorously of
his late father during his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech:
“ I've gotta thank him because —
what would I conceivably have written about without him? I mean, you can imagine
that if everything had gone great between us, we would have had disaster. I
would have written just happy songs – and I tried it in the early '90s and it
didn't work; the public didn't like it. ”
A multiple Grammy Award winner,
Springsteen also won an Academy Award in 1994 for his song "Streets of
Philadelphia", which appeared on the soundtrack to the film Philadelphia. The
song, along with the film, was applauded by many for its sympathetic portrayal
of a gay man dying of AIDS. The music video for the song shows
Springsteen's actual vocal performance, recorded using a hidden microphone, to a
prerecorded instrumental track. This technique was developed on
the "Brilliant Disguise" video.
In 1995, after temporarily
re-organizing the E Street Band for a few new songs recorded for his first
Greatest Hits album (a recording session that was chronicled in the documentary
Blood Brothers), he released his second (mostly) solo guitar album, The Ghost of
Tom Joad, inspired by John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and by Journey to
Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winners author
Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael Williamson. This was generally less
well-received than the similar Nebraska, due to the minimal melody, twangy
vocals, and political nature of most of the songs, although some praised it for
giving voice to immigrants and others who rarely have one in American culture.
The lengthy, worldwide, small-venue solo acoustic Ghost of Tom Joad Tour that
followed successfully featured many of his older songs in drastically reshaped
acoustic form, although Springsteen had to explicitly remind his audiences to be
quiet and not to clap during the performances.
Following the tour, Springsteen
moved back to New Jersey with his family. In 1998, Springsteen released the
sprawling, four-disc box set of out-takes, Tracks. Subsequently, Springsteen
would acknowledge that the 1990s were a "lost period" for him: "I didn't do a
lot of work. Some people would say I didn't do my best work."
Springsteen was inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 by Bono of U2, a favor he returned in 2005.
In 1999, Springsteen and the E
Street Band officially came together again and went on the extensive Reunion
Tour, lasting over a year. Highlights included a record sold-out, 15-show run at
Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey and a ten-night,
sold-out engagement at New York City's Madison Square Garden which ended the
tour. The final two shows were recorded for an HBO Concert, with corresponding
DVD and album releases as Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live in New
York City. A new song, "American Skin (41 Shots)", about the police shooting of
Amadou Diallo which was played at these shows proved controversial.
In November 2000, Springsteen filed
legal action against Jeff Burgar which accused him of registering the domain
brucespringsteen.com (along with several other celebrity domains) in bad faith
to funnel web users to his Celebrity 1000 portal site. Once the legal complaint
was filed, Burgar pointed the domain to a Springsteen biography and message
board. In February 2001, Springsteen lost his dispute with Burgar. A WIPO panel
ruled 2 to 1 in favor of Burgar.
On Labor Day 2001 Bruce Springsteen
played at Donovan's Reef in Sea Bright NJ surprising a local cover band named
Brian Kirk and the Jerks and performed Rosalita with them showing his support
2002–2007: Return to success
In 2002, Springsteen released his
first studio effort with the full band in 18 years, The Rising, produced by
Brendan O'Brien. The album, mostly a reflection on the September 11 attacks, was
a critical and popular success. (Many of the songs were influenced by phone
conversations Springsteen had with family members of victims of the attacks who
in their obituaries had mentioned how his music touched their lives.) The title
track gained airplay in several radio formats, and the record became
Springsteen's best-selling album of new material in 15 years. Kicked off by an
early-morning Asbury Park appearance on The Today Show, The Rising Tour
commenced, barnstorming through a series of single-night arena stands in the
U.S. and Europe to promote the album in 2002, then returning for large-scale,
multiple-night stadium shows in 2003. While Springsteen had maintained a loyal
hardcore fan base everywhere (and particularly in Europe), his general
popularity had dipped over the years in some southern and midwestern regions of
the U.S. But it was still strong in Europe and along the U.S. coasts, and he
played an unprecedented 10 nights in Giants Stadium in New Jersey, a
ticket-selling feat to which no other musical act has come close. During
these shows Springsteen thanked those fans who were attending multiple shows and
those who were coming from long distances or another country; the advent of
robust Bruce-oriented online communities had made such practices more common.
The Rising Tour came to a final conclusion with three nights in Shea Stadium,
highlighted by renewed controversy over "American Skin" and a guest appearance
by Bob Dylan.
During the early 2000s, Springsteen
became a visible advocate for the revitalization of Asbury Park, and played an
annual series of winter holiday concerts there to benefit various local
businesses, organizations, and causes. These shows were explicitly intended for
the devoted fans, featuring numbers such as the E Street Shuffle outtake
"Thundercrack", a rollicking group-participation song that would mystify casual
Springsteen fans. He also frequently rehearses for tours in Asbury Park; some of
his most devoted followers even go so far as to stand outside the building to
hear what fragments they can of the upcoming shows. The song "My City of Ruins"
was originally written about Asbury Park, in honor of the attempts to revitalize
the city. Looking for an appropriate song for a post-Sept. 11 benefit concert
honoring New York City, he selected "My City of Ruins", which was immediately
recognized as an emotional highlight of the concert, with its gospel themes and
its heartfelt exhortations to "Rise up!" The song became associated with
post-9/11 New York, and he chose it to close The Rising album and as an encore
on the subsequent tour.
At the Grammy Awards of 2003,
Springsteen performed The Clash's "London Calling" along with Elvis Costello,
Dave Grohl, and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt and No Doubt's bassist,
Tony Kanal, in tribute to Joe Strummer; Springsteen and the Clash had once been
considered multiple-album-dueling rivals at the time of the double The River and
the triple Sandinista!. In 2004, Springsteen and the E Street Band participated
in the "Vote for Change" tour, along with John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, the
Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Bright Eyes, the Dave Matthews Band, Jackson
Browne, and other musicians. All concerts were to be held in swing states, to
benefit the liberalism political organization group America Coming Together and
to encourage people to register and vote. A finale was held in Washington, D.C.,
bringing many of the artists together. Several days later, Springsteen held one
more such concert in New Jersey, when polls showed that state surprisingly
close. While in past years Springsteen had played benefits for causes in which
he believed – against nuclear energy, for Vietnam veterans, Amnesty
International, and the Christic Institute – he had always refrained from
explicitly endorsing candidates for political office (indeed he had rejected the
efforts of Walter Mondale to attract an endorsement during the 1984 Reagan "Born
in the U.S.A." flap). This new stance led to criticism and praise from the
expected partisan sources. Springsteen's "No Surrender" became the main campaign
theme song for John Kerry's unsuccessful presidential campaign; in the last days
of the campaign, he performed acoustic versions of the song and some of his
other old songs at Kerry rallies.
Devils & Dust was released on April
26, 2005, and was recorded without the E Street Band. It is a low-key, mostly
acoustic album, in the same vein as Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad although
with a little more instrumentation. Some of the material was written almost 10
years earlier during, or shortly after, the Ghost of Tom Joad Tour, a couple of
them being performed then but never released. The title track concerns an
ordinary soldier's feelings and fears during the Iraq War. Starbucks rejected a
co-branding deal for the album, due in part to some sexually explicit content
but also because of Springsteen's anti-corporate politics. The album entered the
album charts at No. 1 in 10 countries (United States, Austria, Switzerland,
Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and
Ireland). Springsteen began the solo Devils & Dust Tour at the same time as the
album's release, playing both small and large venues. Attendance was
disappointing in a few regions, and everywhere (other than in Europe) tickets
were easier to get than in the past. Unlike his mid-1990s solo tour, he
performed on piano, electric piano, pump organ, autoharp, ukulele, banjo,
electric guitar, and stomping board, as well as acoustic guitar and harmonica,
adding variety to the solo sound. (Offstage synthesizer, guitar, and percussion
were also used for some songs.) Unearthly renditions of "Reason to Believe",
"The Promised Land", and Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" jolted audiences to
attention, while rarities, frequent set list changes, and a willingness to keep
trying even through audible piano mistakes kept most of his loyal audiences
In November 2005, Sirius Satellite
Radio started a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week radio station on Channel 10 called E
Street Radio. This channel featured commercial-free Bruce Springsteen music,
including rare tracks, interviews, and daily concerts of Bruce Springsteen & the
E Street Band recorded throughout their career.
In April 2006, Springsteen released
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, an American roots music project focused
around a big folk sound treatment of 15 songs popularized by the radical musical
activism of Pete Seeger. It was recorded with a large ensemble of musicians
including only Patti Scialfa, Soozie Tyrell, and The Miami Horns from past
efforts. In contrast to previous albums, this was recorded in only three one-day
sessions, and frequently one can hear Springsteen calling out key changes live
as the band explores its way through the tracks. The Bruce Springsteen with The
Seeger Sessions Band Tour began the same month, featuring the 18-strong ensemble
of musicians dubbed The Seeger Sessions Band (and later shortened to The
Sessions Band). Seeger Sessions material was heavily featured, as well as a
handful of (usually drastically rearranged) Springsteen numbers. The tour proved
very popular in Europe, selling out everywhere and receiving some excellent
reviews, but newspapers reported that a number of U.S. shows suffered from
sparse attendance. By the end of 2006, the Seeger Sessions tour
toured Europe twice and toured America for only a short span. Bruce Springsteen
with The Sessions Band: Live in Dublin, containing selections from three nights
of November 2006 shows at The Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, was released the
Springsteen's next album, titled
Magic, was released on October 2, 2007. Recorded with the E Street Band, it
featured 10 new Springsteen songs plus "Long Walk Home", performed once with the
Sessions band, and a hidden track (the first included on a Springsteen studio
release), "Terry's Song", a tribute to Springsteen's long-time assistant Terry
Magovern, who died on July 30, 2007. The first single, "Radio Nowhere", was
made available for a free download on August 28. On October 7, Magic debuted at
number 1 in Ireland and the UK. Greatest Hits reentered the Irish charts at
number 57, and Live in Dublin almost cracked the top 20 in Norway again. Sirius
Satellite Radio also restarted E Street Radio on Channel 10 on September 27,
2007, in anticipation of Magic. Radio conglomerate Clear Channel
Communications was alleged to have sent an edict to its classic rock stations to
not play any songs from the new album, while continuing to play older
Springsteen material. However, Clear Channel Adult Alternative (or "AAA")
station KBCO did play tracks from the album, undermining the allegations of a
corporate blackout. The Springsteen and E Street Band Magic Tour began at
the Hartford Civic Center with the album's release and was routed through North
America and Europe. Springsteen and the band performed live on NBC's Today
Show in advance of the opener. Longtime E Street Band organist Danny Federici
left the tour in November 2007 to pursue treatment for melanoma from which
he would die in 2008
2008–present: Recent events
Springsteen supported Barack
Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, announcing his endorsement in April 2008
and going on to appear at several Obama rallies as well as performing several
solo acoustic performances in support of Obama's campaign throughout 2008,
culminating with a November 2 rally where he debuted "Working On A Dream" in a
duet with Scialfa. At an Ohio rally, Springsteen discussed the importance of
"truth, transparency and integrity in government, the right of every American to
have a job, a living wage, to be educated in a decent school, and a life filled
with the dignity of work, the promise and the sanctity of home...But today those
freedoms have been damaged and curtailed by eight years of a thoughtless,
reckless and morally-adrift administration."
Following Obama's electoral victory
on November 4, Springsteen's song "The Rising" was the first song played over
the loudspeakers after Obama's victory speech in Chicago's Grant Park.
Springsteen was the musical opener for the Obama Inaugural Celebration on
January 18, 2009 which was attended by over 400,000. He performed "The
Rising" with an all-female choir. Later he performed Woody Guthrie's "This Land
Is Your Land" with Pete Seeger.
On June 18, 2008, Springsteen
appeared live from Europe at the Tim Russert tribute at the Kennedy Center in
Washington, D.C., to play one of Russert's favorite songs, "Thunder Road".
Springsteen dedicated the song to Russert, who was "one of Springsteen's biggest
On January 11, 2009, Springsteen
won the Golden Globe Award for Best Song for "The Wrestler", from the Mickey
Rourke film by the same name. After receiving a heartfelt letter from Mickey
Rourke, Springsteen supplied the song for the film for free.
Springsteen performed at the
halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009, agreeing to do it
after many previous offers A few days before the game, Springsteen gave a
rare press conference, where he promised a "twelve-minute party." His
12:45 set, with the E Street Band and the Miami Horns, included abbreviated
renditions of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"", "Born to Run", "Working on a Dream,
and "Glory Days", the latter complete with football references. The set of
appearances and promotional activities led Springsteen to say, "This has
probably been the busiest month of my life."
Springsteen's Working on a Dream
album was released in late January 2009 and the supporting Working on a
Dream Tour ran from April 2009 until November 2009. The tour featured few songs
from the new album, with instead set lists dominated by classics and selections
reflecting the ongoing late-2000s recession. The tour also featured
Springsteen playing songs requested by audience members holding up signs as on
the final stages of the Magic Tour. Drummer Max Weinberg was replaced for
some shows by his 18-year-old son Jay Weinberg, so that the former could serve
his role as bandleader on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. During this
tour, Springsteen and the band made their first real foray in the world of music
festivals, headlining nights at the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands,
Festival des Vieilles Charrues in France, the Bonnaroo Music Festival in the
United States and the Glastonbury Festival in the UK and Hard Rock Calling
in the UK. Several shows on the tour featured full album presentations of
Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, or Born in the U.S.A. The band
performed a stretch of five final shows at his homestate Giants Stadium, opening
with a new song highlighting the historic stadium, and his Jersey roots, named
"Wrecking Ball". The tour ended as scheduled in Buffalo, NY in November 2009
amid speculation that it was the last performance ever by the E Street Band, but
during the show Springsteen said it was goodbye “for a little while.” A DVD
from the Working of a Dream Tour entitled London Calling: Live in Hyde Park was
released in 2010.
In addition to his own touring,
Springsteen made a number of appearances at tribute and benefit concerts during
2009, including The Clearwater Concert, a celebration of Pete Seeger's 90th
birthday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th anniversary benefit concert,
a benefit for the charity Autism Speaks at Carnegie Hall. On January 22,
2010, he joined many well-known artists to perform on Hope for Haiti Now: A
Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, organized by George Clooney to raise
money to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In 2009, Springsteen performed in
The People Speak a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical
performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based
on historian Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States".
Springsteen was among the
recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual award to figures from the
world of arts for their contribution to American culture, in December 2009.
President Obama gave a speech in which he talked about how Springsteen has
incorporated the life of regular Americans in his expansive pallette of songs
and how his concerts are beyond the typical rock-and-roll concerts, how, apart
from being high-energy concerts, they are "communions". He ended the remark
"while I am the president, he is The Boss". Tributes were paid by several
well-known celebrities including Jon Stewart (who described Springsteen's
"unprecedented combination of lyrical eloquence, musical mastery and sheer
unbridled, unadulterated joy"). A musical tribute featured John Mellencamp, Ben
Harper and Jennifer Nettles, Melissa Etheridge, Eddie Vedder and Sting.
The 2000s ended with Springsteen
being named one of eight Artists of the Decade by Rolling Stone magazine and
with Springsteen's tours ranking him fourth among artists in total concert
grosses for the decade.
In September 2010, a documentary
about the making of his 1978 album "Darkness on The Edge of Town" was premiered
at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, The Promise: The Making of
Darkness on the Edge of Town, was included in a box set reissue of the album,
entitled The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story, released in
November 2010. Also airing on HBO, the documentary explored Springsteen's making
of the acclaimed album, and his role in the production and development of the
Springsteen is working on his next
studio album with Ron Aniello, who also co-produced the 2007 album "Play It
As It Lays", by Springsteen's wife, Patti Scialfa. Ron Aniello also produced
"Children's Song" early in 2011, a duet with Bruce and Patti, which was done for
a charity project.
Clarence Clemons, the E Street
Band's saxophonist since 1972, died on June 18, 2011, of complications from a
stroke. “Clarence lived a wonderful life,” Bruce Springsteen said in a
statement. “He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He
created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans
and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage.”
On November 21, 2011, Springsteen
announced on his official website that he and the E Street Band plan to tour the
US and Europe in 2012 and for the first time since Clemons' death. They will
play four shows in England during the summer: June 21 in Sunderland; June 22,
Manchester; June 24, Isle of Wight Festival; and July 14, Hard Rock Calling in
Hyde Park, London. He will also return to the RDS Arena in Dublin on July 17 and
18. Other European shows will run from mid-May and will conclude in Helsinki
Olympic Stadium on July 31. The US dates are yet to be determined. A new studio
album will also be released with Bruce saying the band is "incredibly excited"
about the new year, adding their new music is "almost done, but still
On January 13, 2012, Hollywood
Reporter released an article describing the sound of the new album. According to
the article, the album is Bruce as his angriest yet and he gets into economic
justice quite a bit on the album. Musicially it's described as being very rock n
roll with unexpected textures, loops, electronic percussion and an amazing sweep
of influences and rhythms, from hip-hop to Irish folk rhythms. The still
untitled album was produced by Ron Aniello and the release date has yet to be
confirmed.  Tom Morello has been confirmed to appear on one of the new songs
while studio versions of "Wrecking Ball" and "Land of Hope and Dreams" are being
mentioned for the album with the latter being dedicated to Clarence and the only
track he plays on.
On January 14, 2012, Bruce was
spotted in Asbury Park, New Jersey shooting what is believed to be the music
video for the album's first single. Longtime friend and musician, Willie Nile
was involved in the video shoot and is said to add guest vocals to the
song.That night, Bruce made a surprise appearance performing for over two
hours at the Light of Day charity event in Asbury Park. Joe Grushecky and the
Houserockers was his backing band and Max Weinberg also appeared later in the
set. The set consisted of older Springsteen songs, songs by Grushecky and other
cover songs. Nothing from the upcoming album was performed. The show began at
6:30pm with Bruce coming on around Midnight and not leaving the stage until
after 2am. 
Springsteen's 17th studio album,
Wrecking Ball will be released on March 6, 2012. The album's first single, We
Take Care of Our Own leaked on January 18, 2012 one day prior to it's scheduled
release for download through amazon.com and iTunes. The album will consist of
eleven tracks plus two bonus tracks. Three songs previously only available as
live versions, "Wrecking Ball", "Land of Hope And Dreams" and "American Land"
appear on the album. 
On January 24, 2012 it was
announced through Springsteen's official webpage, that the tour will be titled
Wrecking Ball Tour and will commence on March 18, 2012 in Atlanta, GA and run
through July 31, 2012 with a closing concert in Helsinki, Finland. The tour
will consist of two legs with 51 dates scheduled. It also list Roy Bittan, Nils
Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt and Max Weinberg as
official E Street Members. Soozie Tyrell and Charles Giordano are listed as
"with". The post does not mention how Clarence Clemons will be replaced.
Bruce Springsteen draws on many
musical influences from the reservoir of traditional American popular music,
folk, blues and country. From the beginning, rock and roll has been the dominant
influence. On his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey, the
folk-influence is clear. An example of the influence of this music genre to
Springsteen's music is his song "This Hard Land" which demonstrates a clear
influence of the style of Woody Guthrie.
He expanded the range of his
musical compositions on his second album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street
Shuffle. Elements of Latin American music, jazz, soul, and funk
influences can be heard; the song "New York City Serenade" is even reminiscent
of the music of George Gershwin. These two records prominently featured pianist
David Sancious, who left the band shortly into the recording of Springsteen's
third album, Born To Run. This album, however, also emphasized the piano, the
responsibility now of Roy Bittan.
Earlier in his career, Springsteen
has focused more on the rock elements of his music. He initially compressed the
sound and developed Darkness On The Edge Of Town just as straightforward as
concise musical idiom, for the simple riffs and clearly recognizable song
structures are dominant. His music has been categorized as
heartland rock, a style typified by Springsteen, John Fogerty, Tom Petty, Bob
Seger, and John Mellencamp. This music has a lyrical reference to the U.S.
everyday and the music is kept rather simple and straightforward. This
development culminated with Springsteen's hit album Born in the U.S.A., the
title song of which has a constantly repeating, fanfare-like keyboard riff and a
pounding drum beat. These sounds fit with Springsteen's voice: it cries to the
listener the unsentimental story of a disenchanted angry figure. Even songs that
can be argued to be album tracks proved to be singles that enjoyed some chart
success, such as "My Hometown" and "I'm on Fire", in which the drum line is
formed from subtle hi-hat and rim-clicks-shock (shock at the edge of the snare
In recent years, Springsteen has
changed his music further. There are more folk elements up to
the gospel to be heard. His last solo album, Devils and Dust, drew rave reviews
not only for Springsteen's complex songwriting, but also for his expressive and
On the album We Shall Overcome: The
Seeger Sessions Springsteen performs folk classics with a folk band, rather than
his usual E Street Band. On his ensuing tour he also interpreted some of his own
rock songs in a folk style.
The 2007 album Magic was a
reflection on the old stadium rock attitude and with its lush arrangements was
almost designed to be performed at large stadiums, which also succeeded on the
corresponding tour.
Often described as cinematographic
in their scope, Springsteen's lyrics frequently explore highly personal themes
such as individual commitment, dissatisfaction and dismay with life in a context
of every day situations.
It has been recognized that there
was a shift in his lyrical approach starting with the album Darkness on the Edge
of Town, in which he focused on the emotional struggles of working class
Politics and activism
Springsteen's music has often
contained political themes reflecting his responses to the events occurring
around him. A number of these songs contributed to Springsteen’s stardom; many
songs cannot be explained without including Springsteen’s political views. The
following are a chronological order of the political and activist causes
Springsteen has publicly campaigned for:
September 19-23, 1979: Springsteen
and the E Street Band joined the Musicians United for Safe Energy anti-nuclear
power collective at Madison Square Garden.
August 20, 1981: A Night For The
Vietnam Veterans for the Vietnam Veterans’ Association as an appeal to help
“heal the physical and psychological wounds inﬂicted on the soldiers who fought
the nation’s most unpopular war”.
1984: Turned down several million
dollars offered by the Chrysler Corporation to use the song Born in The U.S.A.
in a car commercial.
1985: Featured on the "We Are the
World" song and album
1988: Headlined the worldwide Human
Rights Now! tour for Amnesty International.
2004: "No Surrender" became the
main campaign theme song for John Kerry's unsuccessful presidential campaign; in
the last days of the campaign, he performed acoustic versions of the song and
some of his other old songs at Kerry rallies.
April, 2008 Springsteen announced
his endorsement supporting Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Throughout the year, he showed his support by attending several rallies and
performing in support of Obama’s campaign.
2009: Springsteen contributed to
the soundtrack of The People Speak by playing guitar and harmonica.
January, 2009: Springsteen was the
musical opener for the Obama Inaugural Celebration.
May 3, 2009: Springsteen made an
appearance at The Clearwater Concert.
October 29 & 30, 2009: Springsteen
made an appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th anniversary benefit
January 22, 2010: Springsteen made
an appearance at Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.
Springsteen has additionally been
associated with various local food banks, particularly with the New Jersey Food
bank for many years. During concerts, he usually breaks the routine to announce
his support and later matches the total collection during the concert with his
own money. During his Charlotte, North Carolina concert on November 3, 2009, he
started with a $10,000 donation for the local food bank to start the collections
process – which he again matched later.
He has made substantial financial
contributions to various workers' unions both in America and in Europe.
Springsteen and Julianne Phillips
(born May 6, 1960) were married from May 13, 1985 to May 1988, when they
separated. The two were opposites in background and his traveling took its
toll on their relationship. The final blow came when Bruce began an affair with
Patti Scialfa (born July 29, 1953), whom he had dated briefly in 1984 shortly
after she joined the band. Phillips and Springsteen separated in the spring of
1988 without making an announcement to the press, and on August 30, 1988,
Julianne filed for divorce. The Springsteen/Phillips divorce was finalized on
March 1, 1989.
After the separation in 1988 Bruce
began living with Scialfa. Springsteen received press criticism for the
hastiness in which he and Scialfa took up their relationship. In a 1995
interview with The Advocate, Springsteen spoke about the negative publicity the
couple subsequently received. "It's a strange society that assumes it has the
right to tell people whom they should love and whom they shouldn't. But the
truth is, I basically ignored the entire thing as much as I could. I said,
'Well, all I know is, this feels real, and maybe I have got a mess going here in
some fashion, but that's life.'" He also noted that, "I went through a divorce,
and it was really difficult and painful and I was very frightened about getting
married again. So part of me said, 'Hey, what does it matter?' But it does
matter. It's very different than just living together. First of all, stepping up
publicly- which is what you do: You get your license, you do all the social
rituals- is a part of your place in society and in some way part of society's
acceptance of you...Patti and I both found that it did mean something."
On July 25, 1990 Scialfa gave birth
to the couple's first child, Evan James Springsteen. On June 8, 1991 Springsteen
and Scialfa married at their Beverly Hills home. Their second child, Jessica Rae
Springsteen, was born on December 30, 1991; and their third child, Samuel Ryan
Springsteen, was born on January 5, 1994. The family owns and lives on a
horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey. They also own homes in Wellington,
Florida, a wealthy horse community near West Palm Beach, Los Angeles and Rumson,
New Jersey. Their eldest son, Evan, attends Boston College. Their daughter
Jessica is a nationally ranked champion equestrian, and attends Duke
Since 1991, Springsteen has led a
relatively quiet life for a well-known popular performer and artist. He
moved from Los Angeles to New Jersey in the early 1990s specifically to raise a
family in a non-paparazzi environment. It has been reported that the press
conference regarding the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII half-time show was his first
press conference for more than 25 years. However, he has appeared in a few
radio interviews, most notably on NPR and BBC. 60 minutes aired
his last extensive interview on TV before his tour to support his album,
Bruce Springsteen has been a member
of, or has been backed by, several bands during his career, most notably The E
His earliest known band is The
Prior to signing his first record
deal in 1972, Springsteen was a member of several bands including Steel Mill. In
October 1972 he formed a new band for the recording of his debut album Greetings
from Asbury Park, N.J., which became known as The E Street Band, although the
name was not officially introduced until September 1974. The E Street
Band performed on all of Springsteen's recorded works from his debut until
1982's Nebraska, a solo album on which Springsteen himself played all the
instruments. The full band returned for the next album Born in
the USA, but there then followed a period from 1988 to 1999 in which albums were
recorded with session musicians. The E Street band were briefly reunited in 1995
for new contributions to the Greatest Hits compilation, and on a more permanent
basis from 1999, since which time they have recorded 3 albums together (The
Rising, Magic and Working on a Dream) and performed a number of high profile
The 2005 album Devils & Dust was
largely a solo recording, with some contribution from session musicians and the
2006 folk rock We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions album was recorded and
toured with another band, known as The Sessions Band.
Earlier Bands: The Castiles,
Earth, Child, Steel Mill, Sundance Blues Band, Dr Zoom and the Sonic Boom, Bruce
Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals,
guitar, harmonica, piano
Patti Scialfa – backing and duet
vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion
Garry Tallent – bass guitar, tuba
Roy Bittan – piano, keyboards
Max Weinberg – drums, percussion
Steven Van Zandt – lead and rhythm
guitar, backing vocals, mandolin
Nils Lofgren – rhythm and lead
guitar, pedal steel guitar, backing vocals
Soozie Tyrell – violin, acoustic
guitar, percussion, backing vocals [A]
Charles Giordano – organ,
1973–2011 Clarence Clemons
(deceased) – tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones, backing vocals, percussion
1973–2008 Danny Federici (deceased)
– organ, accordion, backing vocals
used in films
Springsteen's music has been used
in many films and he has also written and performed several works specifically
for films, examples include Philadelphia, Dead Man Walking, Jerry Maguire, and
Year of film release Song(s) Notes
Dead End Street 1982 "Point Blank",
"Hungry Heart" and "Jungleland" First use of Springsteen's music in film
Risky Business 1983 Hungry Heart
Baby, It's You 1983 "It's Hard To
Be A Saint In The City", "The E Street Shuffle", "She's The One" and "Adam
Raised A Cain" Film directed by John Sayles who later directed music videos for
songs from Born in the U.S.A. and Tunnel of Love.
Ruthless People 1986 "Stand on it"
Light of Day 1987 "(Just Around the
Corner to the) Light of Day" Song written for the film.
In Country 1989 "I'm On Fire" Film
also contained many Springsteen references.
Honeymoon in Vegas 1992 "Viva Las
Vegas" A 1964 song orginally recorded by Elvis Presley.
Thunderheart 1992 "Badlands"
Philadelphia 1993 "Streets of
Philadelphia" Song written for film. Won an Oscar.
The Crossing Guard 1995 "Missing"
Song was later released in 2003 on The Essential Bruce Springsteen.
Dead Man Walking 1995 "Dead Man
Walkin'" Song written for film. Nominated for an Oscar.
Jerry Maguire 1996 "Secret Garden"
Fierce Creatures 1997 "Hungry
Cop Land 1997 "Drive All Night" and
"Stolen Car" Sylvester Stallone's character plays the songs on his turntable.
A Night at the Roxbury 1998 "Secret
The Wedding Singer 1998 "Hungry
Limbo 1999 "Lift Me Up" Another
John Sayles film.
Big Daddy 1999 "Growin' Up" Played
over a montage near the end of the film.
High Fidelity 2000 "The River" and
Blues Guitar Riff Blues riff played by Springsteen, on-screen during his cameo
appearance. "Nebraska" played from vinyl on turntable.
The Perfect Storm 2000 "Hungry
25th Hour 2002 "The Fuse"
Grand Theft Parsons 2003 "Blood
Jersey Girl 2004 "Jersey Girl"
Cover of the Tom Waits version
Lucky You 2007 "Lucky Town"
The Heartbreak Kid 2007 "Rosalita
(Come Out Tonight)"
In the Land of Women 2007 "Iceman"
Reign Over Me 2007 "Drive All
Night" and "Out In The Street" The album The River was also well mentioned in
The Wrestler 2008 "The Wrestler"
Written for the film. The song was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best
Original Song and nominated for the MTV Movie Award as "Best Song From a Movie".
Food, Inc. 2009 "This Land Is Your
Land" Live version, Bruce Springsteen's performance of the Woody Guthrie song.
The Hunter 2011 "I'm On Fire"
Willem Dafoe sets up a stereo in a tree and uses the song to wake someone
sleeping inside the house.
inspired by music
In turn, films have been inspired
by his music, including The Indian Runner, written and directed by Sean Penn,
which Penn has specifically noted as being inspired by Springsteen's song
In September 2010, a documentary
about the making of his 1978 album "Darkness on The Edge of Town" was premiered
at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Kevin Smith is an admitted "big
fan" of fellow New Jersey native Springsteen and named his film Jersey Girl
after the Tom Waits song which Springsteen made famous. The song was also used
on the soundtrack.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
said Springsteen's "Thunder Road" to have been a heavy influence on their 2010
film "Cemetery Junction," employing the song's themes of escape and optimism
into their story of 1970s England.
In 2011, Springsteen appears in an
independent film made by a local musician Chris Vaughn from New Jersey entitled
"Jerseyboy Hero" where the songwriter/filmmaker documents his journey to get his
music out to the world by attempting to reach one of his two local New Jersey
legends, Bruce Springsteen or Jon Bon Jovi.
Springsteen made his first
on-screen appearance in a brief cameo as himself in High Fidelity in 2000 and it
was voted "Best Cameo in a Movie" at the MTV Movie Awards.
Major studio albums (along with
their chart positions in the U.S. Billboard 200 at the time of release):
1973: Greetings from Asbury Park,
1973: The Wild, the Innocent & the
E Street Shuffle (#59)
1975: Born to Run (#3)
1978: Darkness on the Edge of Town
1980: The River (#1)
1982: Nebraska (#3)
1984: Born in the U.S.A. (#1)
1987: Tunnel of Love (#1)
1992: Human Touch (#2)
1992: Lucky Town (#3)
1995: The Ghost of Tom Joad (#11)
2002: The Rising (#1)
2005: Devils & Dust (#1)
2006: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger
2007: Magic (#1)
2009: Working on a Dream (#1)
2012: Wrecking Ball (March 6, 2012)
Springsteen has won 20 Grammy
Awards, as follows (years shown are the year the award was given for, not the
year in which the ceremony was held):
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male,
1984, "Dancing in the Dark"
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male,
1987, "Tunnel of Love"
Song of the Year, 1994, "Streets of
Best Rock Song, 1994, "Streets of
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo,
1994, "Streets of Philadelphia"
Best Song Written Specifically for
a Motion Picture or Television, 1994, "Streets of Philadelphia"
Best Contemporary Folk Album, 1996,
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Best Rock Album, 2002, The Rising
Best Rock Song, 2002, "The Rising"
Best Male Rock Vocal Performance,
2002, "The Rising"
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or
Group with Vocal, 2003, "Disorder in the House" (with Warren Zevon)
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance,
2004, "Code of Silence"
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance,
2005, "Devils & Dust"
Best Traditional Folk Album, 2006,
The Seeger Sessions: We Shall Overcome
Best Long Form Music Video, 2006,
Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born to Run
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance,
2007, "Radio Nowhere"
Best Rock Song, 2007, "Radio
Best Rock Instrumental Performance,
2007, "Once Upon a Time in the West"
Best Rock Song, 2008, "Girls in
Their Summer Clothes"
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance,
2009, "Working on a Dream"
Only one of these awards has been
one of the cross-genre "major" ones (Song, Record, or Album of the Year); he has
been nominated a number of other times for the majors, but failed to win.
Golden Globe Award for Best
Original Song for "Streets of
Philadelphia" in 1994.
Golden Globe Award for Best
Original Song for "The Wrestler" in 2009.
Academy Award for Best Original
Song, 1993, "Streets of Philadelphia" from Philadelphia.
The Bruce Springsteen & the E
Street Band: Live In New York City HBO special won two technical Emmy Awards in
October 27, 1975: Bruce Springsteen
appears simultaneously on the covers of 'Newsweek' and 'Time'
Polar Music Prize in 1997.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame, 1999.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall
of Fame, 1999.
Inducted into the New Jersey Hall
of Fame, 2007.
"Born to Run" named "The unofficial
youth anthem of New Jersey" by the New Jersey state legislature; something
Springsteen always found to be ironic, considering that the song "is about
leaving New Jersey".
The minor planet 23990, discovered
September 4, 1999, by I. P. Griffin at Auckland, New Zealand, was officially
named in his honor.
Ranked #23 on Rolling Stone
magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Ranked #36 on Rolling Stone
magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time.
Made Time magazine's 100 Most
Influential People Of The Year 2008 list.
Won Critic's Choice Award for Best
Song with "The Wrestler" in 2009.
Performed at the Super Bowl XLIII
half time show.
Kennedy Center Honors, 2009.
Rolling Stone magazine also ranked
8 out of 16 Springsteen's studio albums in their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Born
to Run and Thunder Road in its 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list, in 21st and
Forbes ranked him 6th in The
Celebrity 100 in 2009
John Steinbeck Award
List of artists who reached number
one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart
List of best selling music artists
A.^ It is not clear if Tyrell is as
full-fledged a band member as the others: some credits and press releases list
her as "With" or "Special Guest", while some omit her; on the other hand,
Springsteen has stated in interviews that "Soozie is with us."
B.^ Also not clear if Giordano is
as full-fledged a band member as the others.
C.^ This quote is an extract from
Springsteen's speech from the stage at a rally for presidential candidate Barack
Obama on November 2, 2008
1.^ Ambrose, Anthony. "inTuneMusic
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36.^ Friedman, Roger (2007-10-30).
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54.^ Youngs, Ian (2009-06-28).
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55.^ "Bruce Springsteen covers The
Clash at London Hyde Park". NME. 2009-06-29.
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56.^ Lustig, Jay (2009-10-10).
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57.^ Pareles, Jon (2009-10-11).
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58.^ Green, Andy (2009-11-23).
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60.^ "Jerry Seinfeld and Bruce
Springsteen Headline the Fifth Concert for Autism Speaks at Carnegie Hall on
November 17". Autismspeaks.org. 2009-09-10.
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'We Shall Overcome'". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSoNzGWJrGs. [dead link]
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65.^ "Top Touring Artists of the
66.^ "Nettwerk Producer
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69.^ "Bruce Springsteen's New Album
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70.^ "Bruce Springsteen Films New
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71.^ "Bruce Springsteen rocks Light
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Alterman, Eric. It Ain't No Sin To
Be Glad You're Alive : The Promise of Bruce Springsteen. Little Brown, 1999.
Coles, Robert. Bruce Springsteen's
America: The People Listening, a Poet Singing. Random House, 2005. ISBN
Cross, Charles R. Backstreets:
Springsteen – the man and his music Harmony Books, New York 1989/1992. ISBN
0-517-58929-X. Contains 15+ interviews and a complete list of all Springsteen
songs including unreleased compositions. Complete lising of all concerts
1965–1990 – most of them with tracklists. Hundreds of previously unreleased high
quality color pictures.
Cullen, Jim. Born in the U.S.A.:
Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition. 1997; Middletown, CT: Wesleyan
University Press, 2005. New edition of 1997 study book places Springsteen's work
in the broader context of American history and culture. ISBN 0-8195-6761-2
Eliot, Marc with Appel, Mike. Down
Thunder Road. Simon & Schuster, 1992. ISBN 0-671-86898-5.
Graff, Gary. The Ties That Bind:
Bruce Springsteen A to E to Z. Visible Ink, 2005. ISBN 1-57859-151-1.
Guterman, Jimmy. Runaway American
Dream: Listening to Bruce Springsteen. Da Capo, 2005. ISBN 0-306-81397-1.
Hilburn, Robert. Springsteen.
Rolling Stone Press, 1985. ISBN 0-684-18456-7.
Knobler, Peter with special
assistance from Greg Mitchell. "Who Is Bruce Springsteen and Why Are We Saying
All These Wonderful Things About Him?", Crawdaddy, March 1973.
Marsh, Dave. Bruce Springsteen: Two
Hearts : The Definitive Biography, 1972–2003. Routledge, 2003. ISBN
0-415-96928-X. (Consolidation of two previous Marsh biographies, Born to Run
(1981) and Glory Days (1987).)
Wolff, Daniel. July 4, Asbury Park:
A History of the Promised Land. Bloomsbury, 2005. ISBN 1-58234-509-0.
Greetings from E Street: The Story
of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN
Days of Hope and Dreams: An
Intimate Portrait of Bruce Springsteen. Billboard Books, 2003. ISBN
Racing in the Street: The Bruce
Springsteen Reader. Penguin, 2004. ISBN 0-14-200354-9.
Runaway American Dream: Listening
to Bruce Springsteen. Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-306-81397-1.
The Ties That Bind: Bruce
Springsteen A to E to Z. Visible Ink Press, 2005. ISBN 1-57859-157-0.
Bruce Springsteen: "Talking".
Omnibus Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84449-403-9.
For You: Original Stories and
Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans. LKC Press, 2007. ISBN
Bruce Springsteen on Tour:
1968–2005. by Dave Marsh Bloomsbury USA, 2006. ISBN 978-1-59691-282-3.
The Gospel according to Bruce
Springsteen: Rock and Redemption from Asbury Park to Magic. by Jeffrey B.
Symynkywicz. Westminster John Knox Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-664-23169-9.
Magic in the Night: The Words and
Music of Bruce Springsteen by Rob Kirkpatrick. St. Martin's Griffin, 2009. ISBN
Land of Hope and Dreams:
Celebrating 25 Years of Bruce Springsteen In Ireland by Greg Lewis and Moira
Sharkey. Magic Rat Books. ISBN 978-0-9562722-0-1
The Light in Darkness. A history of
the Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour. Lawrence Kirsch Communications.
2009 ISBN 978-0-9784156-1-7
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