Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce Springsteen

Born

9/23/1949, Freehold, NJ

Birth Name

Bruce Fredrick Joseph Springsteen

Gender

Male

Also Known As

The Boss
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
20 votes

Biography

EDIT
The most important rock figure to emerge during the 1970s, Bruce Springsteen (b. Sept. 23, 1949, Freehold, New Jersey) borrowed from all the best sources in rock, folk, and rhythm & blues and created a style that has become uniquely his own--and itself widely imitated. A greatly admired…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Bruce and Patti Scialfa performed backup vocals on Emmylou Harris's song "Tragedy" from her 2000 album Red Dirt Girl.

    • In September 2010, PRC for Music released a list of the "Top Ten Songs That Make Men Cry" based on a survey they conducted. Bruce's "Streets of Philadelphia" was Number 8.

    • On January 22 2010, Bruce performed on the Hope For Haiti Now telethon to help raise money for earthquake relief. He sang "We Shall Overcome."

    • Bruce performed on The Today Show on September 28, 2007. One of the songs he did was "Radio Nowhere," and the chorus contains the line, "Is there anybody alive out there?" During this song, an audience member held up a sign that said, "We're all alive out here."

    • Bruce has been listened to all over the world -- and in space. During a December 1999 flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, his song "Rendezvous" was played as the crew's wake-up call. It was the third day of the mission and the crew was scheduled to rendezvous with the Hubble Space Telescope.

    • Ronald Reagan wanted to use the song "Born in the USA" for his campaign, but Bruce refused because he felt that Reagan was misinterpreting the song's meaning. Reagan offended him by quoting the song in campaign speeches anyway.

    • Bruce is a Democrat. He performed at some of Johny Kerry's campaign events in 2004. Kerry also sometimes used the song "No Surrender" as background music.

    • When Bruce was recording his 1991 album Human Touch at the Soundworks West Studio, if a studio employee had a birthday, he would sing "Happy Birthday" to them.

    • Bruce likes to watch "The Sopranos"; his band mate Steve Van Zandt plays Silvio Dante.

    • In 2007, Bruce won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for "The Seeger Sessions."

    • Bruce wrote "(41 Shots) American Skin" about Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant who was fatally shot by four white police officers in New York. Although many people appreciated the song, including Diallo's parents, the NYPD was offended and urged people to boycott Bruce's New York concerts.

    • After Hurricane Katrina, Bruce re-wrote an old folk song called "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live" and added lyrics specifically about the disaster in New Orleans and the inadequate government response. He performed the song several times with the Seeger Sessions band and dedicated it to "President Bystander."

    • Bruce has covered the Tom Waits song "Jersey Girl" in concert several times and it is included on his "Live 1975-1985" album. He performs it in honor of the Jersey girl that he married.

    • Bruce is mostly known for playing guitar and harmonica. However, he also knows how to play the mandolin, glockenspiel, organ, piano and percussion. He played all of these - and shook a tambourine - on "The Seeger Sessions."

    • Bruce owns a vintage blue Corvette.

    • Bruce won the Polar Music Prize is 1997.

    • His album, "The Rising" was produced by Bill O' Brien.

    • Bruce knew he wanted to become a musician after he saw Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show at age 7.

    • He signed a solo deal with Columbia Records in 1972, just like his idol Bob Dylan ten years before.

    • Bruce said he was influenced by Bob Dylan. He has performed "Blowin' In The Wind" at concerts and he and Dylan once sang "Forever Young" onstage together.

    • "Dancing in the Dark" is ranked number 115 on rock.com's top 500 classic rock song list.

    • "Born to Run" is ranked number 13 on rock-songs.com best classic rock songs ever.

    • Bruce Springsteen's song Thunder Road is ranked #96 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll.

    • He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1996 for his song "Dead Man Walking." The movie Dead Man Walking is about capital punishment and it stars Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.

    • In July 2006, Bruce's oldest son, Evan, was pulled from Lake Placid in New York. He had been kayaking and the kayak overturned. Fortunately Evan was not injured.

    • He likes baseball and it shows up in his songs. In "Blinded By The Light," the phrase "Indians in the summer" refers to his childhood Little League team's name. In the video for "Glory Days," he watches a baseball game on television and holds an orange in what Pop-Up Video described as the "grip for a split-fingered fastball."

    • He's a fan of the late folk singer Woody Guthrie. He has covered Guthrie's classic song "This Land Is Your Land" onstage many times. He once said it was one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Other Guthrie songs he has performed are "Deportee" and "I Ain't Got No Home."

    • When he wrote the song "Hungry Heart," he had the Ramones in mind to sing it, but then he played it for producer Jon Landau, who advised him to keep it for himself.

    • He won a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for his song "Devils and Dust." The song references the war in Iraq.

    • He once covered the Beatles song "Twist and Shout" at a concert and introduced it by saying it was the first song he learned to play on the guitar.

    • The album cover of Born In The USA was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

    • His mother's name is Adele and his late father was named Douglas.

    • He played guitar on Patti Scialfa's 1992 solo album "Rumble Doll."

    • Bruce Springsteen won an Academy Award for Best Song for "Streets of Philadelphia" from the movie "Philadelphia."

    • His song "Born in the USA" has been parodied by rap group 2 Live Crew. The Crew's song was an anti-censorship statement entitled "Banned in the USA."

    • Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa have two sons named Evan and Samuel and a daughter named Jessica.

    • He has written several songs that referenced the Vietnam War. He wrote "Shut Out The Light" after reading "Born On The Fourth Of July" and then meeting the author, Ron Kovic.

  • Quotes

    • Bruce: I'm an alienated person by nature, always have been, still am to this day. It continues to be an issue in my life, in that I'm always coming from the outside, I'm always operating in distance, and I'm always trying to overcome my own internal reticence and alienation - which is funny, because I throw myself the opposite way onstage. But the reason I do that is because while the stage and all those people are out there, the abyss is under my heels, and I always feel it back there.

    • Bruce: (about live performances) I'm not trying to recreate what the song was like on the record. I can do that, but there's no purpose. I'm searching for the song to be alive now.

    • Bruce (about the 2008 death of E Street Band member Danny Federici): Danny and I worked together for 40 years -- he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much ... we grew up together.

    • Bruce: There's a part of the singer going way back in American history that is of course the canary in the coalmine. When it gets dark, you're supposed to be singing. It's dark right now.

    • Bruce: When I was growing up, there were two things that were unpopular in my house -- one was me, and the other was my guitar.

    • Bruce (about the cover of "Born In The USA"): We took all different types of pictures, and in the end, the picture of my ass looked better than the picture of my face, so that's what went on the cover.

    • Bruce (about recording "The Seeger Sessions"): It was a carnival ride, the sound of surprise and the pure joy of playing. Street corner music, parlor music, tavern music, wilderness music, circus music, church music, gutter music. It was all there waiting in these songs, some more than one hundred years old. It rocked, it swung, it rolled. It was a way back and forward to the informality, the freeness and the eclecticism of my earliest music and then some.

    • Bruce: The band is more like Sunday church. We're gonna shout that thing to you, right into your face, and try to get you to stand up.

    • Bruce: The most fundamental thing I hear from fans, constantly, is, "Man, you got me through" -- whatever it might be. "My divorce. My graduation. My high school. This part of my life, that part." And I usually want to say back, "Well, you know, you guys got me through quite a bit yourselves!"

    • Bruce: Talking about music is like talking about sex. Can you describe it? Are you supposed to?

    • Bruce: When I go into a strange hotel room, to this day, I'll take the guitar out of the case first thing and I'll play for five or ten minutes. Then the place feels like mine.

    • Bruce: (On his father) 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.

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