born to run

Bruce Springsteen on making Born To Run: “We went to extremes”

There is some talk in this Rolling Stone article that Bruce Springsteen was on the verge of failure when the song “Born To Run” was released. Springsteen acknowledges that, but also adds, “I don’t know if it would have finished us — because what the [bleep] else were we going to do?”

I tend to look at that as perseverance: “Okay, you don’t like my work? Well, I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to keep working at it.”

When I first went to college I wasn’t a Springsteen fan at all — I barely knew who he was — but then I heard Hungry Heart, and became a fan. These days Born To Run, Hungry Heart, Badlands, Thunder Road, Pink Cadillac, Brilliant Disguise, and Secret Garden are some of my favorite songs. And Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is one of my favorite Christmas songs/performances.

Bruce Springsteen’s book, Born To Run

SI.com has a great quote from Bruce Springsteen’s book, Born To Run:

The band was part of a four-band showcase; one band would get the chance to move on and perhaps get a recording contract. The Jersey guys went third and thought they killed it. The fourth band, though not as energetic, was very good. Via “Born To Run:”

“They got the gig. We lost out. After the word came down, all the other guys were complaining we’d gotten ripped off. The guy running the joint didn’t know what he was doing, blah, blah, blah.”

That night, Springsteen reflected, sleeping on a couch in his transplanted parents’ home in the Bay Area. “My confidence was mildly shaken, and I had to make room for a rather unpleasant thought. We were not going to be the big dogs we were back in our little hometown. We were going to be one of the many very competent, very creative musical groups fighting over a very small bone. Reality check. I was good, very good, but maybe not quite as good or exceptional as I’d gotten used to people telling me, or as I thought … I was fast, but like the old gunslingers knew, there’s always somebody faster, and if you can do it better than me, you earn my respect and admiration, and you inspire me to work harder. I was not a natural genius. I would have to use every ounce of what was in me—my cunning, my musical skills, my showmanship, my intellect, my heart, my willingness—night after night, to push myself harder, to work with more intensity than the next guy just to survive untended in the world I lived in.”