Bruce Springsteen, born September 23rd 1949 in Long Branch, New Jersey, is one of the most popular and bestselling artists of all time. Winning dozens of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it’s obvious that Springsteen is a true legend. Connecting deeply with the working-class of America, it was obvious from the start that Springsteen would rise to be a legend. Starting off playing in several different bands on the New Jersey Shore, Bruce took time creating his entirely unique sound. Starting with the formation of the E-Street Band, Springsteen launched into fame and success.
The Start of it All
Bruce was brought up in a working-class household, which was bound to set the tone for his work. Doug, Bruce’s father, had a lot of trouble holding a steady job. Working various trades, nothing seemed to stick. Springsteen got a taste of United States politics at a very young age. Bruce Springsteen’s rise to fame is most contributed to his deep connection to the working class through his endlessly poetic lyrics. Mixing such a wildly relatable topic with a nice rock beat was sure to launch him into a world of success.
Although he had a tough relationship with his father growing up, Bruce has stated that he’s none the less very thankful for him. It was his father that launched his inspiration for the songs he wrote. Upon being put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Springsteen states, “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… Anyway, I put on his work clothes and I went to work. It was the way that I honored him. My parents' experience forged my own. They shaped my politics, and they alerted me to what is at stake when you're born in the U.S.A."
The Rock n Roll Inspiration
The inspiration from his lyrics stemmed from his upbringing, but his style started with being inspired by Elvis Presley. His love for Rock n Roll began when he first saw Presley perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. It wasn't until his mom helped him buy a guitar that he started playing, and he hasn’t stopped playing since. However, at 18 years old, Bruce was drafted for the Vietnam War. He failed the physical, though, which made him unfit for military service. This allowed Springsteen to pursue music full time and become the legend he is today.
Bruce Springsteen was always into politics. In 2008, Springsteen was strongly voting for Barack Obama. Of course, as we all know, Obama won the election. His win led to Springsteen’s song The Rising being played first the victory party, and Springsteen opening for Obama’s inaugural celebration. Obama went so far as to even say, “I may be the President, but he is 'The Boss.'" This is a reference to Bruce Springsteen’s nickname that he received when he first started the E Street Band. He was always the one to collect the money they earned at a show and then dividing it evenly among his fellow band mates, so it was easy for the name to stick.
Want to learn more about famous people’s rise to success and fame? Check out Mike Fallat’s newest series Zero to Hero!