Bruce Springsteen has revealed the full foreword to his autobiography.
The opening segment of Chapter And Verse sees Springsteen recalling his life as a struggling 20-year-old musician in New Jersey, and promising to try to explain how he makes his music in the rest of the 500-page memoir.
Chapter And Verse is published by Simon & Schuster on September 27. Three days earlier, a companion album of the same name is released. The album sees Springsteen choose 18 songs from his teenage years to 2012’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ album which the singer feels reflects the themes in the book.
The album includes five unreleased songs spanning 1966-72 before Springsteen’s 1973 debut album ‘Greetings From Asbury Park NJ’. These are ‘Baby I’ and ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ by Springsteen’s early band The Castiles; ‘Ballad Of Jesse James’ by The Springsteen Band; and solo songs ‘He’s Guilty (The Judge Song)’ and ‘Henry Boy’.
Springsteen began writing Chapter And Verse privately in 2009, before the deal with Simon & Schuster was announced in 2015.
See below for the full foreword of Chapter And Verse.
I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud. So am I. By twenty, no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park and already a member in good standing amongst those who “lie” in service of the truth . . . artists, with a small “a.” But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hard-core bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell.
This book is both a continuation of that story and a search into its origins. I’ve taken as my parameters the events in my life I believe shaped that story and my performance work. One of the questions I’m asked over and over again by fans on the street is “How do you do it?” In the following pages I will try to shed a little light on how and, more important, why.
Rock ’n’ Roll Survival Kit
DNA, natural ability, study of craft, development of and devotion to an aesthetic philosophy, naked desire for . . . fame? . . . love? . . . admiration? . . . attention? . . . women? . . . sex? . . . and oh, yeah . . . a buck. Then . . . if you want to take it all the way out to the end of the night, a furious fire in the hole that just . . . don’t . . . quit . . . burning.
These are some of the elements that will come in handy should you come face-to-face with eighty thousand (or eighty) screaming rock ’n’ roll fans who are waiting for you to do your magic trick. Waiting for you to pull something out of your hat, out of thin air, out of this world, something that before the faithful were gathered here today was just a song-fuelled rumour.
I am here to provide proof of life to that ever elusive, never completely believable “us.” That is my magic trick. And like all good magic tricks, it begins with a setup. So . . .