60 Birthday Facts About Bruce Springsteen

1
 

Springsteen bought a 1950 Corvette with his first royalty cheque from ‘Born To Run’. It’s the first car he ever owned, and now resides in a Rock N’Roll Hall Of Fame exhibition.

2
 

In 1975, ‘4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)’ became the first Springsteen single outside the US. Released in Germany only, a printing error saw it entitled ‘Sandy (4th July, Asbury Park)’.

3
 

‘The Rising’ sold over two million copies in the US – Bruce’s best-selling LP of new material since ‘Tunnel Of Love’ in 1987.

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4
 

Test pressings of ‘Born To Run’ have a sepia tint and the title printed in a handwritten-style font. A rare Springsteen collectable can change hands for $1000 plus.

5
 

Springsteen was uncomfortable with Columbia’s decision to market him as the “future of rock” and personally went round the Hammersmith Odeon removing promotional material before the band’s first london date on the ‘Born To Run’ tour.

6
 

Springsteen sent a demo of his song ‘Fire’ to Elvis Presley just weeks before he died. Robert Gordon ultimately recorded the first version, although it was The Pointer Sisters’ cover that reached No.2 in the US charts.

7
 

To mark the final show of the ‘Working On A Dream’ tour on November 22, 2009 at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York, Springsteen and the E Street band played the entire album live for the first time.

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8
 

Unhappy with his picture on the cover of 1978’s ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’, Springsteen has admitted to spray-painting over the image in a giant Los Angeles billboard ad for the album.

9
 

Joe Strummer, with whose ‘Coma Girl’ Springsteen opened Glastonbury set in 2009, was a longtime fan, once telling a radio interviewer, “Bruce is great. If you don’t agree with that, you’re a pretentious Martian from Venus.”

10
 

‘The River’ was performed in its entirety at New York’s Madison Square Garden in November 2009, during the ‘Working On A Dream’ tour.

11
 

‘Hungry Heart’ was originally written for The Ramones.

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12
 

‘We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions’ won a 2007 Grammy for ‘Best Traditional Folk Album’.

13
 

When researching the Starkweather murders for ‘Nebraska”s title track, Springsteen range Ninette Beaver, the reporter of the original 1958 story.

14
 

Johnny Cash covered ‘Johnny 99’ and ‘Highway Patrolman’ on his 1983 LP, ‘Johnny 99’.

15
 

The 2000 Sub Pop tribute album ‘Badlands’ included Nebraska songs by Ben Harper, Los Lobos, Aimee Mann and Hank III, who reinvented ‘Atlantic City’ as bluegrass.

16
 

‘Magic’ contains the hidden track ‘Terr’s Song’, a close-mic’d acoustic tribute to Bruce’s longtime right-hand man Terry Magovern, who died in his sleep on July 30, 2007.

17
 

Bruce’s very first Grammy- Best Rock Vocal Performance (Male) – arrived in 1984 for ‘Dancing In The Dark’, although he lost out to Lionel Richie’s ‘Can’t Slow Down’ in the Album Of The Year category.

18
 

CBS Records were reportedly nervous about releasing Prefab Sprout’s Boss-referencing 1988 single ‘Cars And Girls’ until Springsteen heard the sing and told the label he loved it.

19
 

Forbes magazine’s 2009 list of the world’s most powerful celebrities ranked Springsteen No.6.

20
 

Springsteen toured solo for ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’. He opened many of the concerts with a request for silence, adding: “Don’t make me come down there and smack you around- it’ll mess with my man-of-the-people image.”

21
 

Springsteen’s album ‘The Ghost Of Tom Joad’ was inspired in part by a collection of short stories by Dale Maharidge entitled ‘Journey To Nowhere’. He was later invited to write a new introduction to the volume.

22
 

E Street Band organ player Danny Federici died in 2008. By way of tribute, his son Jason contributes accordian to ‘Working On A Dream’ album track ‘The Last Carnival’.

23
 

Springsteen played the title track of ‘Working On A Dream’ – as well as hits including ‘Glory Days’ and ‘Born To Run’ – at half-time during the 2009 Super Bowl.

24
 

To the dismay of many sensing an uncharacteristic money-grab, Springsteen issued a single-disc sampler (’18 Tracks’) in 1990, which just happened to include three cuts absent from the box’s 4-disc, 66-song playlist.

25
 

‘The Rising’ debuted at No.1 on the US chart, and shifted over half a million copies in the US on its first week of sale alone.

26
 

‘The Rising’ was something of a rallying call for US Democrats, and was heavily used by John Edwards, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama in their 2008 nomination campaigns.

27
 

E Street Radio, a 24-hour station playing nothing but Springsteen, was launched by the Sirius Satellite group in 2005.

28
 

A 2006 episode of the US TV crime drama Cold Case used the lyrics of eight Springsteen songs to tell the story of a murder among a group of old high school friends. Series creator Meredith Stiehm initially wanted there to be no other dialogue in the programme.

29
 

Bruce joined the Rock’N’Roll hall Of Fame in 1999, his induction speech given by Bono. He returned the favour when U2 were inducted six years later.

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