Bruce Springsteen has been the nation’s heartthrob for many years. The rocker was someone people thought would never settle down and perhaps, he thought so too.
But when he met his current wife Patti Scialfa, he knew he had found his life partner. Now the singer is opening up about his struggles and what it took him to finally commit to one woman.
If you like music, then you know who Bruce Springsteen is. The singer started his career in 1964, and now at 73 years old, he is still going strong! With over 20 studio albums to his name, he has amassed a large fan following and is known for his charismatic public persona.
But as he gets older, the singer is becoming more and more honest about himself and his life. He has revealed some secrets, mainly about his personal life that have given his fans new insight into the mind and inner workings of Springsteen.
Recently, he did an in-depth interview with Howard Stern. In the interview, he played some of his biggest hits and also talked about some of his innermost thoughts and important moments that shaped his life.
He talked about his last meeting with Clarence Clemons, who was a dear friend to him as well as his colleague, as the saxophonist of his backing band, the E Street Band. The two of them were known by fans as ‘the Boss and the Big Man.’
Springsteen revealed that he was by his friend’s side while he was on his deathbed and had played him “Land of Hopes and Dreams.”
The rocker said in the interview, “I had a feeling he could hear me because he could squeeze your hand when I first went to him. There was some response to your voice and to you being in the room,” an Springsteen said with a lot of emotion.
“I took a hunch, and I knew he was going to die, so I had brought the guitar in and strummed the song called ‘Land of Hope and Dreams.’ Yeah, ‘Land of Hope and Dreams.’ It’s a about passing to the other side. It’s about life and death,”
He revealed the deep meaning behind the song, saying, “It’s a hymn.” “It was the last song Clarence and I worked on a sax solo together on. It’s probably one of my best songs of the last 20, 30 years, and so that was it. There was nothing else to say.”
Stern asked Springsteen the reason for his long concert sets which fans adored. The rockstar simply told him, that it was all about a “purification ritual.”
“I grew up in the Catholic Church, so you grow up with a lot of sin,” he said. “Original sin and life and rituals are all about the ritual of purification, of the cleansing of your soul and your mind,” the singer added.
“So a lot of my self-created rituals were rituals of purification, and I took it too far sometimes in my work,” the Boss said.
Stern then ventured into a more touchy subject; when Springsteen was 19 years old, his entire family moved to California and left the 19-year-old to fend for himself in New Jersey.
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The interview show host asked Springsteen how this affected him as a young man and whether he had searched for father figures later in his life a as a result of this. The rockstar did not hold back and revealed more than he ever had.
Springsteen responded with, “I always had father figures, right from when my parents left. Sort of outlaws. I was living off the grid. My parents left in 1969, and I stayed in New Jersey and was living with the band, so you’re not meeting any conventional people.”
He even revealed at that one point it was a couple of college-aged guys who had some money they invested in the singer and his band, and managed them for a few years. Once it was a couple of college guys. Then he talked about another father figure in his life, “And then there was a fella named Carl ‘Tinker’ West, who ran a surfboard factory in Wanamassa, New Jersey. He kind of took me under his wing. He was about 10 years older than me and he was a surfdog from the West Coast who came East. I lived with him in the factory for a couple of years.”
The singer then delved into the fact that he has been going through therapy which has perhaps helped him immensely. Before he dived into singing his song, ‘Tougher than the rest,’ he gave some information about his relationship with his wife Patti Scialfa.
Bruce talked about how he had been married in his thirties to a ‘lovely’ lady but it had not worked out and they got divorced after 3 years. The singer was then asked about his commitment issues from Stern and how long it took for him to get his wife to trust him.
Springsteen replied the timer is still on for that, alluding to the fact that his wife still does not completely trust him to stay in their marriage. He said, “the question should be, how long since she’s been able to trust you ‘enough’ to keep you in house!”
He jokingly made references to her distrust of his commitment to her repeatedly in the interview.
Stern laughed at his jokes. But seeing as how strongly the couple has been together and has stayed by each other’s sides, it is obvious that it was all in jest and that the couple has a rock-solid marriage.
But previously, the actor has been very vocal about how supportive his wife has been.
In his memoir, he also opened up about his own struggles with the disease. Saying that it was a combination of inheritance and experiences from his childhood that led to him experiencing depression as well. John Lennon, once said about Springsteen, “God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he’s no longer God.” But it was not the adoration stopping that tumbled Springsteen to depression, but his own mind.
His physical health was suffering which agitated him to no end. Springsteen was underweight and on a steady diet of fast food. It came to a point that his energy levels would deplete so much that he needed help to be escorted off stage.
This pushed him to improve his lifestyle. He started a new fitness regime where he ran for 6 miles on a treadmill and lifted weights three times a week. And while his physical health improved, his mental health still suffered.
He said in an interview, “I’ve developed some skills that help me in dealing with it, but still — it is a powerful, powerful thing that really comes up from things that still remain unexplainable to me.”
When he was experiencing depression despite his new healthy lifestyle, he wrote, “My depression is spewing like an oil spill all over the beautiful turquoise-green gulf of my carefully planned and controlled existence. Its black sludge is threatening to smother every last living part of me.”
He then realized that depression was largely biochemistry and hence needed more than an exercise regime in order to control it.
He has spoken about how to combat the disease at length, saying one of the things that helped him was self-realization. The singer said, “Just naming it [helps]… What most people tend to want to do is, when they feel bad, name a reason why you feel that way: ‘I feel bad because…,’ and you’ll transfer that to someone else ‘…because Johnny said this to me,’ or ‘this happened.’
“And, sometimes, that’s true. But a lot of times, you’re simply looking to name something that’s not particularly nameable, and if you misname it; it just makes everything that much worse. So my ‘skill’ is sort of saying, ‘Okay, it’s not this, it’s not that — it’s just this. This is something that comes; it’s also something that goes — and maybe something I have to live with for a period of time,’” the singer finished.
He talked about how his wife Patti Scialfa has been by his side and one of the reasons he overcame depression.
“She was stable enough and strong enough and she brought a lot of love, so those were very healing things over a long period of time,” he recalled.
He said Patti has been pivotal in his recovery and battle with depression. The singer said, “Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track… she gets me to the doctors and says, ‘This man needs a pill.’”
He explained that Patti is the only relationship he has had where his depression was understood, which makes their love all the deeper and special.
The singer said, “She had a lot of understanding of where I was coming from and some of the choices I make and a little bit about the twisted parts of my personality that she knew how to handle and live with better than some of my other relationships.”
All in all, Springsteen is not only a dedicated husband, but also a father and grandfather. He has really become a family man, something a lot of people never expected from him!
It is so wonderful to see this side of Bruce Springsteen and see him talk candidly about various things in his life!
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