Sunday, 8 January 2017

Book Review: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

As an advance warning, this review may turn into a pure fan-girling post. But if you love The Boss like I love the Boss, then this is the review for you! Or similarly, if you're not sure why I love The Boss and want to know what it is that makes him special...then, again, this is the review for you.

"In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream..." - Born to Run.

Born to Run is Bruce Springsteen's autobiography, named after the iconic song and album released in 1975. This autobiography is honest and candid with Springsteen exploring topics he didn't really need to, but felt like they should be addressed. He writes this autobiography like he writes his music, it's beautiful and heart-rending and most importantly of all, it's relatable. He explores his lifelong battle with mental health, from growing up a father who was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, to battling with his own demons, ultimately needing to see a shrink. He's self-deprecating, whilst also knowing that he is good at what he does.

Learning about how Springsteen made it and got to the top is so inspiring. A man who came from nothing and would not stop until he had everything. In the music scenes these days, the majority of acts just get their career handed on a plate to them. Back then, it was hard fucking work. Springsteen was sleeping on beaches, in surf shops...anywhere he could lay his head. All in a bid to achieve the elusive American dream.

One of my favourite stories he told in this book was about the first time Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played in London. They arrived to find posters everywhere claiming that Bruce and the band were THE NEXT FUCKING BIG THING! This enraged Springsteen, as shown in the following quote:

"The kiss of death! It's usually better to let the audience decide that one. I'm frightened and I'm pissed, really pissed. I am embarrassed for myself and offended for my fans. This is not the way it works. I know how it works. I've done it. Play and shut up. My business is SHOW business and that is the business of SHOWING...not TELLING. You don't TELL people anything, you SHOW them, and let them decide. That's how I got here, by SHOWING people."

That quote just sums Springsteen up. His passion is always very clear through this entire book. He knows he is great, he knows he is special, he knows he can out-perform any other artist/band out there. However, this doesn't come across as cocky or unattractive. I get it - when you're good, you know you're good. No apologies.

So many parts of this book made me feel so emotional! Particularly when Springsteen discusses the death of Clarence Clemons. You can feel the love he has for the Big Man just lifting off the pages and understand how his death broke him. I felt similar emotions when he talks about Patti, his redhead, they are just relationship goals! He even talks about how fatherhood changed him and those emotions you feel after you've introduced a new life into the world. There's so many amazing parts that I just want to re-read!

Bruce Springsteen is a guy that will always empty the tank in everything he does. Luckily I've witnessed this unrelenting passion firsthand. The E Street Band and Bruce will play for at least 3 hours every night like it's the last concert they'll ever play. Like he says, the fans are paying their hard-earned money and they want a show. That is showmanship. That is passion. That is Bruce Springsteen.


1 comment :

  1. Awwww, I love your love of Brucie. I've never read any biographies of my favorite musician think most of them just led such reckless lives, it'd be hard to taint my view of them. Bowie, Prince, George Michael--


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