Eighteen studio albums, numerous live recordings, compilations and box sets - 67-year-old US superstar Bruce Springsteen looks back on an extensive oeuvre and an eventful career. How does such a man tick, who grew up in New Jersey in simple circumstances? In "Born To Run" (review on the book page of this issue) Springsteen gives sincere and profound insights. The press conference scheduled by Heyne Verlag must not be communicated in advance, and the venue, a hotel near the exhibition grounds, is also secret and will not be announced until shortly before the meeting on the afternoon of 20 October. After a short reception with snacks and drinks, the exact procedure is explained in the hall. The press conference, moderated by radio journalist Thomas Steinberg (WDR), will last less than an hour. Questions from the assembled media crowd are only allowed at the very end.
Bruce Springsteen is dressed for the occasion in a grey jacket and black shirt. As an introduction, the presenter wants to know what it feels like for the star to now appear in public with a book as a finished product instead of with new music. "Well, that's just it. A lot of responsibility to the audience here that I feel at home here. Yeah, it's different, but it's fun."
How are your colleagues doing?
He had read biographies of colleagues before working on his own book: Bob Dylan's "Chronicles" for example, Keith Richard's life confession, Eric Clapton's memories would also have pleased him. He had worked on his own memoirs for more than seven years. "Sometimes I put it away for a whole year. We toured. I came back, looked at what I already had, and wrote on; so it took shape."
An important starting point in Springsteen's life is his Catholic parental home. Steinberg puts it this way: "In his songs there's always the blues, but then there's always the chorus and it's gospel. "Yeah, yeah, you have to earn transcendence in your music," he receives as an answer, and further: "You have to earn your choruses where everything swells. People have their moments when they can transcend their life circumstances. But the way to do that is to take the standards out of their lives. And I do that in reverse. I try to be very detailed about their circumstances, and what to spend against, what to fight against. But when you then come to the chorus, it also has meaning. I have been knitting my songs according to this pattern for a long time."