Happy Birthday to “The Boss” — Bruce Springsteen — who turns 68 on today (September 23rd)!!! Springsteen has been rehearsing for his upcoming 77-date “Springsteen On Broadway” run at New Jersey’s Monmouth University in West Long Branch and will kick off his “Great White Way” stand on October 3rd at New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre. The acoustic show will feature Springsteen alone on guitar or piano, and is expected to be sharing stories throughout the night — and even reading passages from his 2016 bestselling memoir, Born To Run.
Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt made headlines back on September 15th, when they took the stage with Paul McCartney at Madison Square Garden for not one — but two — runthroughs of the Beatles’ classic “I Saw Her Standing There.”
“The Boss” has contributed a new track to the upcoming movie, Thank You For Your Service starring Miles Teller. The song is Springsteen’s version of the standard called “Freedom” — also known as “Some Say Freedom Is Free.”
This week, Springsteen released his December 8th, 1978 E Street Band concert from The Summit in Houston, Texas, with all proceeds going to go to MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund. The Houston show originally appeared as part of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town box set. Also out now is archival concert — King’s Hall: Belfast, UK – March 19th, 1996. The collection features a typical 23-song acoustic show “The Boss” performed during his massive solo tour in support of 1995’s The Ghost Of Thom Joad album. Rolling Stone reported the Springsteen archive has been expanded to encompass 25 new recordings, which be now be issued on a monthly basis.
Last month, Springsteen took a deep dive into his archive for two vault releases packaged as a bundle. Palace Theatre – Albany, NY – February 7, 1977 and Auditorium Theatre – Rochester, NY – February 8, 1977, are never-before-heard mono soundboard recordings of the E Street Band captured live during Springsteen’s infamous “lawsuit tour” during the period where his legal issues with ex-manager Mike Appel prevented him from recording his long-awaited followup to Born To Run. The band was augmented by the Miami Horns, which first joined the Born To Run tour in August 1976.
It was a year ago this week, that Springsteen issued a companion compilation album to his autobiography, Born To Run, titled Chapter And Verse, featuring five previously unreleased early cuts by such pre-fame bands as the Castiles, Steel Mill, and the Bruce Springsteen Band, marking the first time these early outfits have had their music released officially. The album also includes such legendary Springsteen tracks as “Born To Run,” “4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” “Badlands,” “The River,” “Living Proof,” “The Rising,” “Brilliant Disguise,” and “Born In The U.S.A.,” among others.
In 2015, Springsteen released his latest box set, The Ties That Bind: ‘The River’ Collection. In addition to most of the November 5th, 1980 Tempe, Arizona concert, the four-CD/three-DVD multimedia set features the full 1980 The River double album, and the original 1979 The Ties That Bind single album Springsteen originally intended to release — but scrapped.
The set also includes two full CD of outtakes — a handful of which have made their way out on various Springsteen collections, a new documentary by Thom Zimny, plus pre-tour production rehearsal footage. The collection led to Springsteen hitting the road and performing The River in its entirety with the E Street Band on a tour, which saw him play his longest ever shows in North America.
In 2014 Springsteen scored his 11th career Number One album with High Hopes. The collection, which is his 18th studio set, was released on January 14th and sold 99,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Having previously tied with Elvis Presley — who also had 10 LP chart-toppers — for the third most Number One albums, Springsteen has now bumped “The King” to fourth place, and now sits behind Jay-Z, who has 13 Number One albums, and the Beatles who lead the way with 19 albums having hit the top spot. In April 2014, Springsteen followed the set up with American Beauty, a four-song EP originally released as a vinyl-only release as part of Record Store Day.
Bruce Springsteen says that there’s always been a form of interactive journalism in his songs, in which his fans can experience situations that differ from their lives first hand: “My job was always to put you in somebody else’s shoes and have you walk a while in those shoes. You’re out there, and you feel what’s in the air out there, and you feel what’s on people’s minds. People are looking for ways to try to get a handle and make sense of what’s happening.”
Photo Courtesy of Frank Stefanko