Since the release of his first album, Greetings from Asbury Park in 1973, Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (or as we like to call him, The Boss) has written 269 songs and counting. News just broke earlier this week that the musical phenomenon is rejoining the E Street Band to release new material and launch a world tour in 2012.
Barack Obama once said, "a handful of people who enter into your lives through their music and tell the American people’s story. Bruce Springsteen is one of those people.” Sure, the Boss has a knack for fine American storytelling, but The Gospel of Springsteen is heard and respected by working men and women from all around the world. There lies somewhat of a religiosity in his music; it becomes something that everyone can relate to and believe in. You pop in Darkness on the Edge of Town and you suddenly want to be a better person. Not that many musicians have that power. Luckily, next year you can experience just how spiritual a Springsteen show can. Until then, why not marvel at what a standup guy he truly is as I present you: Twelve Reasons To Like Bruce Springsteen.
1. Chrysler's CEO Lee Iacocca once offered him $12 million to appear in a car commercial singing "Born in the U.S.A." Because Bruce isn't a sellout, he turned him down.
2. Being the true Democrat that he is, he kicked off Obama's Inaugural Celebration in D.C. once he became the country's 44th president.
3. Back in '75, way before Springteen became a household, he penned a letter to his landlord apologizing for his late rent. "P.S. Do you like this classy writin' paper? P.P.S. I'm practising my autograph. Whadya think?" Ah, such a charmer.
4. He once thought his hands were too small to play guitar. The first song he eventually learned was The Beatles' "Twist and Shout".
5. He initially wrote "Hungry Heart" for the Ramones after meeting Joey Ramone backstage at a concert. Good move, Bruce, for keeping it as your own.
6. When in the third grade, a nun at his Catholic school shoved him in a garbage can. If only she could see him now...
7. Monmouth University in New Jersey now houses the world's largest collection of Springsteen memorabilia with over 14,000 documents. Tours can be made by appointment.
8. He has a comet named after him.
9. There's about 60 tribute bands working in the U.S. and even one here in Toronto called Deuce Springsteen and the Queen Street Band that are pretty fantastic.
10. He joined the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. His introduction speech was given by Bono.
11. Julianne Philips, his wife at the time, and Patti Scialfa, who later became the next Mrs. Springsteen both appeared in the "Glory Days" music video. Awkward!
12. In 2005 our prayers have finally been answered. Sirius Satellite Group launched E Street Radio, a 24 hour station playing nothing but Springsteen.