Bruce Talks Broadway and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Springsteen in Asbury

Check out Variety‘s Springsteen cover story here and here.  What do we learn?

  • The Broadway show will connected to the arc of his memoir Born to Run
  • The Broadway show will be “very close to the same every night.”
  • Bruce has a new solo album ready to go.
  • The aforementioned solo album was influenced by Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach.
  • The aforementioned solo album was written before Wrecking Ball (2012).
  • Bruce lives 25 minutes from the ocean and likes to swim until November
  • Bruce praises the Asbury Park redevelopment projects.
  • Bruce defines “Jersey Soul” as “a sort of hard-working, never-say-die, never-give-up, salt-of-the-earth essence that I find in my favorite Jersey people….”
  • Bruce is not interested in running for political office.
  • Bruce has been reading Moby Dick, Brothers Karamazov, and “a couple of books in ISIS.”
  • On the TV front he likes “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad, and “Westworld”

And here is an exchange between Variety and Springsteen on Trump:

But don’t you think your opinions about Trump would matter to your audience?

Well, if you read Charles Blow in The New York Times, he carries the flag pretty well. I’m ambivalent about … sort of getting on a soapbox. I still believe people fundamentally come to music to be entertained — yes, to address their daily concerns, and yes, also to address political topics, I believe music can do that well. But I still believe fundamentally it’s an affair of the heart. People want you to go deeper than politics, they want you to reach inside to their most personal selves and their deepest struggles with their daily lives and reach that place; that’s the place I’m always trying to reach. I’d never make a record that’s just polemical, I wouldn’t release it if I did. To me, that’s just an abuse of your audience’s good graces. But if I’m moved, I’ll write, say, something like “American Skin” [inspired by the 1999 shooting death of Amadou Diallo by New York City Police officers — who were later acquitted]. That just rolled very naturally for me, and that’s as good a topical song as I’ve ever written. And when it comes up, I write ’em. If I felt that strongly, I’d do it now. But I watch myself, because I think you can weigh upon your audience’s indulgence in the wrong way.

What do you mean?

I never wanted to be just a proselytizer for an ideological point of view. That’s not my job; that’s somebody else’s job. And if you even look back to Woody Guthrie’s material, he didn’t do that. He wrote these very full character pieces that, whether you were there in the Depression or not, they live today. They weren’t hollow, they weren’t one-dimensional; they were these very full character pieces about the times. I still aspire to that, really, and if it has political implications that’s fine and if it doesn’t that’s fine too.