If you are a Bruce Springsteen fan, or someone who is interested in mental health struggles, I encourage you to read Michael Hainey’s piece at Esquire: “Beneath the Surface of Bruce Springsteen.” Hainey got Springsteen to talk about some of his personal demons in a way that goes beyond what he wrote in his memoir Born to Run. A taste:
Springsteen sighs. “I would go back to DNA. If you grow up in a household where people are refusing to take responsibility for their lives, chances are you’re gonna refuse. You’re gonna see yourself as a professional victim. And once that’s locked into you, it takes a lotta self-awareness, a lotta work to come out from under it. I’m shocked at the number of people that I know who fall into this category. And it has nothing to do with whether you’re successful or not. It’s just your baggage. So that’s important to communicate to your children: They have to take responsibility for who they are, their actions, what they do. They’ve got to own their lives.”
Is there, I ask, a code that you live by?
“I’ve never tried to articulate it, to be honest. The qualities that my mother has are ones that I’ve tried to foster in myself. So what do I say? Kindness, a certain kind of gentleness that’s girded by strength. Thoughtfulness, which is very difficult for a narcissist like myself to deliver on a daily basis. I’ve had to get around my own self-involvement, which is one of the natural characteristics of the artist. If I had to say something, I’d say, ‘I’m steadfast, honest, and true.’ ”
Read the entire piece here.