Bruce Springsteen is an American singer-songwriter.
Let’s find out fun facts about him!
1. Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949 at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey.
2. He was brought home from the hospital to Freehold Borough where he spent his childhood. He lived on South Street and attended Freehold Borough High School.
3. His father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen, was of Dutch and Irish ancestry, and worked as a bus driver, among other vocations, although he was mostly unemployed.
4. Springsteen said his mother, Adele Ann (née Zerilli), a legal secretary and of Italian ancestry, was the main breadwinner.
5. His maternal grandfather was born in Vico Equense, a town near Naples.
6. He has two younger sisters, Virginia and Pamela. Pamela had a brief film career, but left acting to pursue still photography full-time; she took photos for his Human Touch, Lucky Town and The Ghost of Tom Joad albums.
7. Springsteen’s last name is topographic and of Dutch origin, literally translating to “jumping stone” but more generally meaning a kind of stone used as a stepping stone in unpaved streets or between two houses.
8. The Springsteens are among the early Dutch families who settled in the colony of New Netherland in the 1600s.
9. Raised a Roman Catholic, Springsteen attended the St. Rose of Lima Catholic school in Freehold Borough, where he was at odds with the nuns and rejected the strictures imposed upon him, even though some of his later music reflects a Catholic ethos and includes a few rock-influenced, traditional Irish-Catholic hymns.
10. In a 2012 interview, he explained that it was his Catholic upbringing rather than political ideology that most influenced his music.
11. He noted in the interview that his faith had given him a “very active spiritual life”, although he joked that this “made it very difficult sexually.” He added: “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”
12. In the ninth grade, Springsteen transferred to the public Freehold High School, but did not fit in there either.
13. Former teachers have said he was a “loner, who wanted nothing more than to play his guitar.” He completed high school, but felt so uncomfortable that he skipped his own graduation ceremony.
14. He briefly attended Ocean County College, but dropped out.
15. Springsteen grew up hearing fellow New Jersey singer Frank Sinatra on the radio. He became interested in being involved in music himself when, in 1956 at the age of seven, he saw Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show.
16. In 1964, Springsteen’s mother bought him his first guitar for $18. 1964 was also an important year for Springsteen, having seen The Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
17. Thereafter he started playing for audiences with a band called the Rogues at local venues such as the Elks Lodge in Freehold.
18. In 1965, Springsteen’s mother took out a loan to buy her 16-year-old son a $60 Kent guitar, an act he subsequently memorialized in his song “The Wish”.
19. In the same year, he went to the house of Tex and Marion Vinyard, who sponsored young bands in town. They helped him become the lead guitarist and subsequently one of the lead singers of the Castiles.
20. His first gig with the Castiles was possibly at a trailer park on New Jersey Route 34. The Castiles recorded two original songs at a public recording studio in Brick Township and played a variety of venues, including Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village.
21. Marion Vinyard said that she believed the young Springsteen when he promised he would make it big.
22. He is known for his work with the E Street Band. Nicknamed “The Boss”, Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana, working class and sometimes political sentiments centered on his native New Jersey, his distinctive voice, and his lengthy and energetic stage performances—with concerts from the 1970s to the present decade running at up to four hours in length.
23. Springsteen’s recordings have included both commercially accessible rock albums and more somber folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born to Run (1975) and Born in the U.S.A. (1984), find pleasures in the struggles of daily American life. He has sold more than 120 million records worldwide and more than 64 million records in the United States, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.
24. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award as well as being inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999.
25. In 2009, Springsteen was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, in 2013 was named MusiCares person of the year, and in 2016 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
26. In the early 1980s, Springsteen met Patti Scialfa at The Stone Pony, a bar in New Jersey where local musicians regularly perform. Soon after that, they started spending time together and became friends.
27. Early in 1984, Springsteen asked Scialfa to join the E Street Band for the upcoming Born in the U.S.A. Tour.
28. According to the book Bruce Springsteen on Tour 1969–2005 by Dave Marsh, it looked like Springsteen and Scialfa were on the brink of becoming a couple through the first leg of the tour. But before that could happen, Barry Bell introduced Julianne Phillips to Springsteen and on May 13, 1985, they were married.
29. The two were opposites in background, had an 11-year age difference and his traveling took its toll on their relationship.
30. In 1987, Springsteen wrote his next album, Tunnel of Love, on which many of the songs described his unhappiness in the relationship with Phillips.
31. In 1988, the Tunnel of Love Express Tour began and Springsteen convinced Scialfa to join the tour again. She expressed reluctance at first, since she wanted to start recording her first solo album, but after Springsteen told her that the tour would be short, she agreed to postpone her own solo record.
32. Phillips and Springsteen separated in the spring of 1988, but it wasn’t made known to the press. Springsteen and Scialfa fell in love with each other during the Tunnel of Love Express Tour and started living together soon after his separation from Phillips. On August 30, 1988, Julianne filed for divorce and it was finalized on March 1, 1989.
33. Springsteen received press criticism for the hastiness in which he and Scialfa took up their relationship.
34. Springsteen and Scialfa lived in New Jersey, before moving to Los Angeles, where they decided to start a family.
35. On July 25, 1990, Scialfa gave birth to the couple’s first child, Evan James Springsteen.
36. On June 8, 1991, Springsteen and Scialfa married at their Los Angeles home in a very private ceremony, only attended by family and close friends.
37. Their second child, Jessica Rae Springsteen, was born on December 30, 1991; and their third child, Samuel Ryan Springsteen, was born on January 5, 1994.
38. When the children reached school-age in the early 1990s, Springsteen and Scialfa moved back to New Jersey specifically to raise a family in a non-paparazzi environment.
39. The grounds of his New Jersey home include a large swimming pool. The family owns and lives on a horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey. They also own homes in Wellington, Florida, Los Angeles and Rumson, New Jersey.
40. Their older son, Evan, graduated from Boston College. He writes and performs his own songs and won the 2012 Singer/Songwriter Competition held during the Boston College’s Arts Festival.
41. Their daughter Jessica is a nationally ranked champion equestrian, and graduated from Duke University. She made her show-jumping debut with the Team USA in August 2014. Their younger son, Sam, is a firefighter.
42. It has been reported that the press conference regarding the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII half-time show was Springsteen’s first press conference in more than 25 years.
43. Springsteen is an activist for LGBT rights and has spoken out many times as a strong supporter of gay marriage.
44. Springsteen was out riding his motorcycle on November 11, 2016 when it broke down and he was stranded alongside the road. A group of men from the Freehold American Legion in New Jersey were returning from a Veterans Day event on their motorcycles when they spotted Springsteen and stopped to help. Springsteen hitched a ride on the back of one of the men’s motorcycles to a nearby restaurant where the group grabbed a round of drinks, for which Springsteen picked up the tab, while waiting for his ride.
45. While rejecting religion in his earlier years, Bruce stated in his Autobiography “Born To Run”, he has “a personal relationship with Jesus. I believe in his power to save, love…but not to damn”. (Chapter “the church”, page 17″). In terms of Catholic faith, he has stated that he “came to ruefully and bemusedly understand that once you’re a Catholic you’re always a Catholic” and “I don’t participate in my religion but I know somewhere…deep inside…I’m still on the team.”
46. In 2017, in an interview with Tom Hanks, Springsteen admitted to being a tax evader early in his career.