Bruce Springsteen: ‘More than wanting to be rich or famous, I wanted to be great’ – Music News



Bruce Springsteen joins Tim McGraw’s Beyond The Influence Radio show on Apple Music Country, discussing a past Grammy moment with Tim, the longevity of his band, wanting to make great music, and how he continues to grow as an artist. Tim also reflects on songs that influenced him in 2020.

Bruce Springsteen sharing how Tim McGraw cheered him up after a Grammy loss…
I always remember one thing you said to me. It was the night after we lost the Grammy for The Rising and I came into the dressing room and everybody was kind of down in the mouth. And you said, “Hey, what’s the matter man? You’re Bruce Springsteen.” I always remember that man. That took me up, it was kind of a great moment. And I’ve always remembered that when I think of you.

Bruce Springsteen on the importance of greatness, rather than wealth or fame…
Well, I always said that, more than wanting to be rich or famous, I wanted to be great. That was the thing that motivated me when people looked at me and my band, I wanted to say, “Well, man, they were one of the great ones.” You know?

And that still motivates me like it did when I was 16 years old. And so was this record, which I also feel as one of our… I think it can stand up next to the best records that I’ve made. It was just the desire to do something that would wake my fans up, make them feel alive, help contextualize their lives at this point and in these very difficult times that we’re going through. And that would just be great. This would be something that when somebody was done listening to it, said, “Man, that makes my day. That just makes my day.”

Bruce Springsteen on making music suitable for radio…
When I handed in my first record, Greetings from Asbury Park, it did not contain “Blinded By The Light” and “Spirit In The Night,” which were two radio friendly things on the record. Clive Davis said, “Hey, there’s nothing that can be played on the radio.” And I listened to him. I said, “I think he’s right.” I went back and I wrote two more songs. I didn’t feel conflicted about the idea that I was both an artist, and also someone like, “Hey, man, I’d love to hear myself on the radio.”

Those things, I never felt a lot of conflict about that. And I just always felt like if I make some great music, that’s exciting me, it’s going to excite my fans. And I simply judged everything I did on that basis.

Bruce Springsteen on how many years his band has stayed together…
Well, my band has been together… Some of the longest serving members would be 50 years…and a lot of the guys, 45. We have been together literally since our very, very young adulthood. So that means you went through every aspect of their lives with them and they went through every aspect of yours. They saw you grow up, they saw things go well, things go bad. They saw you get married. They saw you get divorced. They saw you getting married. You saw them get married, get divorced, have children. You’ve seen the children grow up. As I say that, rock and roll is the only business where the people you were in high school with, 50 years later you are working with those exact same people. There is no other business in the world that I know of where that’s the case. The challenge of that is enormous, and I think you learn a lot. In the case of our band, one of the things I was proudest of about the film is the film is about a band staying together, not one breaking up as most band films are.


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