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Narrated by Bruce Springsteen and covering his childhood to 2015, this story is totally engaging.
The book is full of interesting insights and anecdotes - about the music industry and the difficulties of breaking in and getting a fair deal; the challenges of selecting the right people and keeping a band together; the absolute commitment, self-confidence and persistence required to achieve anything substantial. He talks about early pop-rock inspirations - amongst them Elvis, The Beatles, and Dylan.
Springsteen relates lots of personal details concerning his parents and family their working class origins, and the tensions with his father. He describes his initial fear of serious relationships and more so of settling down, until he found the right partner with whom to start a family. He details his struggle to control his tendency to depression, and the value of therapy and medication where indicated. He talks about melding a band into a single unit while also requiring leadership (his) - and of the clashes with some of the performers, managers, and industry representatives with whom he worked.
He shares insights into why the E Street Band has been such a success and details the world-class talents in the Band and the key players with whom he still performs - Steven van Zandt (guitar), Nils Lofgren (guitar), Max Weinberg (Drums), Clarence Clemons (deceased) and more latterly Jake Clemons (sax) and more. It's fascinating to learn about the origin of key albums songs, and even on the choice of album cover images.His songs of working class people and the struggles they face, the post-9/11 period and his efforts to recognise and promote diversity, all receive attention.
Downsides aren't many - it is a little on the long side (19 hrs on audio) and there is some repetition (perhaps by design)... but overall my recommendation is overwhelmingly positive.
I hope he adds a post-script to bring the book up to date in the Trump and post-truth era and the popular protests and opposition that have emerged. The role of singer songwriters, a key theme in this story, is once again driven home.
This book is full of humanity, humour and wisdom and provided the ideal backdrop to re-listening to his music... Having since seen The Boss (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) perform live in Sydney - all I can say is ... Wow!!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Where does Born to Run rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
among the best of musician memoirs
Any additional comments?
...a long ago aspiring songwriter, i wondered why i never 'connected'...but in revealing the many sides of his personality....from the dysfunction and insecurities to his honest belief that he knew he was special and the stoic confidence that came with it, he opened my eyes to the true dynamics of the really few great success stories of the amazing music makers of the 1950's, 60's. 70's and 80's and understanding that unmatched era in time was built by people who found they were gifted with the ability to take the feelings they gained from an early age and fight as hard as necessary to output what they held so strongly inside.
Bruce was able to explain that undeniable connection to focused music self-confidence and never stop pushing forward until the hard work paid off, slowly but surely. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story being told by Bruce and found myself a little surprised by the eagerness i felt to continue listening...since my interests were always musicians who came before him. It will inspire me to also go back and listen to more of his music.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I appreciated hearing Bruce tell his story on Audible. He shared deep personal details about his life and the creative process he used to entertain his fans throughout his career. I am a bigger fan now having heard him tell his story. I will listen to his music with fresh insights about the story being told and about Bruce and his band. Reading this book made me want to be a better father. I appreciated Bruce telling us about the positive impact mental healthcare and medicines had in the journey of his family. As a medicinal chemist that pours his heart into his craft to design best in class molecule with a purpose this made me smile. Bruce is the kind of friend I would enjoy sitting around with talking and having a beer. I hope he comes back to Indiana soon. We have a beautiful venue in Carmel called the Palladium and I know there are many that would enjoy an intimate evening with this Mega Rock Star!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I hung on every single word of this well told story, and finished up with tears streaming down my cheeks.
I foolishly never delved into Bruce's songs, (never mind took the time to decipher the complex lyrics), even as he was of my time. Sure I boogied to Born to Run & Tunnel of Love, but I feel like I missed the whole party. Until now, that is.
I'm so thankful that a man like this one exists in the world. Someone willing to go deep, do the hard work required in the development of an authentic self, and in this case, share his experience, and the resulting treasure, with the world. A determined soul, driven to make sense of his imperfect past, then face with courage the painful work of sorting it out for the betterment of his tribe. I want to send this book to every young male I know, in the hopes that it might inform their concept of what it is to be masculine - to be a man.
And FYI Mr Springsteen, your 'long and noisy prayer', has, indeed, rocked my very soul.
Forever grateful for your beautifully told story. You are a national treasure!
42 of 47 people found this review helpful