Bruce Springsteen fans already know that the Boss does everything big, and his new autobiography is no exception. Born to Run is 500-plus pages of essential, indelible rock & roll history — equal parts reflection, celebration, and confession.
It wasn’t exactly intended that way: Following his high-energy halftime performance at the 2009 Super Bowl, Springsteen felt compelled to write about the exhilaration of the experience, but the impulse ultimately blossomed into a much larger project, including a retrospective song compilation, Chapter and Verse, that tracks the eras of the book and his evolution as an artist.
Music-loving readers will be thankful Springsteen chose to tell the story himself. From the tribulations of his Catholic upbringing to superstardom of Born in the USA and beyond — with all the triumphs and regrets in between — Springsteen unwinds his tale with the naked emotion, honesty and power of his best songs. His pages are filled with, as he might say, the devils and dust of an ambitious life, where the darkness doesn't always keep to the edge of town.
As for which songs inspired the Boss himself, here are five of his greatest influences as recounted in Born to Run, as well as a pair of images from the book:
“Me and the Big Man at the Eric Meola photo shoot for Born to Run” (photo credit: Eric Meola)
“My muscles got muscles…” (photo credit: David Gahr)
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