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Bruce Springsteen fans from Asbury Park and beyond blog about The Boss
‘Everything that I said’: Notable Springsteen quotes from ‘Talk About a Dream’
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put Born in the U.S.A. or The River down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, let¹s face it, the man rocks.
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By Pete Chianca
Oct. 4, 2013 5:15 p.m.

At 428 pages containing primarily words that originated in Bruce Springsteen’s head, “Talk About a Dream” (review here) is about as close as you’re going to get to the man’s psyche without being his actual therapist. (And you can only imagine the book THAT guy could write.) It’s impossible to narrow down all of the highlights, but here are just a few Springsteen bon mots that help define the man in the book’s pages.

Talk About a DreamOn putting together his setlists: “You can’t conform to the formula of always giving the audience what it wants or you’re killing yourself and you’re killing the audience. Because they don’t really want it either. Just because they respond to something doesn’t mean they want it. I think it has come to the point where they respond automatically to things that they think they should respond to. You’ve got to give them more than that.” (To Robert Hilburn, 1974)

On his pre-fame gigs: “I can remember staying up all night learning ‘Moon River’ because the bride requested it — ‘Moon River!’” (The Lost Interviews, 1975)

On talking about his music: “… It’s unnecessary for me to talk about any of this stuff, because the music speaks for itself. There’s nothing I can possibly say that could add or give any insight to it.” (The Lost Interviews, 1975)

On what he’d do if he were “terrifically rich”: “Get my mother to quit working …. My mother’s been working since she was 18 — she’s 50 now. It’s too LONG to work.” (To Ray Coleman, 1975)

On what he would have done if he didn’t go into music:  “Probably done something crazy. Maybe robbed stores or something! That always appealed to me, robbing things.” (To Ray Coleman, 1975)

On building an audience: “… You don’t inherit an audience, and they don’t run over to your door and knock on your door and sit in your lap.” (To Dave Herman, 1978)

On his responsibility to his audience: “I don’t think if I don’t play good tonight, I’ll play good tomorrow. I don’t think that if I didn’t play good tonight, that, well, I played good last night. It’s like there’s no tomorrows and there’s no yesterdays. There’s only right now.” (To Dave DiMartino, 1980)

On pre-show malaise: “I always look terrible before the show. That’s when I feel worst. And after the show it’s like a million bucks.” (To Dave Marsh, 1981)

On Patti: “She had a very sure eye for all of my bullshit.” (To James Henke, 1992)

On fame and fortune: “I truly don’t know how some big stars do it. I could make a commitment to it for a certain amount of time, but after that I just had to get my feet back into what felt like real life. I always come back to the same thing: It’s about work — the work, working, working.” (To Ken Tucker, 2003)

On expressing political beliefs: “I believe that my ideas and the beliefs that our band has stood for over the years are an integral part of our work, and we have a duty to make those ideas as clear as possible. I think that’s part of what people look to us for, that’s a part of what we have provided to a portion of our audience … You also figure, these are the times we’re working in. And I think you’ve got to take your stand in them.” (To Chris Phillips, 2004)

On Europe: “The openness I’ve found outside the United States contrasted a bit to some of the closedness that we have here. And it’s not intentional  – it’s cultural.” (To Chris Phillips, 2004)

On “Shut up and sing”: “I think any time somebody in this country is telling somebody else to shut up, they’re going in the wrong direction. No, no, no, you’re supposed to be promoting speech. You may not like it, you may not like it — I hear a lot of things don’t like either, but hey.” [laughs] (To Chris Phillips, 2004)

On trying to influence the electorate: “In the course of your lifetime how your country steers itself is under your stewardship. So what did you do? That was an interesting idea to me in terms of how to look at your life, your work and your place.” (To Phil Sutcliffe, 2006)

On songwriting: “… There’s no cheap way to get to it! You gotta pay. The way you pay your dues on every song is by digging up the piece of you that has felt that frightened, that uncomfortable, that disempowered, that scared, that lonely, and that angry. That’s the price of admission if you want things to fly.” (To Dave Marsh, 2006)

On being an artist: “So the idea is: How do you manage that thing that’s eating at you, without letting it eat you?” (To Mark Hagen, 2009)

On the Time and Newsweek covers: “Steve had a lot of fun with it, because of course it wasn’t him on the cover.” (To James Henke, 2010)

On his early guitars: “I had Tex [Vinyard] co-sign for me and I paid them off week-by-week, month-by-month. For quite a few years all I did was pay off guitars.” (To James Henke, 2010)

On “replacing” E Street band members who’ve passed on or had to take a break:  “I’m working on replacing myself now, and I’m gonna stay home. I will be home, and somebody else can do it.” [laughs] (At press conference in Paris, 2012)

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