In January, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band began a mammoth tour of Down Under starting in Perth and ending in Auckland. Despite being one of the greatest musicians in rock ‘n’ roll history, The Boss’ appearances in the media have been relatively few and far between. With the release of his memoir, Born to Run, however, the 67-year-old has been opening up more of his life than ever before to his legions of devoted fans, and revealing a sneak-peak into a career that began with an iconic double magazine cover shoot in October 1975…
BORN IN THE USA
Despite his relative media anonymity, Springsteen was the first ever rock star to land himself on the cover of both TIME and Newsweek in the same week, as the two magazines ran features on the New Jersey-native who had just released his breakthrough album Born to Run just two months prior.
On the TIME cover, Springsteen was described as “Rock’s New Sensation” – a testament to Springsteen-fan Jay Cock’s glowing journalistic offering – whilst Newsweek’s “The Making of a Rock Star” looked at Columbia Records’ marketing moves around the release of Born to Run.
A year later, during a concert at Michigan State University, Springsteen changed the lyrics in the bridge section of Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) to acknowledge his double-cover achievement, singing: ‘Tell him now it’s his last chance, Rosie / Tell him I ain’t no freak / ‘Cause I got my picture / On the cover of Time and Newsweek!’
WE SHALL OVERCOME
Ten years after that iconic TIME/Newsweek double, Life magazine did a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of Michael Jackson’s charity single We Are the World. The track was born out of The King of Pop’s emotional reaction to images of starvation in Africa, and was a kind of sister-song to the BandAid collaboration in the UK.
Jackson was joined by a plethora of American entertainment greats in the studio for the recording of the track. That month’s cover of Life boasted an impressive cross-section of these collaborators, with Jackson accompanied by Lionel Ritchie, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner and…a certain Bruce Springsteen.
There’s one title that The Boss has appeared on the cover of more often than any other (a massive 26 times): Rolling Stone. Whilst regularly being voted Artist of the Year by the Rolling Stone readership, Springsteen was featured alongside two other musical greats, Bono and Mick Jagger, on the mag’s special issue on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concert.
Springsteen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, and a decade later hit the stage at the massive 25th Anniversary Concert with a seventeen-strong set list alongside Sam Moore, Tom Morello, John Fogerty, Darlene Love and Billy Joel to provide a barnstorming end to the night.
BORN TO RUN
With the release of his memoir, Springsteen was once again featured in Rolling Stone to provide an in-depth accompaniment to the autobiography that covered everything from his struggles with depression throughout his career to the future of the E Street Band.
Springsteen’s book was released alongside a new album entitled Chapter and Verse, which featured 18 tracks handpicked by The Boss – five of which have never been released before. Aussie fans are sure to hear a host of these tunes on Springsteen’s tour, not least because of the fact that the rocker regularly exceeds the 3-hour mark and beyond during his electrifying live shows.