At 13 years of age, spending $18 dollars on a guitar might have seemed like a frivolou purchase. For Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, it would be the start of a hugely successful musical career. Bruce grew up and went to High School in Freehold Borough, New Jersey, and in 1965 joined his first band. As the lead singer of The Castles, Bruce cut his teeth performing locally and notably at Café Wha? in New York City’s Greenwich Village. As well as experience, Bruce earned the nickname “The Boss,” and in 1969 joined Danny Federici, Vini Lopez, Vinne Rosli, and eventually Robbin Thompson and Steven Van Zandt in the group “Steel Mill.” The band gained a following in the usual way by playing colleges and even a few shows in California. In 1972, with help from manager Mike Appel and others, Bruce auditioned for Columbia Records and was signed.
Bruce started recording, using his band mates in the studio, and released his debut album, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” on January 5th, 1973. The record included the songs “Spirit in the Night,” “Growin’ Up,” and “Blinded by the Light.” In September of that same year Bruce also released “The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.” Bruce’s band mates and recording partners would now become known as “The E Street Band.” The album was far from successful, but the band continued performing, and a five-night gig at the New York City’s Bottom Line club helped hype Bruce’s next record. On August 25th, 1975 “Born to Run” was released. The popularity of the songs “Thunder Road,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” and it’s title track “Born to Run,” helped land the album at a very respectable #3 spot on the charts. The record also made Bruce a household name and found him on the covers of both Time and Newsweek Magazines.
In 1978 Bruce continued his success with his new album “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” which he supported with an extensive tour. In 1980 he released the double album “The River,” which would sit atop the charts and bring Bruce his first top ten single with the song “Hungry Heart.” After touring internationally he released “Nebraska” in 1982. It would be critically acclaimed, but not as successful as his previous two albums. In reality, it didn’t matter too much, because in 1984 Bruce released the epic album, “Born in the U.S.A.” Soaring to the #1 spot the album produced seven top 10 singles, one of which was “Dancing in the Dark.” The single would earn Bruce the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, which would be the first of 19 Grammy Awards wins. The album would go on to sell more than 15 million units in the US alone. The next year, while touring in support of the album, Bruce met Julianne Philips whom he married, although only for a short time. Bruce then released “Live/1975-1985” which was phenomenally successful. Debuting at #1, the album sold more than 13 million copies in the US.
Continuing his streak of #1 albums, he released “Tunnel of Love,” which lead to the “Tunnel of Love Express Tour” in 1987. Soon after, Bruce fell in love with Patti Scialfa, and after dissolving the E Street Band, moved to California in 1989. The two later married in 1991, and Patti became the mother of Bruce’s 3 children. Returning to the music scene, Springsteen released “Human Touch,” which became #2 on the charts, and “Lucky Town,” which became #3 on the charts, in 1992, although neither album included The E Street Band. In 1994 Springsteen earned an Academy Award for the song “Streets of Philadelphia” which was his contribution to the soundtrack for the movie “Philadelphia,” which starred Tom Hanks as a man suffering from AIDS. Although they had reconvened shortly in 1995, it wasn’t until 1999’s “Reunion Tour” that the E Street Band joined Springsteen once again, resulting in 10 nights of sold out shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 2000.
In 2004 Springsteen threw his hat into the political ring and played the “Vote for Change” tour, which included other musicians such as R.E.M, Pearl Jam and John Fogerty. That same year “No Surrender,” became presidential candidate John Kerry’s theme song. Bruce released “Devils & Dust” on April 25th 2005. The album would become his second #1 album of the 2000’s, following up 2004’s “The Rising.” In November of 2005, in a move that proved his continued popularity, Sirius Satellite Radio dedicated and entire channel to Springsteen’s music, appropriately called “E Street Radio.” The channel was re-launched to promote the 2007 release of the album “Magic,” which would again bring Springsteen to the top of the charts. In 2008 Springsteen announced his support of then presidential candidate Barack Obama. Bruce’s song “The Rising” would be the first song played after Obama’s historic Grant Park victory speech, later that year. Springsteen would also have the honor of opening Obama’s inaugural celebration on January 18th, 2009. In February of the same year, Springsteen and the E Street Band played the halftime show at The Super Bowl, performing classics like “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and “Born to Run.” After close to 40 years, Springsteen doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Currently he is on tour, and is set to headline the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in the summer of 2009.