not a member? click here to sign up
Occupy E Street
Bruce and the gang have just unleashed what is their angriest and most politicised record yet, a scathing attack on the railroading of the American Dream by political and corporate fat cats. Stuart Clark journeys to Paris to meet The Boss who also waxes lyrical about Obama, Catholicism, Joe Strummer, Dylan, being a hopeless music fan and why it’ll take four people to replace Clarence Clemons
Stuart Clark, 20 Mar 2012
“I think something powerful comes out of psychology, and psychology is there in your formative years,” he ventures. “I grew up in a house where my mother was the primary breadwinner; she worked very hard every day. My father struggled to find work and I saw that was deeply painful and created a crisis of masculinity for him, and that was something that was irreparable at the end of the day. Those conditions are present in the United States right now where you have a service economy overtaking a manufacturing economy. A lot of guys who work in manufacturing have lost their jobs and they don’t have the skills to move into the economy world, it’s a different world and so you have quite a few homes where the man is no longer the primary breadwinner. Lack of work creates a loss of self. Work creates a sense of self.
“My mother was an inspiring, towering figure to me in the best possible way, and I picked up a lot of the way that I work from her. She was my working example, just steadfast, just relentless. But I also picked up a lot of the fallen from my father in a house that turned into a bit of a minefield. I kind of lost him and I think a lot of the circus of writing music comes out of that particular scene. As I got older I looked towards not just the psychological reasons in my house but the social forces around me and that kind of fed me into a lot of the writing that I’ve done.
“I’m motivated, by the events of the day – what America is about. The reason I ask those questions comes out of the house I grew up in and the circumstances that were around us. In the United States, nobody can get up right now. It’s devastating. The country should strive for full employment and a sense of self and self-esteem and a sense of place and belonging.”
With the fascinating pre and post-fame life he’s led, has Bruce ever considered writing his autobiography?
“I wrote a little bit and I stopped for a couple of years. I haven’t looked at it for quite a while. It’s one of those things – you open up the paper and everyone else is writing one! I don’t want to be another fish in the bowl, you know? Pete Townshend, he’s writing one, Neil Young has got one coming, so I thought, ‘Fuck it!’”