Watch Bruce Springsteen React to Getting His Own Emoji

Bruce Springsteen reacted in bemusement when TV host Stephen Colbert asked him what he thought of having his own Twitter emoji.

Colbert displays the new image, which appears when the hashtag #Springsteen is used, in a clip from last night’s episode of The Late Show – available below. (Apparently, it can’t be embedded in messages.) The emoji is based on the iconic photo by Annie Leibovitz that was used for the “Born in the U.S.A.” single sleeve in 1984.

“Uh,” said Springsteen, shaking his head, before adding: “Yeah, I’m uh … see, I’m not even sure what that exactly means. I mean, I know what an emoji is. But, does that mean everyone has access to that figure?” When Colbert told him that’s exactly what it meant, Springsteen laughed then said very carefully: “I think that’s … wonderful!” Colbert replied: “I think you’re very … nice!”

Elsewhere in the episode, Springsteen explained why he felt it was important to make the movie Letter To You, which was shot during the recording of his new album with the same name and celebrates his five-decade run with the E Street Band.

“I always tell people, imagine this: You’re going to high school right now,” he said. “When you’re 70 years old, those are the exact people you’ll be working with and will have worked with them for the past 50 years. The only place that that happens is in rock ’n’ roll – and it doesn’t happen much, for the very simple reason that people can’t stand it. They can’t stand each other for that long. It’s a miracle!”

When Colbert pointed out that “the audience doesn’t always stick around for 50 years,” Springsteen agreed: “No, they do not. It’s a confluence of very, very special events, and some luck and magic involved, that allows you to have a long life and career that we’ve been blessed enough to have.”

Letter To You was set to be released today along with the record, but arrived via Apple TV 24 hours early.


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Bruce Springsteen Suggests He’ll Move to Australia if Trump Wins

Bruce Springsteen predicted President Trump won’t win the 2020 election — but the rocker is willing to leave the country if he’s proven wrong.

“If Trump is reelected — which he will not be; I’m predicting right now he’s gonna lose — if by some happenstance he should be, I’ll see you on the next plane [to Australia],” Springsteen told Daily Telegraph (per The Hill).

Springsteen — who will release his new album with the E Street Band, Letter to You, on Oct. 23 — has famously criticized Trump throughout the president’s first term. He previously called the Republican “deeply damaged” and also argued he “doesn’t have a grasp of the deep meaning of what it means to be an American.”

He addressed Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a June broadcast on the E Street Radio SiriusXM station: “With all respect, sir, show some consideration and care for your countrymen and your country. Put on a fucking mask.”

Motley Crue‘s Tommy Lee has likewise claimed that he’s ready to flee the U.S. if Trump is reelected. “Dude, I swear to god if that happens then I’m coming over to visit the U.K. I’m out of here,” Lee told the British newspaper The Big Issue “I’ll go back to my motherland, go back to Greece and get a house on one of the islands.”

This week, both Phil Collins and John Fogerty joined a growing list of rock stars who issued cease-and-desist orders to the Trump campaign for using songs without permission.

Trump played Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Fortunate Son” in September before a campaign rally in Michigan, and Fogerty responded Friday via Twitter.

“I object to the President using my song ‘Fortune Son’ in any way for his campaign,” Fogerty wrote. “He is using my words and my voice to portray a message that I do not endorse. Therefore, I am issuing a ‘cease and desist’ order. I wrote this song because, as a veteran, I was disgusted that some people were allowed to be excluded from serving our country because they had access to political and financial privilege. I also wrote about wealthy people not paying their fair share of taxes. Mr. Trump is a prime example of both of these issues.”

Collins’ camp responded after the president played “In the Air Tonight” during an Iowa rally on Wednesday. “Yes we are well aware of the Trump campaign’s use of this song,” a representative told Consequence of Sound, “and we have already issued a ‘cease and desist’ letter via our lawyers who continue to monitor the situation.”

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Bruce Springsteen Releases Full ‘Letter to You’ Trailer

Bruce Springsteen has released a two-minute trailer for his upcoming documentary Letter to You, which premieres Oct. 23 on Apple TV+.

The film was shot while he recorded the album of the same name with the E Street Band, and contains full performances of 10 tracks, along with scenes from the studio as they worked. A press release calls the result “a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself and to the role it has played in Springsteen’s life.”

In the trailer, Springsteen is seen telling his bandmates: “The greatest thrill of my life is standing at that microphone with you guys behind me. Let’s do it.”

“I’m in the middle of a 45-year conversation with the men and women I’m surrounded by,” he explains in the clip. “The years of playing together have created an efficiency in the studio. Ideas tumble around the room, confusion often reigns. And then, suddenly, dynamite. … Age brings perspective, and after all these years, my friends, wherever you are, you’re the reason we’re here.”

You can watch the trailer below.

The Letter to You album – which will also be released on Oct. 23 – is Springsteen’s first with the E Street Band since 2014, and the first time they’ve recorded extensively live in the studio together since 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.

“All the songs from the album came out of it, in perhaps less than 10 days,” Springsteen said recently. “I just wandered around the house in different rooms, and I wrote a song each day. I wrote a song in the bedroom. I wrote a song in our bar. I wrote a song in the living room.”

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Bruce Springsteen, ‘Letter to You’: Album Review

Lately, Bruce Springsteen has been contemplating his past.

He started the previous decade by revisiting four older songs on the otherwise newly written 2012 album Wrecking Ball, which also paid tribute to E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons after his death in 2011. Two years later, Springsteen filled the entire High Hopes LP with songs he’d written, but then discarded, for other projects – some dating back to the mid ’90s. And 2019’s ’70s-soft-pop homage Western Stars contained songs that were recorded years earlier.

Then there’s the 2016 memoir Born to Run and its sorta stage version, Springsteen on Broadway, that opened a year later and ran for 14 months. Both projects were all about looking back.

On Letter to You, his 20th album, Springsteen confronts mortality, talks with ghosts and pulls out three cuts from his early-’70s songbook he never got around to releasing before. There’s no getting around it: The past lurks behind every note. But, ironically, he hasn’t sounded this alive and in-the-moment in years.

Much of that has to do with the spontaneity surrounding the record’s creation. Many of the songs were quickly composed by Springsteen and then recorded in five days with the E Street Band at his home in 2019. It’s the first time the group made this much music live in the studio since the first part of the ’80s.

It starts solemnly, though, as Springsteen whisper-sings the first line to opener “One Minute You’re Here” – “Big black train coming down the track,” evoking the traditional blues, country and folk metaphor for death. From the start, Letter to You lets you know where it’s headed, but there’s also joy in the celebration of life as an understanding, and acceptance, of what follows. The album was made pre-coronavirus, but at times it sure sounds like a product of the pandemic.

The title track recalls the re-energized and reinvigorating spirit of 2002’s The Rising, Springsteen’s heartfelt response to 9/11 and his first album with the E Street Band in nearly two decades. There are similar anthem-sized songs on Letter to You, digging up glockenspiel (“Burnin’ Train”), lyrical references (“House of a Thousand Guitars”) and even outtakes (“Janey Needs a Shooter”) from Springsteen’s past. Guitars jab and organs swell throughout, and Springsteen’s throaty rasp recalls The River‘s stadium shakers more than they do the truth-telling troubadour folk found on 2005’s solo Devils & Dust and the reigned-in vocal clearness of more recent records like 2009’s Working on a Dream.

It doesn’t all work. The self-mythologizing “Last Man Standing” aims for Born to Run-style grandeur but lands flat both musically and lyrically (“Faded pictures in an old scrapbook / Faded pictures that somebody took“), despite a sax solo by Jake Clemons straight from Uncle Clarence’s playbook. The forgettable “The Power of Prayer” could be a leftover from any Springsteen album from the past 15 years.

Springsteen doesn’t get too political on Letter to You. Only the rousing “Rainmaker” makes passing references to the current climate, dropping in lines about a “house … on fire,” a “mean season” and how “sometimes folks need to believe in something so bad.” He never comes out and says “Trump,” but it’s not hard to connect the dots from the songs central character – “Says white’s black and black’s white, says night’s day and day is night” – to the divisive president.

Mostly Letter to You is about finding peace in the past, so in some ways the trilogy of ’70s castaways – “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest” and “Song for Orphans” – form the album’s center. The songs sound very much like pieces from Springsteen’s back pages, even with the updated performances and modern co-production by Ron Aniello. Biblical themes, along with Dylanesque wordplay and harmonica, and big, sweeping musical flourishes, run through the tracks, which haunt the album as much as “Ghosts,” the LP’s most personal confrontation of days gone by. They’re also the longest on the album, each clocking in at more than six minutes.

Letter to You ends as contemplatively as it begins, with the hopeful “I’ll See You in My Dreams” declaring “death is not the end.” Like the opening “One Minute You’re Here,” it serves as a melancholy bookend to Springsteen’s most reflective work. But his reconciliation with the past and, ultimately, his mortality comes down to a single line in the bustling “Ghosts”: “I’m alive!” And on this stirring band album, that breathless sentiment is both earned and deserved in the end.

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See the Teaser for Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Letter to You’ Movie

A documentary about Bruce Springsteen‘s upcoming album Letter to You will premiere exclusively on Apple TV on Oct. 23, the same day the record arrives.

You can see a 30-second teaser for the feature-length movie below.

According to Springsteen’s website, Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You “features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material and a deeper look into Letter to You from Springsteen himself. … Throughout the documentary, Springsteen shares his thoughts and feelings behind Letter to You and puts the new music into the context of his entire body of work.”

The film was directed by Thom Zimny, who’s worked with Springsteen on numerous video projects since 2001’s Live in New York City.

Springsteen and the E Street Band made Letter to You over the course of five days with co-producer Ron Aniello, recording live in the studio without overdubs. Nine of the album’s songs were written in April 2019, when Springsteen picked up an acoustic guitar given to him by a fan following a performance of Springsteen on Broadway.

“All the songs from the album came out of it, in perhaps less than 10 days,” Springsteen said. “I just wandered around the house in different rooms, and I wrote a song each day. I wrote a song in the bedroom. I wrote a song in our bar. I wrote a song in the living room.”

In addition to the title track and “Ghosts,” the record includes three songs Springsteen wrote in the early ’70s but never officially released: “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest” and “Song for Orphans.”

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Hear Bruce Springsteen’s New Single, ‘Ghosts’

Bruce Springsteen has released “Ghosts,” the second single from his upcoming album Letter to You.

The video includes clips of Springsteen and the E Street Band in the studio and archival footage from decades of concerts. As Springsteen told Rolling Stone, “Ghosts” is one of several songs on the new record inspired by the deaths of E Street Band members Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici, as well as former assistant Terry Magovern. The three men died between 2007 and 2011.

“The loss of Clarence and Danny still echoes every day in my life,” Springsteen said. “I still don’t believe it. I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna see Clarence again? That doesn’t sound quite possible!’ I live with the dead every day at this point in my life. Whether it’s my father or Clarence or Danny, all those people sort of walk alongside you. Their spirit, their energy, their echo continues to resonate in the physical world. … A beautiful part of living is what we’re left by the dead.” You can watch the video below.

He added that he sees “Clarence every once in a while. I’ll see the houses I lived in as a child. I’ll walk through their halls. We see all those folks in our dreams until we become a dream ourselves.”

Even though Springsteen just turned 71 yesterday and is coming off a pair of acclaimed works – the Born the Run autobiography and the Springsteen on Broadway show – that looked back on his life and career, he said he’s continuing to look forward.

“I plan to have a long road in front of me,” he noted. “Some of my recent projects have been kind of summational, but really, for me, it’s summational for this stage of my work life. I’ve got a lot left to do, and I plan to carry on.”

Letter to You arrives on Oct. 23. You can check out the title track here.

Bruce Springsteen Albums Ranked 

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Bruce Springsteen Is Planning a Second ‘Tracks’ Box Set

Among the projects Bruce Springsteen has in the pipeline is a second volume of Tracks, his 1998 four-CD box set of unreleased songs and B-sides.

“There’s a lot of really good music left,” Springsteen told Rolling Stone. As he’s done with some of his archival releases, Springsteen isn’t just giving the material a modern mastering, but he’s overdubbing some as well. “You just go back there. It’s not that hard. If I pull out something from 1980, or 1985 or 1970, it’s amazing how you can slip into that voice. It’s just sort of a headspace. All of those voices remain available to me, if I want to go to them.”

E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg added that he’s recorded new parts for more than 40 songs over the past three years. “Any other artist would kill to get these songs,” he said.

It was Springsteen’s work on the project that led him to rediscover three tracks – “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest” and “Song for Orphans” – that will appear on his upcoming album Letter to You. He noted he “sort of came across these songs” and chose to re-record them because he wanted “to be able to go back and sing in your adult voice but with ideas of your youth. … It was kind of insane fun, because the lyrics for all those songs were so completely crazy.”

Springsteen hasn’t figured out yet how he plans to release this material. He hinted at packaging some of the songs as “lost albums,” which could suggest releases like the “Electric Nebraska” sessions that have never even surfaced on bootlegs. In addition to Tracks, Springsteen has previously opened his vaults for retrospective box sets dedicated to Darkness on the Edge of Town and The River. He also unearthed several songs from earlier in the 21st century for 2014’s High Hopes.

On top of all this, there’s another album of new material sitting around stemming from a huge batch of songs he wrote at the top of the decade that’s already yielded 2012’s Wrecking Ball and last year’s Western Stars. Though Springsteen didn’t provide any details, he said another LP is “in the can.”

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Bruce Springsteen Wrote New Album on Guitar Gifted by a Fan

The songs on Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming album Letter to You were crafted on an unlikely instrument; not a high-priced piece of equipment or a storied classic rock relic, but an acoustic guitar given to the Boss by a fan.

The rocker was presented with the gift following one of his Springsteen on Broadway performances. “I said, ‘Geez, you know, thanks,’” the iconic musician recalled in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. “And I just took a quick glance at it and it looked like a nice guitar, so I jumped in the car with it.”

Sometime after this exchange, Springsteen found himself aboard a chartered flight to North Carolina. He was visiting an old friend, George Theiss, who was in his final days following a long battle with lung cancer. The two had shared the stage together early in Springsteen’s career, members of his first band the Castiles.

On the flight home, the Boss was consumed with deep thoughts of mortality. He’d already lost E Street Band members Danny Federici in 2008 and Clarence Clemons in 2011, the latter of whom was also a close personal friend.

These thoughts continued to swirl in the rocker’s head until April 2019 when, on a whim, he picked up that cast-aside acoustic guitar.

“All the songs from the album came out of it,” Springsteen confessed. “In perhaps less than 10 days. I just wandered around the house in different rooms, and I wrote a song each day. I wrote a song in the bedroom. I wrote a song in our bar. I wrote a song in the living room.”

Initially, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recorded these songs into his iPhone. Eschewing what had become his regular routine over the pst couple of decades, Springsteen decided not to demo any of the tracks until he hit the studio with the E Street Band.

“When I demo, I start putting things on to see if it works,” he explained. “And suddenly, I’m locked into an arrangement. And then the band has to fit themselves into an arrangement. And suddenly, we don’t have an E Street Band album. So I intentionally did not demo anything.”

The decision allowed the band to put their mark on Letter to You, much like they did on the Boss’ early releases. “We finally made it back to the band sensibility,” declared guitarist Steven Van Zandt, “where Bruce is comfortable trusting the band again, thinking like a band member again.”

“I love the emotional nature of Letter to You,” Springsteen said in a press release announcing the album’s release. “And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”

Letter to You, the 20th album of Springsteen’s iconic career, will be released Oct. 23.

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Hear Bruce Springsteen’s New ‘Letter to You’ Single

The first single from Bruce Springsteen‘s newly announced studio album Letter to You is the title track.

You can hear the song below.

Springsteen’s 20th studio effort, set for release on Oct. 23, will be the first to feature material he wrote for the E Street Band in more than half a decade. Every current member of the group will appear on Letter to You.

“It’s like I’ve spent about seven years without writing anything for the band,” he explained in May 2019. “I couldn’t write anything for the band. And I said, ‘Well, of course … you’ll never be able to do that again!’ And it’s a trick every time you do it, you know? But it’s a trick that, because of that fact that you can’t explain, cannot be self-consciously duplicated. It has to come to you in inspiration.”

The new album features nine recently written Springsteen songs, as well as new recordings of three previously unreleased tracks from the ’70s: “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest” and “Song for Orphans.” They were completed at his home studio in New Jersey.

Letter to You follows 2019’s Western Stars, an album inspired by the pop records that emerged from Southern California in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The E Street Band includes Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt and Max Weinberg, along with Charlie Giordano and Jake Clemons.

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