15 Fascinating Bruce Springsteen Facts That Prove He’s The Boss

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Bruce Springsteen is one of the biggest names in rock history. The classic rock icon is well-known for his working-class songwriting and hugely popular rock albums like Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town.

In this article, discover some fascinating facts you didn’t know about the man affectionately referred to as The Boss.

1. His Double Album The River Could Have Been Four Albums

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In 1980, Bruce Springsteen released his most ambitious album, The River. It ran the gamut of songwriting styles and featured the smash hit “Hungry Heart.” Amazingly, there are 20+ outtakes from the sessions, including some of his best songs, like “Loose Ends,” “Where the Bands Are,” and “Night Fire.” 

2. He Recorded a Soul Album

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Bruce Springsteen, image from Shutterstock.

Bruce Springsteen still stays plenty busy. He’s currently on tour and has released two collections of songs in the last five years. Our second Bruce Springsteen fact is that his new album, 2022’s Only the Strong Survive, features all covers of soul classics.

Related: 30 Greatest 70s Classic Rock Songs and More

3. Popular Springsteen Album Nebraska is Actually a Collection of Demos

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Sure, Springsteen sells out arenas and has written some of the biggest rock hits of all time, but he’s also highly respected by the songwriting community. Albums like 1982’s stripped-down Nebraska show the depth of his talent. It was meant to be a collection of demos for the E Street Band to flesh out, but The Boss liked the feel of them so much that he released them as-is. 

4. He’s Politically Active

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Like many songwriters before him, including Bob Dylan and folk hero Pete Seger, Bruce Springsteen has been vocal about his political views. He spearheaded the Vote For Change series of concerts that were aimed to stifle the re-elect effort of George W. Bush in 2004 and, more recently, has not minced words about his feelings about Donald Trump.

Related: 19 Famous Musicians Who Are Democrats

5. He Has His Own Radio Station

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If you can’t get enough of Bruce, you can check out his radio station. E Street Radio can be found on Sirius XM channel 20. It plays everything from favorites from the American songwriter, entire concerts, and tracks from his influences. 

6. Some Rock Stars Have Been Vocal About Not Liking Him

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No matter how beloved you are, there are always going to be some people who don’t like you, and that’s what this Bruce Springsteen fact pertains to. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards called him “pretentious,” and the Travelling Wilbury’s, which featured Beatle George Harrison and Tom Petty, released a track that gently makes fun of him, “Tweeter and the Monkey Man.” I guess he’s not The Boss of some people. 

7. He Had His Own Broadway Show

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Bruce took some time off from touring with the E Street Band in the wake of the Covid pandemic. He wasn’t just relaxing, though, as he did a run on Broadway with his Springsteen on Broadway show. During each performance, he performed intimate versions of some of his biggest songs and told the stories behind them. 

8. Bruce Springsteen’s Band is Filled With Legends in Their Own Right

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The “Thunder Road” singer is well-known for his epic, three-hour live performances, but they certainly wouldn’t be as impactful without his band. One of the greatest American rock n roll bands, his E Street band features drummer Max Weinberg, guitarists Little Stevie Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren, and late saxophonist Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, who are all certified rock legends.

Related: 17 of the Best Bruce Springsteen Songs

9. Why is He Called The Boss?

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We all know and love Springsteen as The Boss, but how did he get the nickname? It’s from his early days. When he and his bands had gigs, he’d be the one who collected and distributed the money, so he was referred to as The Boss.

10. He Has Yelled at His Audiences During Acoustic Shows

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When The Boss tells you to be quiet, I guess you should be quiet. During acoustic tours for albums like The Ghost of Tom Joad and Devils and Dust, Springsteen has been known to tell his audiences to be quiet, going as far as swearing at them

11. Bono Inducted Bruce Springsteen into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

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In 1999, the “Born to Run” singer became a member of the vaunted Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, where he was inducted by U2 lead singer Bono. During his speech, Bono praised him for his longevity and forward-thinking songwriting.  

12. The 1990s Were a “Lost Period” For Springsteen

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After the massive success of the cultural phenomenon that was Born in the USA in the 1980s, Springsteen eventually found himself somewhat floundering. Though there were successes, he called it a “lost period” during which “some people would say I didn’t do my best work.”

13. “Born in the USA” isn’t Meant to Be Patriotic

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Many see “Born in the USA” as a patriotic anthem. It was even used, much to Springsteen’s dismay, by Ronald Reagan during his 1984 presidential campaign. The song is actually about the difficulties Vietnam veterans faced after returning home. 

Related: 15 Musicians Who Are Republicans or Were Before They Died

14. Courtney Cox Got Her Start in the Video for “Dancing in the Dark”

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In the video for Springsteen’s smash hit “Dancing in the Dark,” he pulls out a “random” fan from the crowd and dances with her. It was a setup, though, and that woman is Friends star Courtney Cox, whose career began to take off after the appearance. 

15. 2002’s The Rising Reflects on the 9/11 Attacks

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Image by Jack Cohen on Unsplash

Bruce Springsteen is an iconic American, so it’s no surprise that, when his beloved homeland was attacked, he led the way to try and help the nation heal. His 2002 release, The Rising, got to the heart of the matter with classics like the title track and “Further on Up the Road,” which was later covered by Johnny Cash.

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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