Who's The Boss: How Well Do You Know Bruce Springsteen?

By Peter SM RSS Thu, September 15, 2016

So, apparently some guy named Bruce Springsteen is stopping by the Free Library in a couple weeks? All we know is that he's a musician and has a new book coming out or something...

Kidding! We are absolutely a buzz with excitement that The Boss will be hanging out in our hallowed halls! We're pretty sure word has gotten out by now as well around town—it's a little hard not to notice when the guy plays a 4 hour, 3 minute, and 43 second long concert in South Philly.

Bruce's autobiography, Born To Run (and accompanying companion album Chapter & Verse, featuring never-before-released recordings), promises to be a candid look into the musician's life and perhaps separate the man from the myth. While we wait to read the forthcoming 500+ pages, here are some perhaps little known facts and trivia about Bruce Springsteen's life, past and present.

  • E Street is a real street located in Belmar, New Jersey! The band reportedly used the name because David Sancious’ (original keyboard player) mother lived there and she was nice enough to let them rehearse in her house.
  • Madam Marie, the fortune-teller in the song "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," is also real. Marie Castello told fortunes on the Asbury Park boardwalk from 1932 until her death in 2008 at age 93. The fortune-telling booth is still there and is run by Madam Marie's family.
  • When Springsteen was in third grade, he was stuffed into a trash can under his desk… by a nun. She apparently told him that that’s where he belonged : (
    As a fellow recovering Catholic, I can say there is indeed a special place in hell for people like that...
  • 1-2-3-4! In 1979, Bruce saw the Ramones play at the Fast Lane in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He met the band and Joey Ramone asked Bruce to write a song for them. Springsteen wrote "Hungry Heart" and considered giving it to them, but instead hung on to it at the urging of his manager.
  • President Barack Obama was quoted as saying, "There are a handful of people who enter into your lives through their music and tell the American people's story. Bruce Springsteen is one of those people." He's also said that he ran for President because he couldn't be Bruce Springsteen.
  • Springsteen and libraries go hand in hand! The Bruce Springsteen Special Collection at Monmouth University is the world's largest collection devoted to the Boss and his bands. The collection—which is open by appointment to the public—includes some 10,000 books, magazines, fanzines, web articles, newspaper articles, academic journals and papers, comic books, song books, tourbooks, etc., with items from 42 different countries dating as far back as 1964.
  • Springsteen award stats: He has won 20 Grammy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Polar Music Award for his music. He won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1993 for “Streets Of Philadelphia,” Springsteen’s contribution to the Philadelphia movie soundtrack.

If you need to get up to speed (or perhaps get in an argument with a fellow Springsteen fan, ha!), check out this comprehensive list of The Boss' entire catalog, ranked from best to worst. You can also dig a bit deeper to find out some of the books and authors that have inspired The Boss' music. Finally, you can find lots of great Springsteen-related items in our catalog including music, books, movies, and more!

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What a great blog post! I had fun following the links and especially enjoyed the trivia about President Obama and the Ramones! Thanks for hosting this wonderful event.
Marina Darling - Philadelphia
Friday, September 16, 2016

Great read. Real shame about the ticket sales for his event at the Free Library, site was a mess, fans were shut out. Would give anything to meet him!!
JEFFREY LAWLER - Springfield
Friday, September 16, 2016

Very disappointed in the Library's poor handling of ticket sales this morning. Website now says tickets are sold out. Tickets were advertised to be released at 10 am but at 9:58, the site had already crashed. How is it that the event sold out -- before tickets went on sale?
Rose DiSanto - Philadelphia
Friday, September 16, 2016

The Free Library is most grateful to Bruce Springsteen for choosing our public library to celebrate his book. While we had a limited number of tickets available to sell, we made our best effort to make the tickets available to the public all at the same time. Mr. Springsteen's popularity caused the tickets to be sold out within minutes. We look forward to welcoming those with tickets to the event.
admin - Philadelphia
Friday, September 16, 2016

P.S. Anyone with an extra ticket feel free to let me know!!
JEFFREY T LAWLER - Springfield
Friday, September 16, 2016

Quite an impressive resume for a man like Bruce Springsteen. I was quite informed about him!
Anthony Ali - Philadelphia
Saturday, October 1, 2016