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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clip (8 of 8)

Monday, November 9: 2:21 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
TEAC Four Track Cassette Recorder from the Rock Hall's Springsteen Exhibit (photo: Rock Hall/Design

Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen.

This is the last audio interview clip in the Springsteen series from the Rock Hall’s exhibit From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen (open through Summer 2010).

Bruce Springsteen performs tomorrow night at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans arena. Click here for details.

In this segment of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about Nebraska, the solo acoustic album he released in 1982. In 1980, prior to embarking on The River tour, Bruce was basically broke. Despite all of his success, legal fees, taxes and the cost of studio time had taken their toll. So, in early 1982, he decided to try recording in a more low-tech way in an effort to save money. He asked his guitar tech, Mike Batlan, to purchase a four-track Teac cassette recorder. They set it up in Bruce’s bedroom. Many of the songs were cut in only one day, several of them in only one take. His intention was to create demos and cut them later with the full band. “I went into the studio,” Bruce said, “brought in the band, re-recorded, re-mixed and succeeded in making the whole ...


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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clip (7 of 8)

Tuesday, September 29: 4:54 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Bruce Springsteen's personal song book

Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen.

This is the seventh clip in a series of eight interview audio clips with Springsteen.

In this section of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about his songwriting process. He describes songwriting as a “meditation,” adding that “it works best when you go into a light, trance-like situation.” Later in the interview, he calls it a “magic act”: “You literally pull something from thin air.” He adds that when he started out, his success-to-failure ratio was “five percent success to 95 percent failure.”

A significant portion of the Bruce exhibit at the Hall of Fame focuses on his songwriting. The first floor of the exhibit includes a songwriting notebook from his early band Steel Mill, as well as numerous lyric manuscripts from his first three albums. The second floor of the exhibit features one entire wall of lyric manuscripts, including his notebooks for Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, Born in the U.S.A. and The Rising. It also features a table and chair. According to Bruce, he wrote many of his most famous songs while sitting at that table, which was in his house in New Jersey.

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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clip (6 of 8)

Thursday, September 17: 5 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Springsteen's 1960 Corvette is on display at the Rock Hall

Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen

This is the sixth clip in a series of eight interview audio clips with Springsteen that we will post over the next few weeks.

In this segment of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about the making of Born to Run. In short, when he had finished the album, he was not really happy with the results. “There was a sound I heard in my head that was not reproduceable,” he told me. By the time of the album’s 30th anniversary, however, Bruce had come around and appreciated the greatness of the album.

One section of the Rock Hall’s exhibit is devoted to Born to Run. It includes some of Bruce’s early notes about the album, which he refers to as “New Album #3.”  He considered several other titles for the album, including Between Flesh. . .And Fantasy, A Love So Fine, Beyond the Palace, Of Love + Defiance and Gimme Action. His early track listing for the album included such titles as “Lonely Night at the Beach,” “Shootout in Chinatown,” “Born to Win” and “Thunderhill.” The exhibit also contains numerous handwritten drafts of the lyrics to “Born to Run,” as well ...


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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clip (5 of 8)

Thursday, September 10: 5:07 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Springsteen's Fender Esquire guitar

Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen

This is the fifth clip in a series of eight interview audio clips with Springsteen that we will post over the next several weeks.

In this portion of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about his most famous guitar, his Fender Esquire. Bruce purchased the guitar – which is a hybrid of a Fender Esquire neck and a Fender Telecaster body — shortly after he signed with Columbia Records in 1972. The became iconic after it was featured on the cover of Born to Run and, in recent years, fans would applaud when Springsteen put it on and played it in concert. The guitar was most recently played at the Super Bowl earlier this year. Much to the surprise of virtually everyone in his camp and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce himself thought the guitar should be included in our exhibit. One morning when I came into work, I got an e-mail from Toby Scott, Bruce’s recording engineer and the person in the Springsteen organization who was working to help me create the exhibit. “You’re not going to believe this, and we can’t believe it,” Toby wrote, “but ...


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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clip (4 of 8)

Thursday, September 3: 5:08 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Bruce Springsteen exhibit now open at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen

This is the fourth clip in a series of eight interview audio clips with Springsteen that we will post over the next several weeks.

In this portion of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about the recording session he did when he was auditioning for Columbia Records. The session took place on May 2, 1972. The “John” who Bruce refers to is the legendary A&R man John Hammond, who oversaw the session and, ultimately, signed Bruce to Columbia. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Hammond also signed Bob Dylan and played a major role in launching the careers of Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Stevie Ray Vaughan and countless others. The Springsteen exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum includes the original tapes and tape boxes from the audition session. In addition, a listening station in the exhibit enables visitors to listen to eight of the songs Bruce recorded that day.

Click here to listen to this clip of the Springsteen interview.

Check back next week for interview clip number five where Bruce Springsteen talks about his famed Fender Esquire guitar, which is currently on display at ...


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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clips (2,3 of 8)

Thursday, August 27: 5:38 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Castiles soap box from the Springsteen exhibit. Photo: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum/ Design

Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen

This is the second and third clip in a series of eight interview audio clips with Springsteen that we will post over the next several weeks.

In this portion of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about his first recording session with his band the Castiles. The group, which Bruce joined when he was a 14-year-old sophomore at Freehold High School and which was named after a brand of soap, went into a studio to record two songs, “That’s What You Get” and “Baby I.” Both songs were written by Bruce and George Theiss. The single was never released, but an acetate of it is in the Springsteen exhibit at the Rock Hall.

Click here to listen to Springsteen talk about recording with the Castiles.

The Upstage Club was a popular musicians’ hangout in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen played there frequently, and his band Child came together at the club. As Bruce explains in this section of my interview, the club stayed open until five a.m., and musicians would show up there after playing gigs at other clubs and then jam until the early-morning hours. One of the more ...


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Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Interview Clip (1 of 8)

Friday, August 21: 12 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke

Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen
This is the first in a series of eight interview audio clips with Springsteen that we will post over the next several weeks.  Be sure to check back here weekly to listen to the newest clip.

In March, prior to the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s new exhibit, From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen, I had the good fortune to go to New Jersey to interview Bruce. When I arrived at his house, Bruce was in a small studio room off the kitchen, wailing away on his guitar. His recording engineer, Toby Scott, was behind the board. Toby had played a major role in putting the exhibit together, serving as my main point person in the Springsteen camp to help me select the many artifacts for the exhibit. They finished laying down the track, and Bruce and I sat down in his living room to do the interview. He told me stories about several of the items in the exhibit. Everything went very smoothly, with one exception: Bruce’s rather large cat kept running into the room ...


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Hitsville USA

Tuesday, August 3: 12:10 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Rock Hall inductee Dennis Edwards of the Temptations (right) with Director of Education Jason Hanley

Last week at the Rock Hall the buzz was all about Hitsville USA.  On Wednesday the Education Department featured a Rock and Roll Night School program on Motown, and on Friday we welcomed Inductee Dennis Edwards of the Temptations for an afternoon Hall of Fame Series event.  And don’t forget that this week is your final chance to see the excellent exhibit MOTOWN: The Sound of Young America Turns 50.

This month’s Rock and Roll Night School, our second on the music of Motown, focused on the years 1964 to 1967, when the label was hitting its stride, cranking out hit after hit, and going head to head with the sounds of the British invasion.  Several factors lead to Motown’s success during this period.  One was Berry Gordy’s vision and business smarts.  By owning the recording, publishing, marketing, distribution, and management he was able to connect every part of the music business and control the sound and image that became the Motown brand.  Another key development was connecting a team of songwriters to a specific musical group.  In the case of Holland-Dozier-Holland this meant teaming with the Supremes and the Four Tops, and the result was ...


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