Monday, June 3, 2013

Bruce Springsteen Talks About His Father Wounds

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, rock legend Bruce Springsteen said that his broken relationship with his father lives on in his songs. For example, in the song, "Adam Raised a Cain," the younger Springsteen sings about the father who "walks these empty rooms / looking for something to blame / You inherit the sins / You inherit the flames." The songs were a way of talking to his silent and distant father. Springsteen said,

"My dad was very nonverbal—you couldn't really have a conversation with him. I had to make my peace with that, but I had to have a conversation with him, because I needed to have one. It ain't the best way to go about it, but that was the only way I could, so I did, and eventually he did respond. He might not have liked the songs, but I think he liked that they existed. It meant that he mattered."

The past, though, is anything but past. Bruce Springsteen admitted his yearning for what he calls "Daaaddy!"

"My parents' struggles, it's the subject of my life. It's the thing that eats at me and always will …. Those wounds stay with you, and you turn them into a language and a purpose …. [The musician] T-Bone Burnett said that rock and roll is all about "Daaaddy!" It's one embarrassing scream of "Daaaddy!"

Then gesturing toward the band onstage, he said, "We're repairmen—repairmen with a toolbox. If I repair a little of myself, I'll repair a little of you. That's the job."

by David Remnick, "We Are Alive: Bruce Springsteen at sixty-two," The New Yorker (7-30-12)

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