Considering that rock legend Bruce Springsteen is famous for his lyrical genius, the very idea of a Springsteen memoir is exciting and intriguing. Would an autobiography match up to the cinematic lyrics found in classics like “Born in the USA”, “The Promised Land” and of course, “Born to Run”?
The simple answer is “yes”. Structured in the form of short chapters that highlight key narratives in Springsteen’s storied life, the singer-songwriter brings us on a amazing journey that connects his family background to his highly successful and acclaimed rock star career.
Even more significant is Springsteen’s revelation that he suffers from depression, a condition inherited from his father. In bringing the truth of his personality disorder to bear, Springsteen provides the flip-side to his fame and fortune and portrays his condition as a price for his talent.
In doing so, Springsteen strips away the veneer of the rock star life and exposes the family man, the leader of the band, the faithful friend albeit with the occasional descent into depression.
Springsteen alludes to these “dark side” episodes in a cryptic manner without going into much detail, describing them in very general terms. Whilst it is understandable (and reasonable) for Springsteen to want to protect his privacy, it does get a little frustrating.
That all said, if you are here for the music with the personal revelations as a bonus, then there’s enough origins of beloved songs here to keep you satisfied. It is always fulfilling to fans when one of their favourite songwriter provides you with fairly intimate details on how a favourite song came about.
In that respect, Born to Run is a definite winner.
… still there’s more …