Bruce Springsteen On Growing Old

"You can't be afraid of getting old"

Bruce Springsteen has reflected on growing old, ahead of ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ gaining a re-issue.

Bruce Springsteen burst out of New Jersey with his wildly energetic album ‘Born To Run’. An enormous success, it took the singer three years to follow up the success after becoming bogged down in legal wrangles.

Released in 1978, ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ sported a photo of Bruce Springsteen on its cover. But instead of a youthful rocker the singer appears distant, in a room cluttered with objects.

Reflecting on the shoot, Bruce Springsteen told The Guardian that the room belonged to New Jersey photographer Frank Stefanko who took the shot.

“He was a guy who’d worked in a meat-packing plant in south Jersey,” Springsteen said. “He got the 13-year-old kid from next door to hold a light. He borrowed a camera. I don’t know if he even had a camera!”

“But when I saw the picture I said, ‘That’s the guy in the songs.’ I wanted the part of me that’s still that guy to be on the cover. Frank stripped away all your celebrity and left you with your essence. That’s what that record was about.”

For many fans, ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ is the essence of Bruce Springsteen. The energetic characters of ‘Born To Run’ are replaced by older, more world weary figures who are trapped in small town life.

Yet still a certain humanity pervades the album. Speaking to The Guardian, the singer explained how growing old has benefited his work. “I was never a visionary like Dylan, I wasn’t a revolutionary, but I had the idea of a long arc: where you could take the job that I did and create this long emotional arc that found its own kind of richness,” he said.

“Thirty five years staying connected to that idea. That’s why I think the band continues to improve. You can’t be afraid of getting old. Old is good, if you’re gathering in life. Our band is good at understanding that equation.”

‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ is set to be re-issued on November 15th.

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