When he said he was born to run, he meant it. Bruce Springsteen has been creating rock ‘n’ roll for four decades, and he doesn’t show any sign of stopping. In the last few years toured the globe with the reunited E Street Band, updated Pete Seeger‘s music with a bunch of roots musicians, and bounced around the country barnstorming for Obama. His new Working On a Dream comes out this week, and we’re showing a documentary about the making of the album this Saturday night at 11 pm ET. There’s nary a secret in his closet, but we wondered if you knew about these 20 tidbits about the Boss’s life.
1. In the third grade, a nun stuffed Springsteen into a garbage can she kept under her desk, claiming that’s where he “belonged.”
2. Bruce’s family home in Freehold, New Jersey was downwind from a Nestle’s factory. During rainstorms, the singer says he smelled chocolate “all day long.”
3. Higher education wasn’t primary in the singer’s life. He attended Jersey’s Ocean County Community College for just one semester in 1968.
4. Bruce and the E Street Band played an afternoon show at New York’s Sing Sing prison in 1972. The set was full of R&B covers and included Clarence Clemons singing Buddy Miles’s “Them Changes.”
5. Before he played epic shows (without opening acts), Bruce opened for Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Sha-Na-Na, Stevie Wonder, the Beach Boys, Anne Murray and Lou Reed.
6. Violinist Soozie Tyrell isn’t the first fiddler to share the stage with Springsteen. Suki Lahav, wife of engineer/studio-owner Louis Lahav, toured with the E Street Band in 1974 and ’75.
7. After a show in Memphis in 1976, Bruce went to Graceland at 3 a.m., jumped the wall, and ran to the front door, hoping to meet his idol, Elvis Presley. But security guards grabbed him before he could knock on the door. “Is Elvis home?” he asked. The King was in Lake Tahoe.
Watch a playlist of Bruce’s best videos.