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“Born in New Jersey” : A Program and Books on Bruce Springsteen


“Born in New Jersey” : A Program and Books on Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is a singer, songwriter, and performer known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered on his native New Jersey, and  narrative songs about working class American life. During a career that has spanned six decades and seen the release of 21 studio albums, Springsteen has become known for his poetic, socially conscious lyrics and energetic stage performances. Nicknamed “The Boss”, he was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.  On March 21st, Springsteen received the National Medal of Arts at the White House for his contributions to American music and culture.

On the evening of Monday April 3 at 7pm, we present the program “Bruce Springsteen: Born in New Jersey”.

In this illustrated slide presentation that includes audio recordings, you will travel with Springsteen from his early days in Freehold, New Jersey, to his rise on the world stage as a superstar rock hero. Music historian Vincent Bruno’s focus will be on songs from his most commercially successful period from the ’70s into the ’80s. From his “wall of sound” influence on “Born to Run,” to the lost working-class man facing a spiritual crisis in “Born in the USA,” and including songs written by Springsteen and performed by other artists, Bruno will examine the amazing legacy of this award-winning and best-selling music artist. 

Here are some books and DVDs on the life and works of this legendary rock star that are available to borrow with your library card. (Descriptions are taken from the publishers)

born to run

Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen

In his memoir, Springsteen describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

bruce peter ames carlin

Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin

With unfettered access to the artist, his family, and band members-including Clarence Clemons in his last major interview- Carlin presents an intimate and vivid portrait of a rock icon. For more than four decades, Springsteen has reflected the heart and soul of America. Built from years of research and unparalleled access to its subject and his inner circle, Bruce presents the most revealing account yet of a man laden with family tragedy, a tremendous dedication to his artistry, and an all-consuming passion for fame and influence.

bruce springsteen in his own words

Bruce Springsteen In His Own Words (DVD)

This DVD contains more than 90 minutes of rare interview material with Springsteen filmed at various times across his incredible career to date and during which, while discussing all manner of topics, the man never becomes less than an enchanting and compelling subject.

bruce live in the heartland

Bruce Springsteen : Live In The Heartland by Janet Macoska

From the early beginnings in 1974 to the seminal Born in the USA – one of the best-selling albums of all time – to the 2016 River Tour, the highest grossing tour of the year, Springsteen has a truly timeless appeal, captured here by lauded rock photographer, Janet Macoska. Macoska charts Springsteen through the ages. Through her lens we witness his enduring energy on the stage, from 1974 to 2016. Here is Springsteen at his finest: a down-to-earth superstar, whose powerful performances stand the test of time.

long walk home

Long Walk Home : Reflections On Bruce Springsteen

This unique collection features reflections from a diverse array of writers who explain what Springsteen means to them and describe how they have been moved, shaped, and challenged by his music. Contributors include novelists like Richard Russo, rock critics like Greil Marcus and Gillian Gaar, and other noted Springsteen scholars and fans such as A. O. Scott, Peter Ames Carlin, and Paul Muldoon. They reveal how Springsteen’s albums served as the soundtrack to their lives while also exploring the meaning of his music and the lessons it offers its listeners.  These essays examine the big questions at the heart of Springsteen’s music, demonstrating the ways his songs have resonated for millions of listeners for nearly five decades.

promise making of darkness on the edge of town

The Promise : The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town (DVD)

This documentary film combines never-before-seen footage of Springsteen & the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978–including home rehearsals and studio sessions–with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former-manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record.

racing in the street

Racing In The Street : The Bruce Springsteen Reader edited by June Skinner Sawyers 

This is the first comprehensive collection of writings about Springsteen, featuring the most insightful, revealing, famous, and infamous articles, interviews, reviews, and other writings. This nostalgic journey through the career of a rock-‘n’-roll legend chronicles every album and each stage of Springsteen’s career. It’s all here–Dave Marsh’s Rolling Stone review of Springsteen’s ten sold-out Bottom Line shows in 1975 in New York City, Jay Cocks’s and Maureen Orth’s dueling Time and Newsweek cover stories, George Will’s gross misinterpretation of Springsteen’s message on his Born in the USA tour, and Will Percy’s 1999 interview for Double Take, plus much, much more. 


Renegades : Born In The USA : Dreams, Myths, Music by Bruce Springsteen & Barack Obama

Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly produced expansion of their groundbreaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material.

shades of springsteen

Shades Of Springsteen : Politics, Love, Sports, And Masculinity by John Massaro

SUNY Distinguished Teacher Professor of Politics, Massaro, draws upon his years of research in preparing a college level course on Springsteen. He documents a truly mutual connection linking two related stories: Springsteen’s and his own. That connection-shades of Springsteen, if you will-opened Massaro not only to Springsteen but also to a wider enriching world. Massaro fleshes out the connection by focusing on what Springsteen’s lyrics can tell us about music, politics, love, sports, and masculinity. In this unique and far-ranging book, Massaro artfully and convincingly connects Springsteen’s oeuvre to his own life but also to the lives of a diverse collection of other intriguing characters, fictional and real, including Richard Nixon, Alexander Hamilton, George Carlin, The Great Gatsby, Caravaggio, Mao Tse-tung, Carl Jung, J.Edgar Hoover, Mohamed Atta, J.D. Salinger and Holden Caulfield.

Spotify users can also enjoy our playlist of Bruce Springsteen songs about New Jersey:

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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