Wednesday 18 October 2017

Terence Blacker: There’s more to Bruce’s epic gigs than value for money... it’s about the man’s own fractured psyche

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen

AT first glance, the news is enough to bring on a bout of depression. Bruce Springsteen, so rugged and manly, so reassuringly uncomplicated, has joined the ever-swelling ranks of celebrity depressives. Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax, Monty Don, Ben Stiller – and now The Boss: a BBC4 documentary exploring his secret, vulnerable side can only be a matter of time.

Springsteen, though, has never been a conventional celebrity, and there is more to these apparent confessions than the usual mock humility which is so often in evidence when the famous elect to share their pain.

Talking to David Remnick, who has written a blockbusting 15,000-word profile in the latest New Yorker, Springsteen has revealed that he has been in therapy since 1982, having experienced throughout his adult life feelings of self-loathing and isolation, fears of mental instability and, above all, a sense of disconnection from his father, who died in 1998.

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