Bruce Springsteen made an appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday to plug his new album, High Hopes, chat with the host, perform with his E-Street Band and participate in a spoof that poked fun at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” Controversy. The controversy involves George Washington Bridge lane closures that caused massive traffic gridlock and were allegedly political payback for the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. refusing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.
Springsteen and Fallon both dressed in Bruce’s signature “Born in the USA”-era outfit -- complete with bandana, jeans and cut-off shirt -- and performed a spoof of "Born to Run," with a dash of “Jungleland” at the end, with the lyrics changed to reflect the "Bridgegate" controversy.
The lyrics to “Gov. Christie Traffic Jam” included the lines, “The highway’s jammed with pissed off drivers with no place to go and the press conference went on and on. It was longer than one of my own damn shows. Some day, governor, I don’t know when, this will all end, but ‘til then, you’re killing the working man who’s stuck in the Governor Chris Christie Fort Lee, New Jersey traffic jam.”
During the interview portion of his appearance, Springsteen revealed that he never wanted to be the lead singer of a band when he was a young teen developing his love of music -- but he did know for sure that he wanted to be part of the entire group experience.
Springsteen told Fallon, “I didn't want to be the lead singer. Never wanted to be the guy in front.” Springsteen said he would watch the rhythm guitar player and think to himself, “If I really worked hard, I could be that guy...”
The Boss continued, “I...just wanted to be a part of it. All I wanted to be was somehow a part of this thing that was setting my imagination on fire.” Springsteen said that personal revelation occurred in the summer of 1964.
High Hopes is Springsteen's 18th studio effort. He describes new the 12-track album as “a lot of songs [that were] looking for homes.”
Springsteen says Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who filled in for the E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt during the group's Australian 2013 tour, was key to the album's development. The Boss says Morello “suggested ‘High Hopes’ from a B-side we'd done a long time ago. And something happened when we played it and we cut in in Sydney, Australia, along with another song off the record. And suddenly with his infusion, and then a group of songs I had been wanting to release, you know, a record turns out.”
Other tidbits from Springsteen’s interview on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
-- He never does any vocal exercises before a show. Instead, he likes to get to the venue early for the sound check and get his voice in shape by performing a few songs for the fans who show up early.
-- The Boss is well-known for marathon concerts -- he performed a four-hour concert last year in Helsinki -- but he told Fallon it’s not the length of a concert that matters. “There’s no awards for duration," Springsteen said. "The greatest, some of the greatest, greatest rock performances have been ten minutes long. Three minutes long...Jackie Wilson played for 20 minutes. It’s not the time in your life, it's the life in your time.”
Bruce and the E-Street Band performed the new album's title track as well as a second tune, "Heaven's Wall."
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