Another way of looking at Bruce Springsteen

Peter Ames Carlin and Eric Meola, who shot the photo above, will be at Barnes and Noble (105 Fifth Ave.) on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. to discuss their new Springsteen books.

When Peter Ames Carlin learned that Bruce Springsteen was willing to sit down with him for the Boss biography that he was writing, the author had to keep himself in check. Yes, this was the first time that Springsteen would be cooperating with a biographer in 25 years, and yes, this was the man who had helped inform his world vision, but Carlin had a warts-and-all book to write.

“The fan boy in me had been locked in a cage long before I got to meet Bruce,” says the author. “When I met him, it was super-intense, but for me, the thing that mattered at that point was that I was working on this book and this could conceivably be the difference between it being an extraordinary book and being another book about Bruce Springsteen.”

The book, simply titled “Bruce” does arguably achieve the distinction that he was hoping for. Through intimate interviews with family members and band members past and present, Carlin unearths previously unpublished anecdotes about his subject’s childhood (as a little kid, Springsteen kept the same nocturnal rock star hours he does now), about his early rocking years (one of Springsteen’s bands honored a commitment at a small New Jersey club rather than accepting an invitation to play Woodstock in 1969) and his family struggles with mental illness.

“A big part of how this book advances the story is being very up front about how his dad was manic depressive; he had a serious untreated mental illness for his entire adult life,” says Carlin. “We were talking later about depression or something and I said to him, ‘Bruce, you said something to me that made me wonder, and it seemed like you were telling me that you take antidepressants. Am I correct?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’ And I said, ‘How would you feel about me putting that in the book?’ and he was silent for a second and then he said, ‘Yeah, that’s OK.’”

The man that emerges from the 474 pages of “Bruce” is alternately a controlling boyfriend, a driven bandleader, a junk food junkie and an artist who is constantly challenging himself.

“He works really hard at being a good man and doesn’t always live up to his own expectations of himself,” says Carlin. “It felt very important to me to report stories I had heard about him being a dick. And I watched him have a temper tantrum on stage, at a soundcheck, furious at a guy who wasn’t even at work yet.”

Even though Carlin unveils these imperfections and his inner fan boy is securely locked up throughout the narrative, he says his respect for Springsteen’s artistic vision is unwavering.  

“He’s so smart, so sensitive and so unafraid to dive into the darkness and mourn the horrors of the world, but also maintains that belief in possibility,” he says.

Carlin was not the only one who learned a lot about Bruce Springsteen during this three-year writing process.

“He told me later, after he read the book, that part of what he valued about it was that he was reminded of how special the people in his life were,” says Carlin.

Keep pushin’ ’til it’s understood
Photographer Eric Meola, best known for capturing Springsteen and late E Street Band sax legend Clarence Clemons on the iconic cover of “Born to Run,” has also recently released a new book on the Boss.

The book, “Streets of Fire: Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977-1979” is another rare glimpse of an artist who is constantly evolving. Many of the shots were taken at the sparsely decorated farmhouse Springsteen rented after “Born to Run” made him a star. The shots almost look like demo versions of the cover of “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” which came out in 1978.

“Every time we would get together, we would end up doing something very different from the time before,” says Meola. “He would stand in attic alcoves with light coming in and creating beautiful shadows and I started to realize that the emptiness of the house reflected a lot of the loneliness and despair that was going on in the music.” 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.