Bruce Springsteen on Writing "Born to Run"
I wrote “Born to Run” sitting on the edge of my bed in a cottage I’d newly rented at 7 ½ West End Court in West Long Branch, New Jersey. I was in the middle of giving myself a crash tutorial on fifties and sixties rock ‘n’ roll. I had a small table holding a record player at the side of my cot, so I was just one drowsy roll away from dropping the needle onto my favorite album of the moment. I started with the guitar riff. Get yourself a great riff, and you’re on your way. Then I’d chug along chording randomly while I’d mumble, mumble, mumble…then, “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run…” That was all I had. The title “Born to Run” I was sure I’d seen somewhere before. It might have been written in silver metal flake on the hood of a car cruising the Asbury circuit, or I might have seen it somewhere in one of the hot-rod B pictures I’d gorged myself on during the early sixties.
From “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen, 2016; Photo by Art Meripol (@ameripol) shot in Memphis in 1984
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