Bruce Springsteen's Biographer on the Boss' Ten Most Pivotal Moments
1974: Music journalist John Landau writes in his review of a Springsteen show: "I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time." Flattery gets you everywhere, as Landau later became Springsteen's manager and producer.
Burger's take: "Springsteen didn't like the review. Columbia Records took it and ran with it. He thought it was a lot of hype, but the article had a big effect and started the important relationship between Springsteen and Landau."
1975: Fame first rears its ugly/beautiful head as Born to Run is released.
Burger's take: "Three important things happened in August of 1975. Born to Run came out. He's on the cover of Time and Newsweek the very same week, and he does a ten-show stand at New York's Bottom Line club with all the critics attending. Those three things made him a star."
1984: Born in the USA makes Springsteen a megastar. Ronald Reagan and Chrysler begged to use the song in the products they were selling, unaware the lyrics protested the way the U.S. used up and spit out Vietnam war vets.
Burger's take: "Before that album , Nebraska was an important statement that he wasn't going to just follow a path a star is supposed to take, and he put out this home recording. Born in the USA, though, was a phenomenon. It sold 15 million albums very quickly and made him a superstar."
1988: Springsteen goes from music magazines to publications at the supermarket checkout line as his divorce with actress Julianne Phillips and affair with backup singer Patti Scialfa becomes tabloid fodder. The relationship has outlasted most of the publications, as Springsteen and Scialfa are still married and working together today.
Burger's take: "The first marriage probably turned out to be a footnote in his life. I think he kind of laughed off the tabloid stuff. The important thing of this was his finally learning how to have a personal relationship in marrying her and having kids together."