To help commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s magnum opus Born To Run, Rolling Stone has posted a previously unpublished excerpt from an interview conducted back in 2005 with the man himself. The reflective piece finds Springsteen mixing moments of intense introspection about who he was as a struggling 25 and 26 year-old artist with thoughts and insights about the culture at large during that dynamic period and how it affected his music. For instance:

“The songs were written immediately after the Vietnam War and you forget, everybody felt like that then. It didn’t matter how old you were, everybody experienced a radical change in the image they had of their country and of themselves. You were going to be a different type of American than the generation that immediately preceded you. A radically different type, so that line was just recognizing that fact. A lot of my heroes influenced that album. But I realized that I was not them. I was someone else; I was not them. I embraced what made us singular, individual. It wasn’t just a mishmash of previous styles. There was a lot of stuff we loved in it from the music we loved, but there was something else too — and that something else was quite a sense of dread and uncertainty about the future and who you were, where you were going, where the whole country was going. That found its way into the record.”

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Springsteen also touches on the now-iconic 1975 gig at the Hammersmith Odeon in London that was later included as part of 30th anniversary expanded edition of the album. As he remembers, “We just had an amazing set list. ’Born To Run’ came up in the middle of the set! It was just like, your new song. And I remember that was hard to play because it was a studio production and I never felt like we had a strong enough version of it for it to be a closer for the first year or two.”

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