Bruce Springsteen

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

Fans of The Boss will be thrilled with this well-written comprehensive bio. Filled with fabulous photos and complete with keep-sake memorabilia, it’s a must-have for lovers of the Born in the U.S.A. rock legend. 5 of 5 Stars.

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine. Pub Date 25 Sep 2018. #BruceSpringsteen #NetGalley
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so schöööön - dieses Buch hat alles, was das Herz der Fans vom Boss höher schlagen lässt: Seine Geschichte, seine Lieder und sagenhaft tolle Fotos. Ein must-have für den wahren Fan.
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This book was published as a children's title but please don't let that stop you adults out there from reading it too!  This is an extremely well informed book about Bruce Springsteen.  Readers will learn about his growing up (a practicing Catholic until he was thirteen, a so-so student and a boy with Little League skills), the complexities of his relationship with his father, his mother's purchase of a guitar for him, his love of music, his success as a musician and songwriter and his many principled positions.  All this, plus loads of photos!  If you are a Springsteen fan, be sure to take a look at this book. You will be glad that you did!

Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto!
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The author wrote an amazing and well researched biography that was enjoyable and informative to read.  I highly recommend this!
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This book by Bruce Springsteen is awesome and it is well written and has so many great things in the book from his beginnings as a child, up to now.  This book has so many illustrations and pictures and I loved how it follows the course of his career. 

Bruce Springsteen has been an icon in the rock and roll industry and he is always is appreciative of his fans. He has been inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, won Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammys, and has been at it for forty years or more with a hit in each decade! He has received the US Medal of Freedom (his nation’s highest civilian award) and the list goes on. There is no one like Bruce Springsteen and it was a joy to read this book and get to know even more about him. I gave this book 5 golden stars!
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Bruce Springsteen: An Illustrated Biography – Meredith Ochs

Summary:
A biography of The Boss, from his formative childhood years to just after the ending of the Obama administration, backed up by some familiar and some new photographs.

Main Characters:
Bruce Springsteen: The icon of modern rock & roll. He has written the soundtrack to countless lives, and is probably the most influential musician alive today.

The E-Street Band: The main characters appear as “plot devices” (no disrespect intended), with their timely insights as to what was going on at a particular time. This journey is Bruce’s, though.

His Fans: He often states “We’re here because you are!”. He is probably more popular internationally than in the US.

Minor Characters:
Too many to mention.
Carl “Tinker” West: His first manager, who used the reaction of the crowd to gauge whether he would take an act on. He jumped at Bruce.

Mike Appel: His next manager, with whom he would have an acrimonious lawsuit, but have a reconciliation of sorts years later.

Patty Scialfa: While hard to think of Bruce’s wife as a minor character, here we do not get to know her as much as we do Bruce, with the closest reveal being how she recognised his depression, having suffered from it herself.

Plot:
Born on September 23, 1949, into the solidly working-class Catholic town of Freeport, New Jersey, Bruce was not much interested in sports growing up, though he played Little League baseball. His environment would greatly influence his life and work. His father worked hard, when he could get it, and times were tough in the Springsteen household, with often not enough to go around. 

However, we have his mother to thank for helping Bruce find his niche, somehow getting the money together to buy his first two guitars, which once he took up would never leave down.

This beautifully illustrated book takes us on a journey, much like one of his songs. We start off in his hometown, as he learns the ropes of being in a band. As he grows up, and home becomes more tense, he cuts and runs at around age 19, ending up in  the seaside town of Asbury Park. Here, he hones his craft, and stands out in this town of musicians, playing with anybody at anytime. He also successfully avoids the draft through claiming concussion from a motorbike accident he had at seventeen.

Springsteen gets a ten-album deal with Colombia, and also a year-long absence from the studio, as he only wants to make the music he wants to.

He survives, somehow, and over the years and despite constantly touring, he produces the likes of “The River”, which was his breakthrough album, then “Born in the USA”. Achievements and awards begin to pile up, so eventually he has to buy a house to store them and his collection of classic American cars.

We see Bruce as he hits his mid Thirties, earning tons of money, and beginning to explore the power of his position. Wary of politics, he refuses to let presidents and other politicos to use his material in their promotions. He begins to espouse a more local, more human connection with politics, and his song-writing deepens to reflect this.

He feels a huge responsibility towards the E Street Band, so it is wrenching for him to call time on the band in 1989, just after “Tunnel of Love”, to focus and re-energise. This decision ultimately leads to what he calls his “lost decade”, although he produces “Human Touch”, “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, and a couple of little Springsteens following his second  marriage, to Patty in 1991.

Reforming in 1999, they make up for lost time by taking the world by storm, touring relentlessly. After 9/11, when a man named Edwin Sutphin saw Bruce in his car, and yelled at him “We need you now!”, Bruce knew what he meant, and this began a third phase of his career. He played innumerable benefit concerts (big and small), reached out to many of those directly affected, which led to “The Rising” and so many other great songs.

He has been inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, as separately has his band, he has received the US Medal of Freedom (his nation’s highest civilian award), won Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammys, and has had a career covering four decades (only artist with a number one record in each of those decades).

I’ve seen him live twice, and his shows are the stuff of legends. Keep ‘em coming, Bruce!

What I Liked:
•	It is an honest read, and excellently researched.
•	The pictures are superb, and some really sad (e.g. of Victoria Clemons).
•	The images are perfectly placed to highlight the changes and environments Bruce operated in, and give real context to his life and times

What I Didn’t Like:
•	Nothing.

Overall:
This is a perfect fan’s book. It covers all the important milestones of the journey, without feeling the need for an “expose” of salacious material. It is about the man who made and makes such fantastic material, and while the book does touch on sensitive subjects such as depression, and even more gently on his first divorce, it remains respectful. This is a super insight into Bruce’s trip, and I thoroughly recommend it.

Acknowledgements:
Thanks to NetGalley and the author for giving me a free copy of this book, in return for an honest and objective review.

Full Disclosure:
I have been an unashamed fan of Bruce since I first heard him, and this book has not changed my view that he is one of the greatest of all time.
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What a man Bruce Springsteen is!
I was born in 1980 and bought up loving him, just as my Mother does. 
I have his Mother's name. 
I love this book as it depicts Bruce's life/career in a style I love. Thank you Meredith.
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Bruce Springsteen: An Illustrated Biography by Meredith Ochs is a free NetGalley ebook that i read in early September.

A biography on 'the Boss' alongside fun, hardworking, colorful photos (usually of Springsteen playing candidly live) and his life story of really hitting his stride musically in the 1970s, record reviews, inspirations, relationships,movie years from the 90s to 2000s, reactions to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, involvement in politics and criminal justice, being awarded the Medal of Freedom, and staging a Broadway play.
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Is it another book about the American blue collar hero, Bruce Springsteen? It’s not your typical story that’s already been told. I reviewed a computer version, but the actual copy promises to be pretty cool. With pictures and removable memorabilia, this is “For You,” Springsteen fans.

Reading about Bruce and his life never gets old. I’ve been a fan for many years. This is a performer that has stayed on track and never lets his fans down. He’s also a genuine person in real life, as is his wife. Yes, we’ve met. This book is about the guy that tells the stories about real life. The stories of the places a lot of us come from. It’s why we relate to him so closely. He’s lived it and so have we. The author did a fine job of capturing that about Bruce. 

Seeing the wonderful history of the man who will turn 70 next year, is truly a treat for your senses. There were some things I’d not read before, along with the usual history. Also, more in depth stories told by a few people who were with him, and still remain friends. 

I’ve yet to find out the one answer to a question I’ve had for 25 years. Bruce told me he named his son, Evan, after a character in a book. I’ve regretted not getting that directly from him ever since. My son, Evan, wonders also. I read Springsteen books hoping to find that out one day. Not that it’s really relevant to anything. A curiosity to what kind of books Springsteen reads. 

This is the kind of biography that actually honors Bruce and his roots. I was glad to read and review it, and enjoyed the photographs. Would make a wonderful gift for us Springsteen fans. It was actually a fun and entertaining read.

Thank you Meredith Ochs, Netgalley, and Quarto Publishing Group

#BruceSpringsteen #Netgalley
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As a massive fan of Bruce Springsteen - I thoroughly enjoyed this book - particularly loved the photos! 

This is a great mix of images and text - giving a concise insight into the life of the The Boss and some of the stories behind the songs - I'd love to have a hard copy of this book on my bookshelf! 

This book would make a fantastic addition to any fans collection and I couldn't think of a better gift for the Springsteen fan in your life!
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I received a netgalley of Bruce Springsteen by Meredith Ochs, in return for an honest review. I am a die-hard Springsteen fan and this book was liek christmas morning. The stories and pictures fed my need for everything Bruce. It was full of details of his illustrious career. I recommend for fans and those who want to read about an accomplished musician.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for the read of Bruce Springsteen An Illustrated Biography by Meredith Ochs.

It was such fun reading this book on “The Boss”. 

The book was well researched, entertaining and not cheesily celebritized.

It gave great insight into his song-writing, how much more I appreciate that now. His family life growing up, wife and children, very respectfully written. 

A wonderful ode to one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Recommended for sure!
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As a long time fan of The Boss, I was excited to read this book and it didn't disappoint. It was rich in trivia and photographs. I felt it to be well researched in terms of events and history.
What I especially enjoyed was that the book was about the man and his music - no "gossipiness'. His personal life was touched upon - growing up, family, wife, children etc. but the story focused on him.
The backgrounds on various of his songs was a good touch and I found that very fascinating. As a non-US citizen, it explained a lot to me about why the song was written and after reading about it, I'll never listen to the song in the same way again. It almost makes the songs richer in value.
On the negative side, it did feel a bit "gappy" between chapters in the beginning.
Also I read an e-version of this book and the format wasn't Kindle, so the format was a bit "clunky" for me personally, but as this book is probably designed best as a hardcover coffee table book that the reader can dip into for their The Boss fix, this is a minor issue.
A great memoir of a legendary songwriter and singer. A must for every true fan.
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