Bruce Sprinsgteen Wrote His New Album Using A Guitar Gifted By Fan
Bruce Springsteen live in 2013 - Bruce Springsteen / Youtube
Bruce Springsteen’s new album, Letter To You, had its songs written using an unlikely instrument. Most people would expect the Boss to have high-end or custom gear, but for this record, he opted for an acoustic guitar given by a fan.
He received the gift in one of his Springsteen on Broadway performances. “I said, ‘Geez, you know, thanks,’. And I just took a quick glance at it and it looked like a nice guitar, so I jumped in the car with it,” he said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
Just some time after receiving the guitar, Springsteen was on his way to North Carolina to visit an old friend, George Theiss, who was in his last few days after a long battle with lung cancer. They had been bandmates in Springsteen’s early days in the Castiles. On his way home, Springsteen’s mind was consumed with thoughts of death as he’d already lost E Street members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons. This became a point of inspiration for him in April 2019 when he decided to pick up the guitar and write songs.
“All the songs from the album came out of it. In perhaps less than 10 days. I just wandered around the house in different rooms, and I wrote a song each day. I wrote a song in the bedroom. I wrote a song in our bar. I wrote a song in the living room,” he shared. Springsteen recorded the songs on his iPhone initially, as he didn’t want to demo the tracks unless he was in the studio with the E Street Band.
“When I demo, I start putting things on to see if it works,” the Boss said. “And suddenly, I’m locked into an arrangement. And then the band has to fit themselves into an arrangement. And suddenly, we don’t have an E Street Band album. So I intentionally did not demo anything.”
The band backed Springsteen up for Letter To You just like what they did on early releases. “We finally made it back to the band sensibility where Bruce is comfortable trusting the band again, thinking like a band member again,” said guitarist Steven Van Zandt.
In the album’s press release, Springsteen said, “I love the emotional nature of Letter to You. And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”
Letter To You is Springsteen’s 20th record and will be out on October 23.