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Occupy E Street
Bruce and the gang have just unleashed what is their angriest and most politicised record yet, a scathing attack on the railroading of the American Dream by political and corporate fat cats. Stuart Clark journeys to Paris to meet The Boss who also waxes lyrical about Obama, Catholicism, Joe Strummer, Dylan, being a hopeless music fan and why it’ll take four people to replace Clarence Clemons
Stuart Clark, 20 Mar 2012
If he gets around to completing it, what would the title be?
“The Handsomest Man In Showbusiness,” he chuckles. “My Story According To Me. I Believe… I may call it that.”
Along with its political polemicising Wrecking Ball is awash with religious references and the coming to terms with a childhood where the local Parish Priest exerted almost as much authority as his parents.
“You get kind of brainwashed as a child with Catholicism,” he grimaces. “It’s like that Al Pacino quote (from The Godfather III) – ‘I keep trying to get out, but they keep pulling me back!’ Once you’re Catholic, you’re always a Catholic. You get involved in these things in your very, very formative years. I took religious education for the first eight years of school. I lived next to a church, a convent, a rectory and a Catholic school. I saw every wedding, every funeral, every mass. Life was filled with the smell of incense and of priests and nuns coming and going. It’s given me a very active sense of spiritual life and made it difficult sexually. But that’s alright!”
While the magic ebbs from some rock ‘n’ rollers as they get older, there’s little difference apart from a grey flecks between the Bruce sat before us today and the cocksure 23-year-old who announced his arrival in 1973 with Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ. In fact, he arguably sounds better now than he did then.
“For some reason when I got around 40, I was able to sing high all of a sudden,” he laughs. “I’m not sure why. I used to have a harder time when I was younger. I have a little bit of a falsetto now that I didn’t have. Look at Tony Bennett – he’s 85 and he’s still singing. He still sings great. So I think you need a little bit of luck, and then you have to have something you’re dying to sing about.”
To demonstrate his new-found abilities he treats us, like someone else recently, to a snatch of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together.’
“I’m not as good as Obama,” he admits. “Did you see that? He’s better than me!”