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50 Facts on The Boss


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21 For years, Bruce reserved the two front-row center seats at every concert for a woman from New Jersey who was one of his most devoted fans. (If she didn't show, they were given away at the last minute.)

22 When he played Denver in 1980, he went to the movies on his day off, where he ran into a couple of fans who invited him home. He actually went with them and met their parents.

23 In 1982, Springsteen made more than 40 unscheduled appearances with various bar bands in New Jersey, playing songs that included "Be Bop a Lula," "Proud Mary," "Route 66," "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Mony Mony."

24 When he sent his manager a tape of an early, acoustic version of "Born in the U.S.A.," he added a note that said, "The song is in very rough shape, might have potential."

25 He got the title "Born in the U.S.A." from a movie script given to him by director Paul Schrader, who wanted Springsteen to contribute a song to the film.

26 To make up for "purloining" (his phrase) the title, Springsteen wrote a new song for Schrader. He called it "Just Around the Corner to the Light of Day," which the director shortened to "Light of Day" because the original title never would have fit on a marquee.

27 His current and longtime manager is former rock critic Jon Landau, whose only other client is country hottie Shania Twain.

28 Bruce wrote the breakthrough single "Dancing in the Dark" the night after a testy exchange in which Landau told Springsteen he didn't think Born in the U.S.A. contained an obvious first single.

29 The first video to be released from one of his songs, "Atlantic City," did not include any footage of Springsteen. The first video [released to support one of his singles] in which he does appear, "Dancing in the Dark," was directed by Brian De Palma and costars (as the fan who's pulled onstage to dance with Bruce) a young Courteney Cox.

30 His father, the subject of many of Bruce's songs and onstage monologues, worked a variety of jobs, including factory worker, prison guard and bus driver. Douglas "Dutch"Springsteen died in 1998.

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