Why Bruce Springsteen Once Called Bob Dylan the ‘Father of My Country’

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In the 1970s, Bruce Springsteen first appeared on the rock and roll scene. The vocalist from New Jersey had a distinctive style that blended several elements of early rock music into a brand-new sound that merged an energizing voice with distinctive instrumentation. He was influenced as a young musician by several well-known rock performers of the 1960s, including The Beatles and Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan was once referred to by Bruce Springsteen as the “father of my country,” demonstrating the significance Dylan holds in Springsteen’s eyes.

Bruce Springsteen believed Bob Dylan showed him the truth about where he was from

Bob Dylan was born in Minnesota, yet his music connected to Americans from working-class homes in working communities because it possessed a universal reality. The working-class upbringing Springsteen received in New Jersey is heavily reflected in his songs. Although Dylan and Springsteen are from different towns, they both have a similar tenacious spirit that appeals to a wide audience.

Dylan was the first musician to present Springsteen with a “truthful” view of his home nation, according to Springsteen, who referred to him as the “father of my country” in his autobiography Born to Run.

Bruce said, “Bob Dylan is the father of my country, Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home were not only great records, but they were the first time I can remember being exposed to a truthful vision of the place I lived”. 

Springsteen recalled hearing Dylan for the first time

Bruce Springsteen had the privilege of introducing Bob Dylan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The performer of “Thunder Road” mentioned Dylan’s song “Like a Rolling Stone” as the first song he ever heard throughout his speech. He said that his mother didn’t understand, but he was aware that this was the “toughest voice” he had ever heard.

He explained, “The first time I heard Bob Dylan, I was in the car with my mother listening to WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’.” “And my mother, who was – she was no stiff with rock and roll, she liked the music, she listened – she sat there for a minute, she looked at me, and she said, ‘That guy can’t sing.’ But I knew she was wrong. I sat there, I didn’t say nothin’, but I knew that I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard.”

He purchased Highway 61 and said that it was all he “played for weeks.” It talked to him when he was young and gave him the impression that he was wise beyond his fifteen years.

Bruce said, “I looked at the cover, with Bob, with that satin blue jacket and the Triumph Motorcycle shirt. And when I was a kid, Bob’s voice somehow – it thrilled and scared me. It made me feel kind of irresponsibly innocent. And it still does. But it reached down and touched what little worldliness I think a 15-year-old kid, in high school, in New Jersey, had in him at the time.”

Dylan had influence over ‘Born to Run’

The third and maybe most well-known album by Bruce Springsteen is titled Born to Run. Despite not being a No. 1 album, it has left a lasting impression because to songs like “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road,” which have become classics. Springsteen cited Duane Eddy, Roy Orbison, and Dylan as the album’s primary influences in a 2018 interview with BBC.

Bruce said, “So, those are the three things that kind of found their way — and inspector records — so, those are the three things that really found their way into Born to Run because I was never really much of a revolutionary musician. But I was an alchemist. I put a lot of things together along with stuff I pulled up out of myself.”


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