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New Documentary Features Bruce Springsteen Discussing ‘Wrecking Ball’

Bruce Springsteen
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Back in February, Bruce Springsteen met with the European press in Paris to talk about his new album, ‘Wrecking Ball,’ which had yet to be released. Director Thom Zimny, who has worked with Springsteen on his videos and concert DVDs, has taken highlights from that press conference and made a 22-minute documentary, ”Wrecking Ball:’ A Conversation with Bruce Springsteen,’ complete with several songs from the album and other video footage. The film premiered yesterday on CNN’s website.

The film shows Springsteen discussing how the themes on ‘Wrecking Ball’ are an extension of what he saw in his own house as a boy. “I think our politics come out of psychology, and psychology, of course, comes out of your formative years” he says as ‘Death to My Hometown‘ plays in the background. “I grew up in a house where my mother was the primary breadwinner and my father struggled to find work…[It] created a crisis of masculinity. The lack of work creates a loss of self. Work creates a sense of self.”

Those images, he says, have served as a foundation for his songwriting since the beginning of his career and provided a springboard for his growth as an artist. “As I got older, I looked towards not just the psychological reasons in our house, but the social forces that played upon our home and made life more difficult. My work has always been about judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream — how far that is at any given moment.”

The songs on ‘Wrecking Ball’ tell the stories of people who have been affected by the economic downturn of the past few years. The opening track and first single, ‘We Take Care of Our Own,’ lays out the theme bare. “There’s the question asked, ‘Do we take care of our own?,’ he tells a reporter. “And then there are scenarios where you meet the characters who have been impacted by the failure of those ideas and values….and then at the end, I’ve got to find some way to mend their stories together — and not necessarily to answer the question that I asked, but to move the question forward.”

Springsteen is currently on tour in Europe. His concert Sunday night (June 17) in Madrid clocked in at three hours and 45 minutes without a break. The show broke the record for his longest-ever show in history, which previously the three-hour and 42-minute marathon at the Nassau Coliseum on December 31, 1980.

Watch ”Wrecking Ball:’ A Conversation with Bruce Springsteen’

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