And he delivers the keynote speech at South By Southwest
Billboard.com reports that Springsteen was the guest speaker at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX and he spent 50 minutes encouraging his musical colleagues and offering insights into his own career, occasionally playing excerpts from his own songs to demonstrate his influences and occasionally playing covers of other artists.
At one point he talked about the modern state of pop music “No one really agrees on anything in pop anymore. You go Kiss, early theater rock proponents expressing the true raging hormones of youth, or — they suck!…You go Bruce Springsteen, natural-born poetic genius off the streets of Monmouth County, hardest-working musician in show business, voice of the common man, future of rock ‘n’ roll, or — he sucks! Get the f–k outta here!”
While he spoke candidly about his early influences in soul music and American folk, he also revealed how important the so-called British invasion was to his early musical development, and he specifically points to The Animals as a big inspiration.
“They were a revelation…the first records of full-blown class consciousness I ever heard,” he explained, playing a bit of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.” After reaching the line “there’s a better life for me and you” he added, “That’s every song I’ve ever written. That’s all of them. I’m not kidding, either. ‘Born to Run.’ “Born in the USA,’ Everything I’ve done for the past 40 years, including all the new ones…That was the first time I felt I heard something cross the radio that mirrored my home life, my childhood.”
Following his keynote speech Springsteen took to the stage in a nearby club to play an intimate show with the E Street Band for competition winners.
The tiny show saw guest appearances from Arcade Fire, the Low Anthem, Tom Morello, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and, recalling his earlier speech, Eric Burden of the Animals who came onstage to play a version of ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’.