|Springsteen played this for the first time on
May 9, 1974 when he opened for Bonnie Raitt at Harvard Square. Rock
critic Jon Landau was at the show and wrote in Boston's Real
Paper: "I saw rock and roll's future - and its name is Bruce
Springsteen." Landau eventually became Springsteen's manager.
|Allan Clarke from The Hollies released a cover
version a year before Springsteen released his.
|This was the first song Springsteen wrote for
a studio production, rather than a live performance. After recording
4 versions (one with a female chorus) at the low-budget studio where
he recorded his first 2 albums, he moved to a higher end studio to
finish it, refusing to release it until it was just right.
|This was a last minute addition to his 2001
Live In New York City album. Springsteen felt this was the
missing ingredient on the CD, but the liner notes were already
printed. The song had to be included as a hidden bonus track at the
end of the first disc.
|In the liner notes to his Greatest Hits
album, Springsteen wrote: "My shot at the title. A 24 yr. old kid
aimin' at 'The greatest rock 'n roll record ever.'"
|There was a movement to make this the official
state song of New Jersey.
|Springsteen chose this as the album title
after rejecting several other names, including War And Roses, The
Hungry and The Hunted, American Summer, and Sometimes At Night.
|"Highway 9" refers to Route 9 in New Jersey,
which went through Springsteen's hometown of Freehold. Springsteen
sang about another Jersey road, "Route 88," in "Spirit In The Night."
|Bruce performed a slowed-down version on his
1988 tour, changing the lyrics so the couple in the song were now
married. This is the version that charted in England.
|This is the only Springsteen track that
drummer Ernest "Boom" Carter played on. He left to play in a Jazz
band with E Street piano player David Sancious after spending 9
months with Bruce.
|This came at the crossroads of Springsteen's
career. His first 2 albums sold poorly, and Columbia Records might
have dropped him if he did not produce a hit.
|This became an educational tool when it was
used on Sesame Street as "Born To Add."
|The amusement park Springsteen sings about in
the line "Beyond The Palace, hemi-powered drones scream down the
boulevard" is listed in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
|In the line, "hemi-powered drones scream down
the boulevard," a "hemi" is the 426 Hemi engine made famous by
Chrysler musclecars. "Drones" in this context are automatons, the
young men driving their cars up and down the strip without a thought
to the future. (thanks, Brian - Ann Arbor, MI)
|Bruce must have been born to run, because he
ran and jumped over the walls of Graceland to meet Elvis in 1976.
This was at the height of his career, and when he got to the door,
the butler didn't believe that he was a big rock star. The butler
informed him that Elvis was in Lake Tahoe. (thanks, Ashley -
Glenolden , PA)