Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Bruce Springsteen ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Bruce Springsteen
Category: Arts and Entertainment
Asked by: ss327-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 24 Jul 2002 10:07 PDT
Expires: 23 Aug 2002 10:07 PDT
Question ID: 44602
Before he became a rock star, was Bruce Springsteen a postal worker,
a lifeguard, a house painter or a bartender?
Subject: Re: Bruce Springsteen
Answered By: bethc-ga on 24 Jul 2002 12:36 PDT
Hi ss327-ga,

Interestingly, it was easy to find reference  to the employment
history of Bruce Springsteen’s father, Douglas. Numerous websites
mention that he worked as a factory laborer, prison guard and bus

Among the sources which mention this:
The Life and Times of Bruce Springsteen

There were indications that being a musician may have been Bruce’s
sole profession from a very early age., always a very
comprehensive source, gave the following information:

Springsteen taught himself to play the guitar at age 13. In 1965, he
formed his first band, the Castiles. After graduating high school,
Springsteen enrolled briefly at Ocean County Community College, but
dropped out in order to pursue his love of music. His family moved to
California in 1969, but Springsteen remained in New Jersey.


There was much written about his working class background and how it
influenced his music, as in this excerpt from

“During this time, the first two albums began to sell steadily,
following a heavy schedule of concerts, as word got out to the public
that here was something special. Springsteen wrote directly to his
fans in a language which they understood. Here was a working class
American, writing about his job, his car/bike, his girlfriend and his
hometown. Born To Run came in 1975 and immediately put him into rock's
first division.”

But still no indication of WHAT job.

Bands A-Z: Bruce Springsteen

Then I searched the Google Groups. From a post in, dated May 21, 1999:

“Sure, Bruce himself has said playing music beats working for a
living.  (He ought to know.  Despite singing about the working class,
he's never held any job besides musician in his entire life.)  But
this is still his work.”

(fed through MakeAShorterLink)

But the most compelling evidence I found was a June 15, 2000 column by
Phil Mulshine, Star Ledger (New Jersey) entitled, “Fake Working-Class
Hero Gets Under This American's Skin” In it Mulshine says:

 “I didn't know Springsteen back in the '60s, but many of my friends
did. He was even skinnier and wimpier than the rest of us. And this
stuff about his gritty, blue-collar upbringing is perhaps the biggest
load of manure ever dumped on the American public. Yes, his father was
a blue-collar worker. So was everyone's father. But we kids had lots
of money because we could get summer jobs on the boardwalk and could
buy cars, clothes and anything else we needed. His job, playing guitar
in bar bands, was perhaps the best job a Shore kid could imagine.

“Yet somehow he has created this working-class legend about how he
"paid his dues" in those harsh six years between his high school
graduation and his first major record deal. What a crock. The Beatles
and Rolling Stones were born in England during World War II and grew
up in an era when food and clothing were rationed. Yet they managed to
create the best music in rock history without whining about wearing
secondhand clothes and eating tinned ham.

“But Springsteen -- who gives no indication of ever having worked a
day at a real job -- has packaged himself as the hero of the working

The column is reproduced in its entirety here:
(fed through MakeAShorterLink)

So it would seem that Bruce was born to entertain. I don’t know how
you feel about this, but I think we have plenty of bartenders and
house painters and postal workers. I’m glad that he chose another
career  path.

I hope this has answered your question, ss327-ga. If you should
require any clarification of the above material, please do not
hesitate to ask.



Search criteria:
Searched  on Google and Google Groups
biography   worked OR job OR jobs OR employment OR employed "Bruce
+"Bruce Springsteen" +"worked as"
"Bruce Springsteen" history
Subject: Re: Bruce Springsteen
From: rebeccam-ga on 24 Jul 2002 12:56 PDT
For what it's worth, I was born and raised in Freehold NJ (been in his
childhood home, met him at a party once, blah blah blah... We all have
stories like that.) If he'd worked anywhere in the county, it would be
claimed loudly, and known widely, and I'm not aware of any such
claims. (My high school english teacher, however, is very proud to say
that he failed every assignment she gave him in class, except a 'How
to' report assignment.  He chose "how to play guitar,' and he got an

Subject: Re: Bruce Springsteen
From: gonzodex-ga on 30 Jul 2002 14:10 PDT
In the latest issue of TIME magazine, the cover story's first
paragraph mentions that Bruce tells the interviewer he's only had ONE
job in his life - that of a gardner.


Subject: Re: Bruce Springsteen
From: bethc-ga on 30 Jul 2002 15:01 PDT
Thanks gonzodex-ga,

I wish that article had been around when I was researching the
question. It would have saved me a lot of time to find a quote that
said he had only worked for a few weeks at anything other than being a

Here is the quote:
“Springsteen himself has held exactly one real job. For a few weeks in
1968 when he was 18, he worked as a gardener.”

Bruce Rising, by Josh Tyrangiel

Thanks again—nice work.

Subject: Re: Bruce Springsteen
From: mxl-ga on 02 Aug 2002 06:30 PDT
Rolling Stone's Web site has, along with their Bruce cover story, a
story from RS133, April 26, 1973, that has the same info:
"I did work as a gardener once, but that didn't last too long, even
though I guess it was the only real job I ever had."

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy