Springsteen Recalls Battles With Suicidal Thoughts

Talks about depression in 'New Yorker' feature
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2012 2:40 PM CDT
Bruce Springsteen performs at a concert in the City Hall Square in Oslo, Norway, Sunday evening July 22, 2012.   (AP Photo / Vegard Groett, NTB scanpix, POOL)

(Newser) – In the midst of a nearly-16,000-word New Yorker feature on Bruce Springsteen at 62 comes this tidbit: In the 1980s, the rocker was battling serious depression. When he drove across the country, then straight back, in 1982 while working on Nebraska, "He was feeling suicidal," Springsteen's friend and biographer says. "The depression wasn’t shocking, per se. He was on a rocket ride, from nothing to something, and now you are getting your ass kissed day and night. You might start to have some inner conflicts about your real self-worth."

He began seeing a psychotherapist. "My issues weren’t as obvious as drugs," Springsteen says. "Mine were different, they were quieter—just as problematic, but quieter. With all artists, because of the undertow of history and self-loathing, there is a tremendous push toward self-obliteration that occurs onstage. It’s both things: there’s a tremendous finding of the self while also an abandonment of the self at the same time. You are free of yourself for those hours; all the voices in your head are gone. Just gone. There’s no room for them. There’s one voice, the voice you’re speaking in." Click for David Remnick's full feature.

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