Bruce Springsteen has been busy vacationing with former President Obama and former First Lady Michelle, along with Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey. In fact, they were all spotted on an ultra-luxurious French-Polynesian yacht traveling to Tahiti.
And if it wasn’t clear before, given the nature of his songs, you could probably guess where his political views lie.
But Springsteen just admitted something during the Tribeca Film Festival at the Beacon Theater in New York over the weekend – and it was a shocking admission.
Bruce Springsteen says writing and performing “Born in the U.S.A.” helped him reconcile the mixed feelings he has about decisions he made during the Vietnam War era.
‘I had some friends, very close friends of mine… guys who came home in wheelchairs and, then, I didn’t go. I was a stone-cold draft dodger,’ the New Jersey rocker said at a Tribeca Film Festival conversation with Tom Hanks at the Beacon Theatre in New York Friday.
‘I pulled the whole ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’
‘I’m sorry, sir. I don’t understand what you are saying because I am high on LSD.’ I did everything in the draft-dodger’s text book,’ Springsteen recalled.
‘So, perhaps, I felt guilty about that later on. I had friends who went. I had friends who went and died.
I had friends later on who were seriously hurt.
And whether it was that or whether it was just the fact it was an event that defined a generation and if you were going to write about the world, if you were going to write about who we are at this particular moment.
If you were going to write about your place, if you were going to try to seize your little moment in history, which were all things I wanted to deliver to my audience, it was something that needed to be reckoned with. …
And, so, it was something that I felt I had to come to terms with myself and I needed to sing about.”
That sounds incredibly self-serving – to have write a song, which ended up making you millions of dollars, just so you can sleep better at night for skipping out on your duty as a citizen of the United States.
And to think President Obama gave Springsteen the Presidential Medal of Freedom award before he left office. That award is the highest honor that a civilian can receive, supposedly.
So, we’re honoring a guy who skipped out on the draft and made millions off music instead? The award should be given for the complete opposite reasons. At least Muhammad Ali looked them in the eye in their protest.
And specifically, the Born in the U.S.A single on the Born in the U.S.A album is widely regarded as being one of the most misunderstood songs.
What seems to be a celebration of being from America is actually a complete liberal protest. Upon the release of the album in 1984, President Ronald Reagan was on the eve of his re-election, and conservative columnist George Will praised the album and thought he would endorse Reagan. Will pushed the album up to Reagan’s high-level advisor Michael Deaver.
When trying to make the album a part of Reagan’s campaign, Springsteen and his managers scoffed at the idea.
Nevertheless, Reagan said at a campaign stop in Hammonton, New Jersey:
“America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts; it rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.”
And to think that Springsteen had the audacity to scoff at the President of the United States wanting to use his music, which was ultimatelt inspired by his overwhelming guilt.