Bruce Springsteen Tells Gayle King He’s a ‘Repairman’

Gayle King of CBS This Morning is adding to her list of rock legend interviews. Recently talking to Tina Turner and Lil Nas X, King just had a lengthy sit down with music icon Bruce Springsteen to discuss his upcoming film Western Stars.

Bruce Springsteen | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Starring and directing

Giving fans a birds-eye view of Springsteen in his performance element, Springsteen shot Western Stars in his New Jersey estate using his nearly 100-year-old barn as a concert hall. In the film, he performs all 13 songs on the companion album of the same name. Playing with a band and a full 30-piece orchestra, this collection is the artist’s first new music since 2012. Springsteen stars in the movie, and co-directs along with Thom Zimny.

“It doesn’t quite have a genre,” Springsteen told King of Western Stars. “Because it’s a mixture of a performance film. But there’s all these sort of meditative, interstitial pieces, where we made these little films in between each song that hopefully gives you a sense of deeper meaning of what they’re about.” 

Paying homage to Western films

Springsteen’s new project is somewhat of a tribute to the Hollywood Western, placing himself in the role as a sort of fading film star.

King wondered if this was art imitating life. “Now, are you talking in some way about yourself? Do you feel that about yourself? Or is this just a character?” she asked.

“I hope not. I think every time you draw on a character, you draw on some part of yourself … you’re using a lot of detail that has nothing to do with you or your life,” the New Jersey native responded. “But you are mining a variety of different emotional veins to make – that’s what people perceive as authenticity today. It’s not necessarily the details of your song. It’s the authenticity of the emotional life of the song that you’re delivering. So I always try to make that ring true.”

Fixing broken pieces

With a myriad of albums including “The River,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” and “Working on a Dream,” fans of Springsteen relish his relatable lyrics of the human struggle. King referenced this style with a quote from the film, saying, “We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces, and something whole emerges. That’s beautifully said. What broken pieces are you working with still?”

Springsteen responded with his trademark transparency. “They’re all over,” he replied with a laugh. “You know, I think you can’t have deep experience without error, mistakes, pain. That’s all just a part of human existence.”

The rock legend referred to himself as something other than a musician when it comes to fixing those broken pieces. “So what does art do and music? Music is – it’s a repair shop. So I’m basically a repairman. And I’m trying to repair myself. If I do that well enough, I will help repair you while I’m doing it,” Springsteen shared. 

With Springsteen renowned for being so down-to-earth, his moniker of ‘The Boss’ doesn’t seem to fit. King asked him about the nickname, which was given to him by accident. “The band started it because I paid their paychecks. And that’s how it started,” Springsteen revealed. “Had nothing to do with anything grander than that. So, but it’s followed me my whole way.”

Western Stars releases on October 25.