Nightly News   |  October 07, 2010

Talking shop with The Boss

On the eve of the premiere of the HBO documentary "Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen sits down with fellow Jersey Boy Brian Williams and learns a thing or two about lyric-writing.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to them.

>>> when you grow up in new jersey, you sometimes need a thick skin. you are often called upon to defend the garden state . that is until bruce springsteen came along. you see, he became everything to those of us growing up during that time at the jersey shore . tonight on hbo, a documentary takes us back to when he was 27 back in 1977 , making darkness on the edge of town . it was the album that had to follow "born to run" and the pressure was on this talented and decidedly scrawny young musician. but as i made clear to him in an exclusive interview at his home in jersey just yesterday, the only bad thing about the documentary was learning that while we were chasing bruce up and down the shore every weekend trying to figure out where he was going to play on a given saturday night, he was in the town next to ours, unbenons to anyone in a rented farmhouse making his masterpiece follow up album. you're in holmdel years ago. would it have killed you to call a buddy? i was three miles away , already a fan.

>> i could have used the company.

>> would it have killed you to reach out to a brother and say we're having trouble with some of these tracks, come on over, we need your wisdom, or was that just too much for you?

>> like i said, i could have used the company, because i was sitting there suffering by myself most nights. and i had gotten into this sort of vampire-like sleeping schedule of going into bed around 8:00 in the morning or 7:00 in the morning and sleeping until 4:00 and then writing all night. and this went on for at least an entire winter. and so i suffered from severe light deprivation and then tried to switch it around a little. i see a light shining in your window but it was a long, lonely vigil in 1977 .

>> "born to run" comes out. cover of "time" magazine. causes guys like me to say to people, yes, i'm from new jersey. it becomes a source of great pride, and what were the stakes as you sat down to record "darkness?"

>> it caused somebody at the irs to say who is this guy and why hasn't he paid any taxes yet? so that was a problem. people finally found out that we existed because we had all been living off the grid in new jersey for so many years. i simply never met anyone who paid taxes.

>> you never flew in an airplane.

>> i don't believe anybody in the band was ever in an airplane until we had our first record deal . and they flew us to los angeles and we were like, kids on a magic carpet . but it was -- it was a funny period of time.

>> and a funny thing happened during the interview. i could tell something was bothering bruce. it turned out he thought all along the wrong man was holding the guitar.

>> you've got a little bit of the 1960s folk singer going here.

>> i got this guitar and i learned how to make it talk.

>> that's good, man.

>> i thought it was a good line. might have made a good song lyric. that's