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Home / News / “Whereas I used to be stone-cold born within the USA, at 16 I desperately yearned to be British”

“Whereas I used to be stone-cold born within the USA, at 16 I desperately yearned to be British”


Bruce Springsteen delivered a transferring speech whereas on the Ivor Novello Awards final night time (Could 23), and recalled how music from the UK impressed him since he was a teen.

The Boss grew to become the primary worldwide songwriter to obtain the Fellow of the Ivors Academy at Grosvenor Home in London final night time, following within the footsteps of Elton John, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Paul McCartney.

Turning into an Academy Fellow is the best honour the organisation bestows, and with it, the enduring singer, songwriter and guitarist turns into the primary American songwriter that the Academy has inducted into Fellowship in its 80-year historical past.

He was offered the award by Beatles legend Paul McCartney, who took the chance to jokingly roast him earlier than introducing him to the stage. As he arrived, Springsteen delivered a transferring speech to the gang, recalling each what the honour means to him and his long-lasting love of the UK music scene.

He additionally recalled his nerves when first coming to London again in 1975, and what it’s prefer to be performing within the nation once more, practically 50 years down the highway.

Learn the complete speech from The Boss under.

Bruce Springsteen & The East Road Band performs at Principality Stadium on Could 5, 2024 in Cardiff, Wales CREDIT: Mike Lewis Images/Redferns/Getty

Bruce Springsteen, Ivor Novello Awards speech:

“Again in 1975, I went on the lengthy flight from New Jersey to the UK, with two completely different guys who had by no means been on an aeroplane. The aeroplane meals was not so nice, and my first thought after we landed at Heathrow was, ‘The place’s all of the cheeseburgers?’… The cheeseburgers had both been hidden or changed by one thing known as fish and chips. I knew what a fish was, however I didn’t know what a chip was. It was slightly disconcerting.

“Our subsequent cease was the Hammersmith Odeon, the place I used to be greeted by an enormous signal saying: ‘London is lastly prepared for Bruce Springsteen’. And all I assumed was, ‘If London isn’t prepared for a cheeseburger, they will not be prepared for me.’

“Me and my 25-year-old American cousins, who had been visiting the land of the musical giants, The Beatles, The Stones, The Animals. All of them met us, took us to high school, advised us their deep appreciation of our personal American roots and music. Taught us the suitable solution to costume and put on our hair. For a younger New Jersey rocker, you got here to Mecca. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. Youth, loud, hipness, ladies. And whereas I used to be stone-cold born within the USA, at 16 I desperately yearned to be British. I had a fairly good pretend British accent – that’s what the checkout ladies on the native grocery store thought.

“However I’ve had a whole lot of fantastic historical past right here. Subsequent 12 months goes to mark 50 years that I’ve been coming right here to entertain you and win your belief and confidence, I hope. A whole lot of these followers have been with me since that first night time at Hammersmith, all the best way to these nice gigs we did in Hyde Park final summer time. Their depth of data of my work and their dedication continuously retains me invested right here. It retains me coming again to those shores so I can deal extra faithfully with my viewers’s joys and their considerations.

“I wish to be on the high of my sport. Thanks for the inspiration that I see from so many musicians and writers that hail from the UK. I’ve met many people over the past 50 years, who work in any respect ranges at Sony Music, one factor all of them have in widespread is the dedication and respect that they’ve proven me, my songs and my work. To every and everyone that noticed me, I imply, I bought all my music and so they nonetheless deal with it prefer it’s mine.

Bruce Springsteen performs with The E Street Band at MVP Arena on April 15, 2024 in Albany, New York.
Bruce Springsteen performs with The E Road Band at MVP Enviornment on April 15, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Picture by Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Pictures)

“To be the primary worldwide artist to be granted this Fellowship – particularly as an American, who I all the time suspect the British to be suspicious of our unusual methods – it makes at present a significant expertise to me.

“As we flew in direction of the UK in 1975, I used to be questioning, ‘What do I’ve that I might conceivably give again to these individuals who gave me a lot?’ And the reply is, all the pieces I’ve acquired.

“We simply got here out of taking part in Sunderland final night time… hellacious climate. A driving rainstorm, wind blowing, however standing in entrance of me within the rain, I realised ‘These are my individuals’. A few of them had been younger, a few of them had been kids, and a few of them weren’t. Many wore strains on their faces of life, hard-weather and well-lived. These are my individuals right here within the UK, and I really like them.

“They’re the individuals I’ve written for and about, and that I can nonetheless discover standing in entrance of me – because the clock strikes 74, that continues to be one of many best privileges and honours of my life as a musician. I wish to thanks for taking my music into your hearts and into your souls. I wish to thanks for together with me within the difficult and exquisite cultural lifetime of the UK.

“As soon as it was solely a dream I had. In the present day it’s actual. I wish to thanks for taking care of one another… I suppose London is lastly prepared for cheeseburgers.”

With the award, Bruce Springsteen is the twenty seventh Fellow of the Academy, becoming a member of quite a lot of songwriting icons together with Sting, who acquired the award final 12 months.

In the course of the ceremony he additionally performed ‘Thunder Highway’. Elsewhere, RAYE, was topped Songwriter of the Yr for having “the voice of a era” as described by the judges,  whereas Yussef Dayes landed a win for Greatest Album for his file ‘Black Classical Music’.

Different winners included Lana Del Rey – who gained the Particular Worldwide Award and later advised NME about her new album ‘Lasso’ – and KT Tunstall who took dwelling the trophy for Excellent Track Assortment’.

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