Bruce Springsteen, the true Boss, has bravely opened up about his battle with depression.
The rock and roll legend, poetic as ever, gave a profound metaphor for the mental illness in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.
I always picture it as a car. All your selves are in it. And a new self can get in, but the old selves can’t ever get out. The important thing is, who’s got their hands on the wheel at any given moment?
The interview comes as a precursor to his new autobiography Born to Run which reveals how the 66-year-old struggled with the disorder when producing his 2012 album Wrecking Ball.
One of the points I’m making in the book is that, whoever you’ve been and wherever you’ve been, it never leaves you.
Continuing the apt metaphor, he explains in Born to Run that the Bruce in the driver’s seat was often the ‘conflicted young man who cowered or sulked in the presence of his father, Doug.’
His difficult relationship with his father was something he once described as ‘two people that love each other but struggle to understand one another’ when introducing the leaving-home ballad Independence Day (“The darkness of this house has got the best of us”).
I was crushed between sixty and sixty-two, good for a year and out again from sixty-three to sixty-four.
Not a good record.
He was left ‘crushed’ in his early sixties but still produced the 2012 album without his band-mates knowing – although the track ‘This Depression’ may have been a small hint.
Born to Run explains how Doug Springsteen’s family had a plethora of undiagnosed mental illnesses including agoraphobia, hair-pulling disorders, and aunts who emitted inappropriate howling noises.
When talking about his life with these relatives, Bruce explained:
As a child, it was simply mysterious, embarrassing and ordinary.
Here he is, standing next to the cover of the book…
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) September 1, 2016
Expressing his worry of suffering like his father, Bruce added:
You don’t know the illness’s parameters.
Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?
The memoir, which will be released on September 27, delves deep into Bruce’s clinical depression and reveals very honestly how his upbringing shaped his life.
Very excitingly, the book will be accompanied by an album, called Chapter and Verse, of 18 songs (including five previously unreleased) handpicked by Springsteen to reflect the themes and sections of the book.