He is widely regarded as one of the most iconic rock stars of the last 50 years. Yet there is so much more to national hero Bruce Springsteen than you might expect. Although he has developed a reputation as a role model for the American underdog, his contradictory actions over the years have been scrutinized by both fans and critics alike. Not only has Springsteen dealt with a number of obstacles in his career, but he has also had a surprisingly unpredictable personal life. Despite this, “The Boss” is still selling out stadiums around the world and is adding new strings to his Rock n’ Roll bow until this very day.
He Chose The Wrong Woman?
It seemed like Bruce Springsteen’s heart was shared by two women at once. Although he met his first wife, Julianne Phillips, after Patti had already joined Springsteen’s band and embarked on his Born In The USA tour, it wouldn’t take long before the pair started dating and in 1985, they tied the knot.
During this time, Patti was actually in a relationship with Tom Cruise. However, that was short-lived, and for a good reason…
He Was A Nightmare To Work With
Springsteen’s deteriorating relationship with Julianne Phillips also had an impact on the way that he treated other people. During the late ’80s, the rock star’s behavior started to change for the worse.
When he was on the road, Springsteen would complain if his food wasn’t delivered on time. Also, when he was about to perform at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, The Boss was disgusted by how many posters there were of him and tore them all down.
He Invaded Elvis’s Home
Every musician is inspired by what came before them and for Bruce Springsteen, it was Elvis Presley. In fact, The Boss was so obsessed with The King that he once tried to invade his Graceland ranch when he was performing in Memphis in 1976.
After the show, a drunk Springsteen went to Graceland at 3 AM, jumped over the wall and made it all the way to the front door before security managed to catch him. Elvis had left the building long before Springsteen arrived.
Fighting His Demons
You might not have guessed it, seeing that he always seems to perform with a smile on his face, but Bruce Springsteen has actually been fighting depression for as long as he can remember.
In his autobiography, Born To Run, the rock star claimed that he had been struggling with the condition for a long time, having to take medication as a result. Concerned that he might share the same fate as his father, Bruce is determined to overcome it.
His Old Flames
Even before Bruce Springsteen got caught up in his love saga involving Julianne Phillips and Patti Scialfa, there were plenty of other women who were romantically linked with him when he was coming up in the world of music.
Between the years of 1979 and 1984, The Boss dated actress Joyce Hyser, who is best known for her role in the movie Just One of the Guys. He also dated the likes of recording artist Lynn Goldsmith and model/ballerina Karen Davin.
When Bruce Met Patti
Having already become a popular figure with the ladies, Bruce Springsteen’s profile only got higher when he burst onto the rock scene during the ’70s. However, it wasn’t until the early ’80s when Springsteen met the woman who would eventually be his wife: Patti Scialfa.
After watching her perform with one of his friends at a New Jersey bar, Springsteen immediately befriended her and with time, got her to join the E Street Band. However, there’s a good reason why they kept things professional…
Songs About Their Poor Marriage
As time went on, it was becoming increasingly clear that Bruce Springsteen’s marriage with Julianne Phillips simply wasn’t working. The obvious factor was how often “The Boss” was away from home, which took its toll on the marriage. However, there was more to it than that. For a start, there was an 11-year age gap between the two and fundamentally, they were very different people. In fact, Springsteen wrote many songs about how unhappy he was with Phillips in his 1987 album Tunnel of Love.
So Many Changes
Although the press was unaware about it at the time, Springsteen officially separated from Julianne in 1988, before embarking on his Tunnel of Love Express Tour. Most importantly though, he convinced Patti to join the tour once again.
It was during this time that the pair, who had become good friends even before Springsteen met Julianne, started to see each other. It was just a matter of time before they moved in together, which opened up a whole other can of worms…
Slammed By The Press
Although Bruce and Patti’s blossoming romance coincided with a smooth divorce with Julianne, the press didn’t see it this way. The way journalists looked at it, Springsteen was moving way too fast from his ex-wife to the next woman.
They couldn’t understand how one of the country’s national heroes could be so reckless in his love life. However, The Boss wasn’t having any of it and in an interview with The Advocate, he set the record straight, once and for all…
Springsteen Strikes Back
Outraged by what the press had to say about his personal life, Springsteen was quick to set things straight in that interview with The Advocate. “It’s a strange society that assumes it has the right to tell people whom they should love and whom they shouldn’t,” he said.
“But the truth is, I basically ignored the entire thing…All I know is, this feels real, and maybe I have got a mess going here in some fashion, but that’s life.”
To Spend Or Not To Spend?
For someone who has always been regarded as the “Working Class Rocker,” Bruce Springsteen has had a complicated relationship with money over the years. Many have accused The Boss of being hypocritical when it comes to how he has used his wealth, having previously been reluctant to spend it.
However, the rock star did flash some cash back in the ’70s, when his album Born to Run climbed up the charts. He bought himself a 1950 Corvette. But wait, there’s more…
For a man who has normally been so careful with his money, Bruce Springsteen has reportedly been caught out on numerous occasions – specifically when it comes to his taxes.
In an interview with Tom Hanks, the rock star admitted that he had avoided paying taxes during the early stages of his career. When you take into consideration that his personal chef once worked for the king of Saudia Arabia, this is something you don’t want the IRS to know about…
Second Time’s A Charm?
It was a while before Springsteen no longer had to deal with the scrutiny of the press. However, it was during that time, on June 8, 1991, that he tied the knot with Patti Scialfa.
Naturally, they had a private ceremony, with only family and close friends in attendance at their L.A. home. They had already had a kid before their marriage, but Bruce and Patti decided to have two more afterward. They relocated to New Jersey in the mid-90s to avoid the paparazzi.
Apple Doesn’t Fall Far
After having three children, it made sense that at least one of Springsteen’s kids would have as much talent as he does. His oldest son, Evan, followed directly in his footsteps, developing a modest career as a performer in his own right.
However, his daughter Jessica has gone in a very different direction, coming up in the world of equestrian sports and is a well-respected competitor. Then there is his youngest, Sam, who works as a firefighter.
“Born In The USA” Has Changed Over The Years
It might seem like an uplifting, patriotic anthem. However, there is a lot more to “Born In The USA” than meets the eye. The song lyrics describe a Vietnam vet who returns home from duty with limited opportunities.
Even Springsteen himself has admitted that the song’s meaning has changed over the years. As America has changed, the song has changed, and without that classic chorus, the darker side of the song stands out even more.
Springsteen On Vietnam: “I Ain’t Goin'”
Bruce Springsteen’s nature to be his own boss started way back in the late 60s. When he was just 19 years old and the Vietnam war was in full effect, he was drafted into the army.
However, after going out the night before his physical exam and having a motorbike accident, the young man was deemed “4-7,” which is the code for “unfit for service.” Springsteen even told Rolling Stone in an interview, “I ain’t goin.'”
Once A Catholic…
Another complicated relationship Springsteen has had throughout his life was with his Catholic faith, which he was born and raised in. In his autobiography Born To Run, the rock star claimed to have “a personal relationship with Jesus.
I believe in his power to save, love … but not to damn.” He also went on the record, saying that “once you’re a Catholic you’re always a Catholic.” Surely enough, Springsteen’s relationship with his faith would evolve in interesting ways, both early and later on in life…
Bullied At School
One of the earliest and most bitter memories Bruce Springsteen had with his Catholic background came at school. At St. Rose of Lima Catholic school, young Bruce was often at odds with the school’s nuns.
One nun put him in a garbage can because she claimed: “that’s where [he] belonged.” However, Springsteen’s school struggles didn’t stop there. At Ocean County College, many students petitioned to have the young man expelled. However, it wasn’t all bad, with many of the female students taking a liking to Bruce…
“Our Father, In Heaven”
Bringing his complicated relationship with religion full circle, Springsteen recently starred in his own show on Broadway, which he won a Tony Award for. During this intimate show, Springsteen does a chilling recital of the Lord’s Prayer.
However, many have speculated that The Boss is also alluding to his own father, who suffered from addiction and calls to God for forgiveness. “Forgive us our sins, our trespasses,” Springsteen says during the show. “Deliver us from evil, all of us.”
Blast From The Past
It’s common knowledge these days that a young Courteney Cox appeared in the music video for Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” all those years ago. However, she repeated history, mentioning in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel that she attended one of Springsteen’s recent Broadway shows.
She went with Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston! However, the main difference was that this time, Bruce didn’t ask her to come on stage. She did reveal though that Dr. Ruth was there, who famously visited Springsteen backstage as well.
Why They Really Call Him “The Boss”
Every nickname has a story behind it, and Bruce Springsteen’s is no different. After leading The E Street Band and even being their manager at one point, “The Boss” had multiple meanings.
From business matters to his enforcement of rules such as sobriety and punctuality, Springsteen has been “The Boss,” not just of his band members, but of himself. And even after everything he has been through, both personally and professionally, Bruce Springsteen is still “The Boss…”
E Street For Life
While he’s had some complicated relationships over the years, none of them have been as stop-start as the one Bruce Springsteen had with his band, The E Street Band. During the first couple of decades of his career, Springsteen and E Street were inseparable.
That’s until he dissolved the band in 1989, and paid each band member a whopping $2 million in severance pay. Since then, the band have got back together on numerous occasions and are still performing until this very day.
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet…
Even the most fervent Springsteen fans haven’t seen everything The Boss has been a part of over the years. At the upcoming Ashbury Park Music and Film Festival, guests will get the chance to see The Bruce Springsteen Archives, which features “rare and never before seen footage of Springsteen from the Thrill Hill vaults spanning from his early years to recent tour highlights.”
Springsteen will also appear in Tom Jones’s Ashbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock ‘n’ Roll in a new, exclusive interview.
Tom Jones is well-known for his deep, sultry voice. But there’s a lot that even fans don’t know about him…
Tom Jones married at the young age of 16 to his high school sweetheart, Melinda “Linda” Trenchard on March 2, 1957. His firstborn, Mark Woodward, was born one month after they married. They remained together for nearly 60 years, despite his many well-publicized infidelities. But what did Linda believe?
All The Groupies
Tom Jones has stated that he had relations with up to 250 groupies a year at the height of his fame. His philandering once led Linda to assault him physically. His wife read about one infidelity in a newspaper, after which she punched and kicked Jones out of anger, but he did not fight back; “I took it,” he said. He later said that he felt very guilty about his affairs and infidelities. Despite all this, his wife remained in the picture.
A Good Friend To Have
Jones snuck his best friend from Venezuela to the States. Dai Perry was his best friend from childhood as they grew up in the same street in Treforest. He also was Jones’ bodyguard in 1974. They were in Venezuela, and a scuffle between Dai and reporters transpired. Tom did everything he could to get him on a plane to Miami before the courts opened in the morning and sent him to jail. Now that’s a good friend! It is reported that whenever they met up, Tom would give him an envelope containing £500 in cash.
Friends With Elvis
Tom became a famous singer during an incredibly iconic time in the history of music, which means he’s sung with Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and John Denver, to name a few. Tom grew up admiring many of the stars he eventually sang with, and it was in Vegas where Jones struck up a friendship with Elvis Presley. He and Elvis had jobs in Vegas at the same time and would often stay up late singing gospel songs together.
His Son Became His Manager
His firstborn, Mark Woodward, was born one month after Tom married Melinda at the age of 16 in 1957. When Melinda gave birth to Mark, Jones didn’t go to the maternity hospital with her because he had to work the night shift at a local factory where he was an apprentice glove cutter. Mark eventually became Jones’ Manager, replacing his first Manager Gordon Mills, who discovered him and catapulted him to fame.
The Real Tom Jones
Thomas John Woodward was renamed Tom Jones by his manager, Gordon Mills, to exploit the popularity of the Academy Award-winning 1963 film by Albert Finney. This was quite common for new stars entering the scene, and it still happens today, though not as often. Many actors and music artists change their names to sound more anglicized, more natural to say or read. Sometimes it is their agents or managers that believe they need a more catchy name or something easily recognizable.
Knighted By The Queen
Jones, who was appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1999, was knighted at Buckingham Palace by Elizabeth II in 2006 for his services to music. After receiving knighthood, Jones described his experience, “When you first come into show business and get a hit record, it is the start of something. As time goes by it just gets better. This is the best thing I have had. It’s a wonderful feeling, a heady feeling.”
Tubercolosis Was His Saviour
When he was a young boy of 12, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he spent two years mostly in bed recovering. Doctors wanted to fly him to Scotland for treatment, but his mother refused, insisting on taking care of him herself. While Tom was in bed recovering from his life-threatening sickness, he listened to tons of music. If he hadn’t been bed-ridden, he most likely would have been sent to work in the mines like his father, and who knows whether or not he would have ended up where he did. Blessings sometimes come in very strange packages.
His Illegitimate Son
One of his affairs resulted in the birth of a child. While on tour in the US, in October 1987, Jones had a brief relationship with model Katherine Berkery, who then discovered that she was pregnant. After a legal battle that included DNA testing, a United States court ruled in 1989 that Jones was the father. Jones denied the court’s findings, until, in 2008, he admitted they were true. He has not shown any interest in meeting his son, Jonathan Berkery.
Among his infidelities, Jones also had affairs with well-known women. These relationships are difficult to confirm, but those that we know of include Mary Wilson of the Supremes, TV host and American author Charlotte Laws, and former beauty queen and Miss World, Marjorie Wallace. In a 2008 interview with Blender magazine, Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, revealed that her first time was with Jones.
To the surprise of his fans, the star finally stopped coloring his trademark thick curly locks in 2009. He told the Radio Times magazine, ”To each his own. It isn’t for me to tell others what to do, but you can’t get to a certain age and have black hair. If some can, bless them.” The singer revealed, ”Every Christmas I’d take two months off and never dye my hair. – I should have let it go five years earlier.”
His Big Break
His first hit single “It’s Not Unusual” wasn’t originally written for him. Tom’s manager initially wanted the song to go to Sandie Shaw to sing, but she turned it down not knowing just how well it will do, eventually topping the charts and becoming a number one hit. Tom pretty much had to beg his manager for the chance to record this song, and we now know that it was the hit that skyrocketed him to fame.
The Voice Coach
Tom Jones also became a coach on The Voice UK when it first aired in 2012. He mentored Leanne Mitchell. Leanne would go on to win the first season. Tom was joined on the coaching panel by returning star will.i.am and newbies Jennifer Hudson and Gavin Rossdale. They are all hoping to make their mark on the show by coaching a winner. Tom was dropped from the 2016 season – the last to be shown on the BBC. And he sure wasn’t happy about it.
Also A Talented Actor
It would appear that Tom Jones would also become a talented actor and made his first appearance playing the leading role in the 1979 film Pleasure Cove as well as playing himself in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks! He received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy nomination for his role in This is Tom Jones. In 2012, he played a dramatic role in an episode of Playhouse Presents.
He Bought Dean Martin’s Mansion
In 1974 Jones moved his family due to the resentment of Britain’s high taxes. He bought Dean Martin’s house, the legendary Rat Pack crooner having shelled out $500,000 for the place when he married his third and final wife, Catherine Hawn. When they moved out in June 1976 Martin sold his house to Tom. In 2007 Tom put this Bel Air pad on the market for an eye-watering $6,000,000.
Tom’s First Band
In the fateful year of 1963, Tom started a band called Tommy Scott with the Senators and began his career as a singer. The crowds loved the group, but growth was limited due to their non-urban and distant location. Tom loved singing, and by this time he knew that this is what he wanted to do. He was waiting for the band to explode onto the public scene but luckily for him, his voice made quite the impression, and he was eventually discovered.
As a school child, he struggled with dyslexia but enjoyed listening to music, including BBC radio, which featured American blues, country, r&b, and rock—genres which later influenced his musical style. Just after his 12th birthday, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he spent two years mostly in bed recovering. Doctors wanted to fly him to Scotland for treatment, but his mother refused, insisting on taking care of him herself. While Tom was in bed recovering from his life-threatening sickness, he listened to tons of music since reading was difficult.
Quit School At 16
As Tom Jones had dyslexia, he never enjoyed school or playing sports and was more interested in booze and girls rather than his education, so he decided to quit school at age 16. To earn money for his family, he worked as a builder’s laborer and a door-to-door vacuum salesman. It is very likely that the legendary singer would’ve become a miner, like his father, if he was never discovered by Gordon mills that one night in a small town in Wales.
Some Women Turned Him Down
Even at 78, Tom Jones has been dubbed the most attractive singer alive by Glamour magazine in its May 2019 issue. It seems Tom was incredibly alluring to women as he had so many affairs, even with other famous stars who knew that the legendary singer was married. But Tom didn’t enjoy a 100% seduction rate. Lulu, Sandie Shaw, Dionne Warwick, and Darlene Love all managed to resist his charms.
In 1967 Jones struck up a 45-year romance with Las Vegas – launching his performances at The Flamingo and scoring lucrative contracts with Caeser’s Palace, where his reputation as a performer who women like to throw knickers at was sealed. Up until 2011, he played at least one week in Vegas every year. He grew to dislike women throwing their undergarments at him on stage, thinking it deflected attention from his voice.
When Tom Jones’ wife passed away from her battle with cancer in 2016, he felt very guilty. She stuck with him through all the affairs and scandals for 60 years. When she died he felt hopeless as he loved her dearly, “Time is a powerful healer. When something happens that’s so devastating; you don’t know how to deal with everything. But you give it time… things sink in, and you realize: ‘This is the way it’s going to be.’”
His Own Show
Starting in 1969 to 1971, Jones had an internationally successful television show titled This Is Tom Jones. The show was worth a reported $9 million to Jones over three years and was broadcasted in the UK and America. He was even nominated in 1969 for a Golden Globe for best actor. Then from 1980 to 1981, he had a second television variety show, Tom Jones, that was produced in Vancouver, Canada and lasted for 24 episodes.
Not A Choir Boy
We would think that Tom must’ve been involved in te choir while he was at school, but the truth is, despite being the best singer, Tom preferred to go solo in his home village of Treforest, Pontypridd, in South Wales. He even pretended to be sick when his friends called round to take him carol singing. When they had gone, he would slip out to perform alone: “I made more money singing by myself,” he said.