Bruce Springsteen Talks Official Bootlegs, Kanye West

'There's a lot of hours in those records,' he said of the rapper

Bruce Springsteen performs in New York City.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
January 16, 2014 11:00 AM ET

Earlier this week, Bruce Springsteen sat down for a seventy-eight minute interview with NPR – they covered a lot of ground in that time, discussing everything from Springsteen's love of Kanye West, plans for instant live bootlegs from future shows, the loss of Clarence Clemons, his musical heroes and much more. "My life was Inside Llewyn Davis with a happy ending," he said. "I was that guy. I was the guy sleeping on the couch in midtown and taking the subway to Greenwich Village."

Listen to 15 insanely great Bruce Springsteen songs you've never heard

It's definitely worth reading the whole thing, but here are highlights:

On Kanye West: "[He] is incredible. I mean, the record-making facility, there's a lot of hours in those records. And I saw him on television, he did the song called 'Blood on the Leaves' on the Later...With Jools Holland — it was fantastic, you know. He's a very, I still find him very interesting. I'm not necessarily driving [to] it in my car, you know. I probably fall back on the stuff that I listened to as a kid or something if I'm driving around. But I do listen. I listen to a lot because there's a lot of information in it and it's just fascinating record-making." 

On official bootlegs: "I'd like to get an archival series going in some way. I'd like to make things more available through the Internet. The Internet has become our friend…I think we live more in a Grateful Dead touring idea that everything you do is recorded now. And that's OK with me, you know. As a matter of fact, I believe on this tour, we're starting to do something like you can come in, you can buy a [wrist]band, you can get a copy of the night's show. So hopefully we're gonna do that at a really nice-quality level."

On keeping a band together: "[The E Street Band] is the best it's ever been. And we're very lucky.  Most bands don't work out. A small unit democracy is very, very difficult. Very, very difficult…The Everly Brothers, Sam & Dave, Simon & Garfunkel. I mean, it's the rule, not the exception. You're not really family, but you're kind of, it's almost worse, you know, because not only do you live together, you have to work together. The only way I can explain it is imagine if the people you went to high school with, you have worked with those same five people that were in your math class and you're 60 and those are the same exact people that you've worked with every single day of your life."

On losing Clarence Clemons: "It was obviously very sad but I know that he was very, very happy the last decade that we played. He loved playing, he loved performing. And that we were able to get back to do it and do it for the 10 years that we did it was, it was a wonderful thing for the two of us. And I know that he was always just concentrating on the next gig and how he could make it. So we've been very, very fortunate. Part of it was by design in that we were not a democracy, but we were not a solo act either. We were something in between, you know, and that in-between thing has been what's made us special and it's been very exciting."

On punk: "I caught the beginning of that because I would open for Dave Van Ronk and if I missed my bus back to New Jersey, I had to go back to Max's. And when I went back to Max's, at 1 or 2 a,m., the New York Dolls were playing upstairs. And I'd never seen anything like it. They were great, you know. And so it was, I sat in this strange fulcrum between both something that was at its very end and something that was really just beginning. And so I saw the Dolls, this was 1973 I think. It had to be because I was playing solo acoustically. I mean, it was very, very early, you know. Or [1974] or somewhere in there, you know."

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