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Exclusive: The Complete Text of Bruce Springsteen's SXSW Keynote Address

Page 5 of 9

And then they had the name. The name was very different from the Beatles, or Herman's Hermits, or Freddie and the Dreamers. The name was unforgiving, and final, and irrevocable. I mean, it was in your face. It was the most unapologetic group name until the Sex Pistols came along.

"Badlands," "Prove It All Night," Darkness On The Edge of Town was filled with, with The Animals. Youngsters, watch this one. I'm gonna tell you how it's done, right now. I took "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood,"

(Singing and strumming beginning of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood":

Danta, danta, danta, dah.

Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.

Danta, danta, danta, dah

Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.

(Singing melody of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" while strumming chords of "Badlands":

Dah, dah, danta, tadah.

Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.

Danta, danta, danta, dah.

Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.

It's the same fucking riff, man.Listen up, listen up, youngsters, this is how successful theft is accomplished. "Darkness" was also informed by the punk explosion at the time. I went out and I got all the records, all the early punk records, and I brought "Anarchy in the UK," and "God Save the Queen," and the Sex Pistols were so frightening. They literally shook the earth. And a lot of groups managed shocking. But frightening, frightening was something else. There were, very, very few rock groups that managed frightening. And that was a great quality, and it was, part of their great beauty.

They were brave, and they challenged you, and they made you brave and lot of that energy seeped its way into subtext of "Darkness." "Darkness" was written in 1977, and all of that music was out there, and if you had ears you could not ignore it. And I had peers that did. And they were mistaken, you could not ignore that challenge.

Of course, for me, there was movies, films. That's another discussion. But it was, then about soul music. It's incredibly important. The blue collar grit of soul music.

(Singing "Soul Man"):

I was brought up on a backstreet

I learned how to love before I could eat.

Now even though I personally learned how to eat long before I knew how to love, I knew what he was talking about. It was the music of gritty determination – of the blues, of the church, of the Earth, and of the sex–soaked heavens. It was music of sweaty perspiration, and drenched demands for pleasure and respect. It was adult music, it was sung by soul men and women, not teen idols.

And then it was the silk and sequined aspirational sounds of Motown. And that was something smoother, but that was no less powerful than, than Stax. There's a beautifully socially–conscious soul of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, "We're a Winner," keep on pushin'. Just great, great records that just filled the airwaves at a time when you couldn't have needed them more. You just couldn't have needed them more.

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