The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen's 25 Biggest Heroes

The artists, activists and friends that have shaped Springsteen's world

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Bob Dylan
Jan Persson/Redferns20/25

Bob Dylan

Bruce Springsteen was driving in the car with his mother listening to WMCA in the summer of 1965 the first time he heard "Like a Rolling Stone." "That snare shot that sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind," he said in 1988. "It reached down and touched what little worldliness a 15-year-old high school kid in New Jersey had in him at the time. Dylan was a revolutionary. Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body." When Springsteen began his own recording career in 1973 the press dubbed him "The New Dylan," a label he didn't shake until he released Born To Run a couple years later. Despite carrying the burden of that label, he was remained a huge Dylan fan and added covers of "I Want You" and "Chimes of Freedom" into his own show. When the two of them played together at the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, Springsteen was unable to stop grinning.

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