Ahead of the E Street Band’s return to Saturday Night Live this weekend, Bruce Springsteen visited the Tonight Show Thursday to talk about Letter to You, the song that changed his life, his teenaged gigs, and why he’s never made a Christmas album.
“I always liked music where the singer sounded happy and sad simultaneously,” Springsteen said of his new album. “Those are kind of songs that I like, that I think hit the deepest — if you’re lucky enough to write one or a small group of them — and Letter to You kind of strikes that balance. It’s a record I’m really proud of.”
Springsteen then reminisced about taking the stage as a 15-year-old — “At the Elks Club in Freehold,” he said — and how he recently revisited that venue. “They redesigned the inside of it so it wasn’t recognizable at this point,” Springsteen said, “You played on Sunday, 35 cents to get in, it was a room about this size, and the band would set up in a circle… I got up and sang ‘Twist and Shout,’ and I’ve been singing it ever since.”
On the 45th anniversary of the Boss’ cover of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” Jimmy Fallon asked whether Springsteen ever considered recording a full-fledged Christmas album.
“We did some big Christmas shows in Asbury Park for a while, and I tried to piece together something from those shows, but we’d have to go in the studio,” Springsteen said. “The thing is you only really want to do it around Christmastime, but you don’t want to do it then either because it’s around Christmastime, you don’t feel like working. And Christmastime goes away, then you got to do it in the summertime when you just don’t feel like it, so we haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe one of these days.”
Springsteen also talked about how eager he is to play, finally, in front of a live audience for this weekend’s episode of SNL. “It’s gonna be amazing to play in front of an audience,” Springsteen said. “It’s been a long time for us.”