Bruce Springsteen is an avowed fan of synth-punk duo Suicide and its frontman, Alan Vega, who died over the weekend. In reverence to the singer who inspired him, the E Street Band frontman has posted a tribute on Facebook.
“Over here on E Street, we are saddened to hear of the passing of Alan Vega, one of the great revolutionary voices in rock & roll,” he wrote. “The bravery and passion he showed throughout his career was deeply influential to me. I was lucky enough to get to know Alan slightly and he was always a generous and sweet spirit. The blunt force power of his greatest music both with Suicide and on his solo records can still shock and inspire today. There was simply no one else remotely like him.”
In 2008, Springsteen recorded a cover of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” as part of a limited-edition vinyl series of Suicide covers to commemorate Vega’s 60th birthday. The song was also a staple of Springsteen’s Devils & Dust tour in 2005, with a handful of further performances in 2014.
Springsteen also cited Suicide as an inspiration for his 1982 bare-bones recording Nebraska. “They had that two-piece synthesizer-voice thing,” Springsteen told Rolling Stone in 1984. “They had one of the most amazing songs I ever heard [called ‘Frankie Teardrop.’] That’s one of the most amazing records I think I ever heard. I really love that record.”
Vega was quoted in another interview as saying that the first time he heard Nebraska‘s “State Trooper,” he thought it was his own song.