Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to veterans from all wars at a recent concert in Charlotte, North Carolina, by playing the High Hopes track “The Wall.” Calling the track “a short prayer for my country,” he explained that it had been inspired by the memory of his friend Walter Chichon, the singer of a band called the Motifs, from around where Springsteen grew up. Both Walter and his brother Ray, who taught guitar to Springsteen, died in the Vietnam War at around the age of 19. Springsteen paid tribute to them and Bart Haynes – the drummer of his first band, the Castiles – who also died in the Vietnam War. The “wall” in question in the song, is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“It was a tremendous, tremendous loss,” he said of his friends who had died. “To our neighborhood, to our town, to that thing inside of you that feels somehow that the best should get their shot. And to be honest, as we went along, and I met a lot of Vietnam veterans. . . who were injured and were hurt terribly and who swore to themselves, ‘Never again, never again.’ But of course it happens again and again. So this is for any of our veterans out there.”
Springsteen recently finished an extensive world tour in support of High Hopes.