Greasy Lake



Springsteen: Born to Run (1979)
By: Dave Marsh
ISBN: 0-86001-807-5
The first and one of the best Springsteen biographies. The author is a close friend of Bruce and has had unique access to Bruce making it one of the most authoritative books on its subject. When that is said, if you're looking for dirt and private details from Bruce's personal life, you won't find it here. Dave Marsh remains loyal to his friend and admits to subjectivity.
Bruce Springsteen: A Photo-bio (1979)
By: Peter Gambaccini
ISBN: 0-5150-5220-5
Possibly the first book written about Bruce Springsteen preceding Dave Marsh by a year. It's an early edition of his more widespread book from 1985. See below.
Bruce Springsteen (1983)
By: Laura Fissinger
ISBN: 0-8981-3106-5
The Boss Bruce Springsteen (1984)
By: Elianne Halbersberg
ISBN: 0-4518-2109-2
Bruce Springsteen (1984)
By: Marianne Meyer
ISBN: 0-0345-3221-8
The Boss: Bruce Springsteen (1984)
By: Sharon Starbrooks
ISBN: 0-3170-0914-13
Springsteen Live (1984)
By: Philip Kamin
ISBN: 0-8253-0170-X
Springsteen: No Surrender (1984)
By: Kate Lynch
ISBN: 0-86276-254-5
Another sympathetic if unremarkable biography released around the time of Born in the USA.
Springsteen (1985)
By: Robert Hilburn
ISBN: 0-684-18456-7
The author is one of the music critics who have followed Bruce the longest. His book offers great insight and has lots of unique photos.
Bruce Springsteen (1985)
By: M. Stewart
ISBN: 0-5174-6277-X
Bruce Springsteen: An American Classic (1985)
By: Mike Slaughter
ISBN: 0-8952-4263-X
Bruce Springsteen (1985)
By: Nancy Robison
ISBN: 0-8744-9049-9
Bruce Springsteen: An Illustrated Record (1985)
By: Brian Barron
ISBN: 8-6276-306-1
Bruce Springsteen (1985)
By: Peter Gambaccini
ISBN: 0-7119-0696-3
Another biography where the author tells Bruce's story and tries to analyze his albums and songs. The book first appeared in 1979 and was thus one of the first Bruce biographies. In 1985 it was revised and updated to include the Born in the USA period.
Bruce Springsteen (1986)
By: James R. Rothaus
ISBN: 0-8868-2099-5
Bruce Springsteen (1986)
By: Teresa Koenig
ISBN: 0-8968-6303-4
Bruce Springsteen (1986)
By: Keith Elliot Greenberg
ISBN: 0-8225-1608-X
Entertainment World series.
Bruce Springsteen (1986)
By: Zadra
ISBN: 0-8868-2098-7
Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s (1987)
By: Dave Marsh
ISBN: 0-394-54668-7
The sequel to Dave Marsh's Born to Run. It tells the story from 1980 till 1987 where Bruce went from a big star to a gigantic star. Again, Dave Marsh shares his insight and sheds light on Bruce's career and personality. Despite its uncritical approach it's still an indispensible book in your Springsteen boiok collection. If you buy one book, this should probably be it.
Bruce Springsteen: Here and Now (1988)
By: Craig MacInnis
ISBN: 0-8120-4095-3
Backstreets: Springsteen - The Man and His Music (1989)
By: Charles R. Cross
ISBN: 0-51758929-X
A book for the really serious fans by Backstreets Magazine. It features some of the best articles from the magazine, the E Street Band Family Tree, a sessionography, and a list of performances from 1963-89 (the paperback edition from 1992 has an updated performance list).
Bruce Springsteen (1991)
By: Toni Murphy
ISBN: 0-1755-6694-1
Down Thunder Road: The Making of Bruce Springsteen (1992)
By: Marc Eliot
ISBN: 0-671-78933-3
Co-written with former Bruce manager Mike Appel, Marc Eliot takes a close look at Bruce's early career with a special focus on the lawsuit between between Bruce and Mike Appel. The book shows you some new sides of Bruce, but factual errors has made it somewhat questionable in Bruce circles.
Local Hero: Bruce Springsteen in the Words of His Band (1993)
By: Ermanno Labianca
Probably the only book written about Bruce's 1992-93 touring band. It's not least a photo book, but it also has interviews with all the band members and offers a great insight into this period.
Bruce Springsteen (1994)
By: Teresa Celsi
ISBN: 0-8362-3108-2
Probably the smallest Bruce book out there at only 3 inches and about 80 pages.
Bruce Springsteen (1994)
By: Ron Frankl
ISBN: 0-7910-2352-4
Biography in the "Pop Culture Legends" series. Introduction by Leeza Gibbons of Entertainment Tonight.
Bruce Springsteen (1995)
By: Steven Rosen
ISBN: 1-86074-035-9
Marred by serious errors in the captions, but otherwise a nice-looking book with some nice pictures.
The Moral Passion of Bruce Springsteen (1996)
By: Pat Primeaux
ISBN: 1-57309-036-0
The author is a leading Catholic ethicist and teacher. In this book he discusses the phenomena of Bruce Springsteen and the moral core of his music.
The Complete Guide to the Music of Bruce Springsteen (1996)
By: Patrick Humphries
ISBN: 0-7119-5304-X
A very small book in size and nothing revolutionary in the contents, but a nice "beginner's" book.
Born in the U.S.A: Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition (1997)
By: Jim Cullen
ISBN: 0-06-018780-8
An intellectual look at Bruce Springsteen and his role in American culture and tradition. Jim Cullen exposes Bruce as a highly conservative traditionalist. If you're looking for a regular biography, this is definitely not it.
Springsteen (1998)
By: Frank Moriarty
ISBN: 1-56799-652-3
Biography with lots of unique photos not least from the Born to Run Tour.
It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen (1999)
By: Eric Alterman
ISBN: 0-316-03885-7
A nice biography by a real fan who brings the readers up to date with Springsteen's career up to the beginning of the E Street Band reunion in 1999.
Springsteen: Point Blank (1999)
By: Christopher Sandford
ISBN: 0-316-64845-0
One of the most controversial Bruce biographies with its focus on Bruce's alleged huge consumption of women. As such it's an entertaining read, but perhaps it should be taken with a grain of salt. Not least considering many of the sources are anonymous.
Bruce Springsteen: Career of a Rock Legend (1999)
By: Jeff Horn
ISBN: 0-9350-1640-6
Bruce Springsteen (2000)
By: Steve J. Powell
ISBN: 8-4376-1225-X
Bruce Springsteen (2001)
By: Susie Derkins
ISBN: 0-8239-3522-1
Part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers series.
Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and American Song (2002)
By: Larry David Smith
ISBN: 0-2759-7393-X
A comparative analysis of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan's songwriting.
Bruce Springsteen's America : The People Listening, a Poet Singing (2003)
By: Robert Coles
ISBN: 0-8129-7300-3
The Bruce Springsteen Scrapbook (2004)
By: Hank Bordowitz
ISBN: 0-8065-2553-3
Colorful and refreshing biography with many little details that makes it stand out.
Bruce Springsteen (2005)
By: Peter Basham
ISBN: 1-9030-4797-8
Part of the Pocket Essential series. Brief condensed book with facts and expert opinions.
Greetings From E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2006)
By: Robert Santelli
ISBN: 0-8118-5348-9
Not just a book, but a lavish collection of text, pictures, and loose effects such as backstage passes, setlists, and much more. One of the most beautiful Bruce publications.
Bruce Springsteen On Tour 1968-2005 (2006)
By: Dave Marsh
ISBN: 0-7475-8792-2
Beautiful book about the Springsteen live experience. While much of the text is a rehash of Marsh's two previous biographies, the pictures that grace most pages are worth the price alone.
The Gospel according to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic (2008)
By: Jeffrey B. Symynkywicz
ISBN: 978-066423169-9
Theological and political analyses of Bruce's music and career.
Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy (2008)
By: Randall E. Auxier
ISBN: 978-0812696479
Co-author: Doug Anderson. A philosophical look at Bruce in light of politics and poetry, among other things.
Bruce Springsteen (2008)
By: Rae Simons
ISBN: 978-1422203217
Part of the series Popular Rock Superstars of Yesterday and Today.
Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales (2009)
By: Clarence Clemons
ISBN: 978-0-446-54626-3
Co-written with his friend Don Reo, this is Clarence Clemons' autobiography. While it does have lots about Bruce, the focus is on Clarence.
Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen (2010)
By: David Masciotra
ISBN: 978-082-642505-8
Analysis of Bruce's lyrics and career in a political context.
Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen (2010)
By: Roxanne Harde
ISBN: 0-739-14536-3
Collection of academic articles by scholars of many different disciplines. If you always wanted to read a comparison of Bruce and Shakespeare, you'll find one here.
Bruce Springsteen and the American Soul: Essays on the Songs and Influence of a Cultural Icon (2011)
By: David Garrett Izzo
ISBN: 978-0786459087
Examination of Bruce as a cultural icon and the importance of his live performances.
Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll (2012)
By: Marc Dolan
ISBN: 0393084213
Biography that puts Springsteen's music in a broad context of national, local and personal events that took place as it was written or performed.
E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2012)
By: Clinton Heylin
ISBN: 978-1780335797
An honest, and sometimes critical, portrait of Bruce and his music. Very detailed.
Bruce (2012)
By: Peter Ames Carlin
ISBN: 978-1439191828
An almost authorized biography based on interviews with some of the people closest to Bruce and Bruce himself.

Books about and by fans

Bruce Springsteen: Our Reasons to Believe (1986)
By: Carole Tuszynski
A compilation of essays by fans where they talk about how they became fans of Bruce and what his music means to them.
ISBN: 0-9617170-0-9
Tramps Like Us: Music & Meaning Among Springsteen Fans (1998)
By: Daniel Cavicchi
Originally a PH.D dissertation this book examines the Springsteen fan culture. The book is not easily accessible, but it's should still be an interesting read to most fans.
ISBN: 0-19-511833-2
For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans (2007)
By: Lawrence Kirsch (production editor)
Bruce Springsteen seen through the eyes of his fans whose tales, photos and enthusiasm make up this book.
ISBN: 978-0-9784156-0-0
The Light in Darkness (2009)
By: Lawrence Kirsch
Compilation of fan accounts about the Darkness on the Edge of Town album and tour. Includes tons of pictures from the Darkness era too.
ISBN: 978-0-9784156-1-7
Finding Grace in the Concert Hall: Community & Meaning Among Springsteen Fans (2011)
By: Randall Linda K.
Sociology study about Springsteen fans written in a very accessible language.
ISBN: 1-57766-685-2
Raise Your Hand: Adventures of an American Springsteen Fan in Europe (2012)
By: Caryn Rose
A personal tale about an American fan's tour of Europe following Bruce.
ISBN: 978-0983502937


Springsteen: Blinded by the Light (1985)
By: Patrick Humphries et al.
The first part is a biography. The second part is called The Bruce Files and includes a timeline, concert overview, discography, bootleg discography, and lots more. Before the Internet Springsteen geeks wore out their copy of this book in no time.
ISBN: 0-85965-086-3
The E Street Shuffle: Springsteen & The E Street Band in Performance 1972-1988 (1989)
By: Clinton Heylin et al.
This books simply consists of setlists from Bruce's show 1972-88, or at least those that were known from recordings at the time of the book's publication.
ISBN: none
The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen From A to E to Z (2004)
By: Gary Graff
A Springsteen encyclopedia with articles about people, places, songs, bands, websites (including this one) that are all connected to Bruce's life and career.
ISBN: 15-7859-157-0

Photo books

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.: A Look at the Local Scene (1983)
By: Chuck Yopp
Despite the title, this is an almost all-Bruce photo book featuring shots of his surprise appearances in Asbury Park in the early Eighties. It was originally published in 1983 and long out of print when a new edition was published in 2008.
ISBN: 978-096131848-0-3
Springsteen (1984)
By: Lynn Goldsmith
A photo book featuring then-girlfriend, Lynn Goldsmith's pictures of Bruce taken during the Darkness Tour. Some stunning shots both on and offstage.
ISBN: 0-312-753942
The Picture Life of Bruce Springsteen (1986)
By: Geri Bain
ISBN: 0-5311-0204-1
Springsteen: Access All Areas (2000)
By: Lynn Goldsmith
Photographer and former girlfriend Lynn Goldsmith's second book with all-Springsteen photos from the Darkness tour. Unlike the first one this one is all black and white and printed on coarser paper.
ISBN: 0-7893-0392-2
Days of Hope and Dreams: An Intimate Portrait of Bruce Springsteen (2003)
By: Frank Stefanko
Photo book by one of the most famous Springsteen Photographers. Frank Stefanko took the pictures that ended up on the covers of Darkness and The Rivers and has taken many other now famous shots of Bruce.
ISBN: 0-8230-8387-X
Born to Run: The Unseen Photos (2006)
By: Eric Meola
Eric Meola took the legendary Born to Run cover photo, but obviously that wasn't the only picture he took of Bruce during the Seventies. This book is an awesome coffee table book that shows a bunch of them in razor sharp quality.
ISBN: 1-933784-09-1
Bruce Springsteen: The Illustrated Biography (2010)
By: Chris Rushby
ISBN: 978-1907176159
Streets of Fire: Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977-1979 (2012)
By: Eric Meola
Images of Bruce and the E Street Band from 1round 1977 by the guy who took the Born to Run cover shot.
ISBN: 978-0062133458

Lyrics and albums

Bruce Springsteen Complete (1986)
Lyrics and tabs for musicians looking to cover Bruce songs.
ISBN: 0-89898-468-8
Songs (1998)
By: Bruce Springsteen
Authorized lyrics book with Springsteen himself writing introduction to the various album chapters. While no huge news is offered, it's still a nice read.
ISBN: 0-380-97619-6
Bruce Springsteen: Learn From the Greats and Write Better Songs (2005)
By: Rikky Rooksby
An examination of Bruce's writing style including details about his arrangements, chord sequences, melodies, and lyrics.
ISBN: 0-8793-0836-2
Born in the USA (2005)
By: Geoffrey Himes
A close look at the Born in the USA album and sessions. Part of the 33 1/3 series.
ISBN: 08-2641-661-6
Tougher Than the Rest: 100 Best Bruce Springsteen Songs (2006)
By: June Skinner Sawyers
A thorough description of what the author considers to be the best Springsteen songs. Not everyone will agree with the selection ("Balboa Park" and "Big Muddy"?), but Sawyers makes excellent cases for her choices.
ISBN: 0-8256-3470-9
Magic in the Night: The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen (2009)
By: Rob Kirkpatrick
Excellent and well-written analasys of all Bruce's albums up until the end of the 00's.
ISBN: 978-0-28563854-9
Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen's American Vision (2009)
By: Louis P. Masur
Everything about the Born to Run album that you could ever want to know. From the recording of it to the public reception.
ISBN: 978-1-59691-692-0
Follow That Dream (The Unreleased Lyrics of Bruce Springsteen: 1972 to 1985) (?)
By: H. O. Gold & M. Appel
Title says it all. This book simply contains lyrics to at the time unreleased Springsteen songs. As some of the songs have been officially released along with the official lyrics, you can see the authors of this book didn't always get it right, but it's still a nice reference book for serious fans.
ISBN: none

Books in other languages

Bruce Springsteen: Interviste Testi Inediti, Discografia Completa (1984)
By: Francesco Coli
Interviews in Italian, a discography, and lyrics translated to Italian.
ISBN: 88-85008-66-6
Thunder Road : en beretning om Bruce Springsteen (1985)
By: Steinar Arneson
ISBN: 82-7382-000-9
Bruce Springsteen: Studio su testi e musiche (1987)
Book in Italian that analyses Bruce's lyrics.
Bruce Springsteen (1991)
By: Stig Ultima Pedersen
Possibly the worst book written about Bruce Springsteen. Full of factual errors, no original information, and an amateurish production. In Danish.
ISBN: 87-981827-3-0
Bruce Springsteen (1991)
By: Petra Zeitz
A German biography. Lots of cool pictures up to and including the Tunnel of Love Tour.
ISBN: 3-81183081-3
Promesas Rotas - Bruce Springsteen (1992)
By: Julia Ignacio
ISBN: 8-4797-4021-3
Bruce Springsteen anthology: Tutti i dischi, tutte le canzoni (1999)
By: Stefano Barco
ISBN: 8-8796-6196-5
Bruce Springsteen de A ? Z (2002)
By: Jean-Michel Oullion
ISBN: 2-8434-3119-0
Bruce Frederick Springsteen (2003)
By: Hugues Barriere
ISBN: 2-8592-0527-6

Miscellaneous books

Bruce! The Ultimate Bruce Springsteen Quiz Book (1985)
By: Heather Higgins
ISBN: 0-8713-1465-7
Prove It All Night: The Bruce Springsteen Trivia Book (1987)
By: Deborah Mayer
Test your Bruce knowledge with this quiz book Hours of fun entertainment for the hardcore fan.
ISBN: 0-914457-17-9
Bruce Springsteen (1992)
By: Jay Allen Sanford
Part of the Rock 'n' Roll comics series so apparently this is a comic book.
Bruce Springsteen: The Rolling Stone Files (1996)
All articles and reviews published in Rolling Stone magazine from 1973 to 1996. Also a great introduction by Parke Puterbaugh. It's extremely interesting to read about the early Bruce as written when it was happening rather than in the hindsight of most books.
ISBN: 0-7868-8153-4
Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore (2002)
By: Stan Goldstein & Jean Mikle
This book takes you to the places that Springsteen made famous and that made Springsteen famous. From the Palace in Asbury Park to his childhood home in Freehold, this book's got it all.
ISBN: none
Racing in the Street: The Bruce Springsteen Reader (2004)
By: June Skinner Sawyers (ed.)
A collection of some of the best and most famous Springsteen articles, from the Time and Newsweek cover stories to The Advocate. Essential!
ISBN: 0-14-200354-9
Bruce Springsteen Talking (2004)
By: John W. Duffy
Updated version of "Bruce Springsteen: In His Own Words". The book consists of quotes by Bruce taken from interviews and stage raps.
ISBN: 1-8444-9403-9
Local Heroes: The Asbury Park Music Scene (2008)
By: Anders M�rtensson
Extended version of a book originally published in 2005 in Sweden. This is a close look at the music scene that Bruce grew out of and that followed in his wake.
ISBN: 978-0-8135-4294-2

Born to Run book generously delivers new insight and perspective

Published 2016-12-30

I was ecstatic when it was first announced that Bruce was going to publish his autobiography. This was like a holy grail. Well, another holy grail (there are a few box sets that qualify too) ... Read more

The Bruce Librarian interviews Wendy Parnell

Published 2015-08-23

A couple of weeks ago the Bruce Librarian reviewed the new picture book “Born to Run: the Story of Johnny 99” by Wendy Parnell. After the review, Greasy Lake sent some questions to ... Read more

The Bruce Librarian: Bruce picture books steal the picture

Published 2015-08-09

There are probably, on average, 3-4 books published about, or based on, Bruce Springsteen within the span of a year, so if two of those books are picture books inspired by Springsteen lyrics, can w ... Read more

Winner of East Berlin contest found

Published 2013-08-04

The winner of a signed copy of "Bruce Springsteen, Rocking the Wall, The Berlin Concert that Changed the World" by Erik Kirschbaum has been chosen in a random draw among the 26 people who ... Read more

Celebrate 25th Anniversary of East Berlin show and win a book

Published 2013-07-19

Twenty-five years ago today, July 19, 1988, Bruce Springsteen went on stage in front of an estimated 300,000 people in East Berlin, East Germany. It was his first show behind the Iron Curtain in th ... Read more