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How Does the E Street Band Play All Those Covers by Request?

The Boss recently sat down with Billboard and answered a few questions we've been wondering about ourselves. First, how does the E Street Band manage to play covers by request? As you may know, at one point during every show on his current never-ending tour, Springsteen will pluck a few held-up signs out of the audience bearing song requests, and the band will tear into them. Since they do a different one every night, we'd just assumed their tour manager planted special song-request spies in the crowd. But no! Bruce claims that his crew is actually just a bunch of musicologists:

At the very end of the Magic tour … we started to take unusual requests and do songs that we'd never played before, just depending on the common memory that the band would have from everyone's individual playing experience as teenagers. We ended up with a system where we can jump on a lot pretty quick.


Well, there you go: Bruce Springsteen knows does not necessarily know all the words to more classic-rock-and-roll songs off the top of his head than you do. Update: A TelePrompTer is involved for the lyrics.


Bruce Springsteen: The Billboard Cover Q&A
[Billboard]

Photo: Getty Images