It’s commonplace at the outset of a new year to make resolutions. Generally, these fall by the wayside faster than you can say “Exercise more.” So, if you’re looking for a way to cement your self-actualization in 2017 (for real this time, you swear), may we recommend taking an hour of your day to check out Bruce Springsteen on Marc Maron’s WTF? Once solely the providence of comedians talking shop, Maron’s podcast has of late found a common language with musicians, too. The effects are often marvelously revealing, and that’s certainly true here. Maron traveled to his, and Springsteen’s, home state of New Jersey — and more specifically, to the Springsteen compound — for the interview, and recorded in Springsteen’s own studio (where Maron says, he was left alone and yet didn’t touch any guitars. Restraint!).
The result is a deeply personal hour of conversation about family, love, fathers (always rich territory for Maron), and the “un-American” tendencies of Donald Trump. But the prevailing theme is, as the ever-poetic Springsteen puts it, what it means to build the project that is your life — because, and in spite of, the forces that may conspire against you. And by the way, Springsteen says, it’s those very forces that will make you who you are, if you let them: “If you’re lucky, it’s fuel for the fire,” he tells Maron. “People generally don’t end up in my circumstance who had these placid, loving, very happy fulfilled lives. It’s not how you become a rock and roll star.” He goes on to say that it was the “chaos, tumult, disastrous relationships, humiliation, disempowerment, [and] weakness” that forged his own creative fire. So you heard it here: In 2017, resolve to embrace the chaos and tumult — Trump and all — and eventually you, too, will be Bruce Springsteen.