Some musicians have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by streaming shows from their homes or recording performances in empty venues. Not Bruce Springsteen, who’s getting ready to release his new album, Letter to You, on October 23. Talking with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, the Boss explained, “I do a lot of work in front of my bedroom mirror with the tennis racket.” Colbert replied, “So, you’re 16 all over again?” prompting Springsteen to further explain himself. “I’ve completely gone back to when I was 16,” Springsteen continued. “I put the album on, I get the tennis racket, and I go for an hour. Matter of fact, I go for three hours, just like the show.” We demand the livestream of that! But if anyone thrives on live shows, it’s King of Jersey Bruce Springsteen, who added that “it is a bit of a drag” to not be able to play live. He is working on other quarantine projects too, he said, “so I’m not just wandering around the house and getting in Patti’s hair.”
Springsteen did perform just a taste of his new album — recorded in a five-day run of live takes with the E Street Band — at the end of his Late Show appearance, picking up one of a wall of real guitars for an acoustic rendition of Letter to You song “Last Man Standing.” He must’ve been a little rusty without those live performances, though, because he forgot the lyrics toward the end of the first verse and burst into laughter. “Well, then might I recommend the album Letter to You by Bruce Springsteen,” Colbert said. “It’s got all the lyrics, it’s got everything you need to play Bruce Springsteen’s latest hits.” Springsteen joked, “I need one of those myself!” In the meantime, you can watch his new Letter to You documentary, which hit Apple TV+ a day early at Springsteen’s own request. They don’t call him the Boss for nothing.