Watch Bruce Springsteen Talk New Memoir, List His Favorite Springsteen Songs on 'Late Show'

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS 
Bruce Springsteen on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Sept. 23, 2016.

Bruce Springsteen stopped by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about his forthcoming memoir, Born to Run, on his 67th birthday.

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Springsteen, who taped the show on Thursday (Sept. 22) with his daughter, Jessica, in attendance for support, gave an insightful and funny interview discussing his relationship with his father, his experiences with depression, his early childhood ("the worst altar boy on the planet"), the reasons behind his four-hour shows, and his top five Springsteen songs of all time.

Answering Colbert about his marathon shows, Springsteen said it was a "medicinal" way to deal with his inner struggles. "I was this incredibly neurotic young kid [with] a lot of anxiety, which I didn't know how to chase away," he said. "So all I found out was after I played, I calmed down. I felt very centered. It may explain why it goes on so long. It was an easy drug to take."

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Springsteen said it's also the reason behind his long tours, as well as his drive to perform every chance he gets. "If I don't play regularly I'm inside my head a lot. I'm not my own best company," he said.

Music, he said, is his personal cure for what he calls "night terrors."

"The night has it's own life," Springsteen said, adding that his shows help the audience as well. "I'm here to take you out of time. I'm here to transport you someplace else."

His depression existed in his own family -- "the Irish side" -- and haunted his father, Doug. "My father was very ill with it. I caught some of it," he said. "Inside he was a sweetheart and a loving man but he struggle with some illness. Initially we didn't communicate very well."

He later communicated with his father through his songs, which his dad said were his favorite ones.

As for Springsteen's favorite songs, he listed "Born "Born to Run," "The Rising," "Thunder Road," "Nebraska," and a tie of "Racing in the Street" and "Jungleland."

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Other tidbits included: Any musician who can't play "Wild Thing" by The Troggs will be fired from the E Street Band; a "little man" running a teleprompter under the stage is at the ready to Google lyrics if the mood strikes Springsteen to cover Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream;" he has "no recollection" of writing or recording the song "Henry Boy;" and his "magic trick" as a musician is to create a "newness" for the audience every night so "it's never repetitive."

"It's a bit like having your first kiss on a nightly basis," Springsteen said. 

The appearance is the latest in the singer's tour promoting the book. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Springsteen took a shot a Republican nominee Donald Trump, stating "the republic is under siege by a moron."

Springsteen's book, Born to Run, will be released on Sept. 27. The companion album, Chapter and Verse, is available now. 

The rocker will appear at the Apple Soho store on Prince Street in New York for a hosted discussion of the book and album. Tickets go on sale today (Sept. 24) at 3 p.m.


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