Bruce Springsteen Honors John Prine During SiriusXM Special: ‘We’re Devastated by the Loss’
Bruce Springsteen paid homage to the loss of singer/songwriter John Prine during a one-hour SiriusXM special on Wednesday morning (April 8).
Bruce Springsteen put on his DJ hat on Wednesday morning for an hour-long takeover of his SiriusXM E Street Radio show for the “Bruce Springsteen: From His Home, To Yours…” special, during which the rock icon played some of his favorite songs about hope, loneliness and solitude while sharing a few words of wisdom during our nationwide lockdown and paying homage to the loss of singer/songwriter John Prine.
“Over here on E Street we’re devastated by the loss of John Prine,” Springsteen said of the songwriting icon, who died on Tuesday due to coronavirus in closing the show. “He was not only one of our country’s greatest songwriters, a real national treasure, but a sweet and lovely man and I was proud to count him as my friend.”
Bruce described Prine’s songs of “towering compassion” and his almost otherworldly sensitivity and humor, which “marked him as a true original. His death just makes me angry. He was simply one of the best we had and we will miss him.”He then, of course, played one of Prine’s most beloved, and oft-covered classics, “Angel From Montgomery.”
Springsteen’s set also included some Jersey shore classics, including Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” as well as perfect stay-at-home-staring-at-the-calendar mope rock from Morrissey, “Everyday is Like Sunday.” Other inspiring tracks that got a spin included gospel singer Marion Williams’ soul-stirring song of strife “Trouble So Hard,” Common’s anti-mass incarceration anthem “Letter to the Free,” Sarah Jarosz’ moving Americana ballad “Ring Them Bells” and wife Patti Scialfa’s moving Rumble Doll track “Talk to Me Like the Rain.”
The hour included some touches of humor as well, including a rollicking run through Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns’ cure for any virus that ails ya, “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu.”
“I believe that some of the love that has grown, the togetherness that has grown when you see people come out on their balconies and applauding all the health workers that are putting themselves out on the line day after day after day, their courage, their bravery is truly something I’ve never seen before,” he said, setting up two songs of hope and light: folk icons Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s ode to the good days ahead, “Better Times are Coming,” and his own cover of Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome.”
Springsteen also asked if listeners were washing their hands, social distancing and wondered if everyone was alright out there, cueing up Lucinda Williams’ appropriately probing, “Are You Alright?” In her mournful voice, Williams sang, “Are you sleeping through the night? Do you have someone to hold you tight?/ Do you have someone to hang out with?/ Do you have someone to hug and kiss you/ Hug and kiss you, Hug and kiss you?/ Are you alright?”
And even if you are alone, Bruce said maybe it’s not so bad, as he spent “35 years alone in a room” and he was fine with it. “I guess what do you miss? Everybody misses something,” he asked. “I miss going to Max’s and WindMill and getting a hot dog. I miss walking along the promenade, beach boardwalk in Asbury Park. I miss sitting at the bar having some beers and drinks with friends. I miss baseball, baseball. I’m not much of a sports fanatic at all, but I do like baseball.” And even though he isn’t much of sports guy, Springsteen said when all this is over his going to take Scialfa a ball game right before he cued up Ry Cooder’s “3rd Base, Dodger Stadium.”
“The only thing that I am really sure of is, that after all of this is over the world isn’t going to be quite the same,” he said. “I think we are all going to be suffering some post traumatic stress and people are going to take a while before they trust one another again, before they can come close, before they can gather again at events that are part of the celebration of being human and being together.”
The show ended with a song of remembrance and loss in honor of those who’ve passed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers’ “The Last Mile of the Way.”
Check out a few clips from the hour below.