Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” is one of those albums, a game changer.
At the point Springsteen was in his career, the decision to release this album could have been a huge misstep.
It wasn’t the album the world was waiting for, and Springsteen himself wasn’t even making an album.
Warren Zanes had a connection to “Nebraska” when it was released in 1982, and unanswered questions about the album.
Zanes was surprised that in Bruce’s autobiography “Born To Run” the section about “Nebraska” went by “really quickly”.
After that part in “Born To Run”, Bruce shares about a cross country trip and a breakdown.
Warren felt that was his “door”, that there was some connection between “Nebraska” and that breakdown.
His instinct told him there was a bigger story to tell.
In creating “Nebraska” Bruce was not making an album, he just fell into it.
Warren shares that he wrote this book twice, that he went into a “Cave” and they had to “Come get him with flashlights”.
Springsteen created the album in a solitary way, much the same as Zanes wrote this book.
Warren was hoping this book might give Bruce a different way of looking at the album.
While discussing parallels between the album’s creation and the writing of this book, Warren was deeply honest in sharing that he was in trouble in his own life during this project, having lost his father and gotten divorced in the same year.
If you’re a fan of “Nebraska”, this book is a must read.
This is not a song by song examination of the album, this book puts the album in the context of Springsteen’s life before, during and after the making of the album.
Zanes goes deep, not only uncovering stories and information a major Springsteen fan like myself didn’t know, but also giving new perspectives and more depth of knowledge of things fans may have thought they knew.
My thanks to Warren Zanes for taking the time to speak with me and to be so brave in our conversation.
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