Barack Obama ‘approached’ Bruce Springsteen ahead of ‘long conversations’ for podcast show

Bruce Springsteen reveals music helped his mental health

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While Barack Obama may have been the most powerful man in the world, the 44th President of the United States still appears to be a music fan. So much so that Barack suggested that he and singer Bruce Springsteen team up together.

We had become friendly and had had quite a few long conversations

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen, 71, and former president Barack, 59, openly speak about their lives, music taste as well as their mutual love for their home country, the United States of America.

Many may not have known that the former President and the Streets of Philadelphia singer had been friends, initially shocking the world upon the release of their podcast series, Renegades: Born In The USA.

Renegade was famously Barack’s secret service code name during his time in office as President, with Michelle Obama revealing that the Obama’s all had code names beginning with the letter R.

The former POTUS and Bruce became pals in 2008 during Barack’s presidential campaign during which, Bruce performed a concert.

Recalling their first encounter, Barack said on their podcast: “I remember thinking, ‘He’s very low key, even maybe a little bit shy’, and I liked that in you.

“So I thought, ‘I hope I get a chance to talk to him at some point’ but because it was in the middle of the campaign, we were rushing around and… so, you know, we had a nice chat.”

Speaking about how their podcast came about, Bruce told Zoe Ball on Radio 2’s Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show: “Well, it was his idea initially, and initially I thought ‘Wait a minute, you’re the President, I’m a New Jersey high school diploma guitar player – are you sure this is a good idea?’”

“There’s a lot of things I don’t know, you know, but we had become friendly and had had quite a few long conversations just between the two of us about a variety of things and he said that was the type of show he was interested in doing.”

The music legend continued: “Something that was more broad and philosophical and historical and based in people who’ve, examined their lives in some depth and so that’s what we had in common and the basis that we started the podcast on.

“And he came to my farm and we sat in my studio and days would go by and we’d just talk.”

In the first episode of Renegades, Barack admits that after getting to know Bruce, he was not the “shy singer” he first imagined him to be.

Discussing their blossoming friendship, he recalled that Bruce later performed at the White House during Barack’s inauguration and was invited for dinner.

After a night of eating, singing and drinking, Barack admits: “I said, ‘Well, he’s not as shy as I thought, but he just has to loosen up a little bit.'”

While the two may have become friends, their wives, Michelle Obama and Patti Scialfa also hit it off.

Barack joked that his wife, former First Lady Michelle was “pleased” that Springsteen could address his “failings as a man”.

Explaining his conversations with Michelle after the four had met up, he said: “After we would leave a dinner, or a party, or a conversation, she’d say, ‘You see how Bruce understands his shortcomings and has come to terms with them in a way that you have not?

“You should spend some more time with Bruce because he’s put in the work.'”

Following the news that concerts can start going ahead from July 19, Bruce teased fans that they can expect to see him on the road once more.

Speaking to Zoe, he said: “I’ll be doing a few more radio shows, we’ll be touring next year if everything goes well.

“The E Street Band will be back on the road, you know depending of course on the virus and what’s opening up.”

He added: “I’d like to take one moment to thank my UK fans, particularly for the support they’ve continued to give to my new music, Letter To You was so well received in the UK and it really touched my heart and I deeply, deeply appreciate it.”

You can listen to the full interview on BBC Sounds now.

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