"I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud," the passage opens. "So am I. By 20, no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park and already a member in good standing amongst those who 'lie' in service of the truth … artists, with a small 'a.' But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hard-core bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell."
Springsteen goes on to explain that Born to Run is a continuation of this story, but also an examination of its origins and how he's been able to keep going for so long. Fittingly, the musician includes a "Rock 'n' Roll Survival Kit" in the foreword that lists intangibles like DNA and natural ability alongside relentless study and practice and the desire for any number of things, whether it's, to quote the singer, "fame? … love? … admiration? … attention? … women? … sex? … and oh, yeah . .. a buck." "Then," he adds in typical Springsteenian language, "if you want to take it all the way out to the end of the night, a furious fire in the hole that just … don't … quit … burning."
Springsteen teases that Born to Run will include a few handy tips for anyone who finds themselves in front of "eighty thousand (or eighty) screaming rock & roll fans who are waiting for you to do your magic trick. Waiting for you to pull something out of your hat, out of thin air, out of this world, something that before the faithful were gathered here today was just a song-fueled rumor.
"I am here to provide proof of life to that ever elusive, never completely believable 'us,'" Springsteen concludes. "That is my magic trick. And like all good magic tricks, it begins with a setup."
Born to Run will be published on September 27th. The book will be accompanied by an album, Chapter and Verse, that features 18 songs chosen by Springsteen that reflect the themes and sections of the book. The LP will feature five previously unreleased songs.