Here’s Why Paul Simon Thought Bruce Springsteen Was a Mix of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison

Being praised by Paul Simon is enviable. Being compared to either Bob Dylan or Van Morrison is enviable. Now imagine you received a mix of all three of those enviable compliments. Bruce Springsteen doesn’t have to imagine. Find out why Simon loved The Boss, below.

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Here’s Why Paul Simon Thought Bruce Springsteen Was a Mix of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison

Springsteen is in a league of his own. He’s an artist that was era-defining in his heyday and continues to excite crowds with waves of nostalgia today. His understanding of the working class was unparalleled. He held the heart of America in the tip of his pen. Millions of people listened to what he had to say with bated breath.

Simon has always been well aware of Springsteen’s magic. In a 1984 interview with Playboy, Simon used his voice to throw some praise Springsteen’s way. He likened him to two legendary musicians.

“When I first heard Bruce, I thought, well, he’s like Dylan and Van Morrison,” Simon said. “Somehow, he’s grown. Somehow, he’s made those South Jersey highways, the cars, into an archetypal, almost mythical American form of expression. He’s found a vocabulary to talk about whats on his mind and in his heart.”

[RELATED: Remember When: A Journalist’s Quote Changed the Course of Bruce Springsteen’s Career]

It takes a true artist to be able to form their own, unique vocabulary. It’s a skill both Simon and Springsteen have in common. While Springsteen became the voice of the working class, Simon was a mouthpiece for the counterculture.

Both of them took up a necessary space in the world at exactly the right time. Perhaps they were products of their environment, but we’d argue they helped to create that environment in the first place. It’s no surprise Simon revered Springsteen. Great recognizes great.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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