The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon Reflects on Friendship with Bruce Springsteen

This past July, The Gaslight Anthem dropped a single, featuring Bruce Springsteen, titled “History Books.” The song serves as the title track of the group’s first studio album in nine years, which will be released on October 27. In a recent interview with NME, the band’s singer Brian Fallon opened up about working with a legend like Springsteen, with whom he has since developed a friendship.

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During the interview, Fallon described playing The Gaslight Anthem’s “The ’59 Sound” with Springsteen at Glastonbury in 2009, which was the first time they met. “We were playing in 10 minutes, so when he showed up, I couldn’t think. My musical professional brain took over because my regular brain freaked out, and I said to him: ‘Do you know the song? Then let’s go!’” Fallon said. “It was a small tent and felt pretty epic afterward. I freaked out.

[RELATED: The Gaslight Anthem Releases New Song Ahead of Sixth Studio Album and U.S. Tour]

“I had to go straight back to the bus and lie on the floor thinking: ‘What the hell just happened? Am I in a club now? Do I get a card or a badge now?’” Fallon continued. “I should at least get a Nando’s Black Card after playing with Bruce Springsteen at Glastonbury!”

Fallon later discussed that Springsteen has since become a close friend of his. “Bruce is a friend, and it’s not lost on me how crazy it is that I can say: ‘Oh, I can text my friend Bruce Springsteen and see if he wants to catch a little TV tonight!’ Him coming on the record now felt like a full-circle moment of owning our own story and accepting that we’re a band from New Jersey,” Fallon said. “‘Cause there’s other bands from New Jersey, but there’s not other bands who hold that position with him. My Chemical Romance are a much bigger band than ours worldwide, but Uncle Bruce doesn’t hang out with them!”

“Any time I’m sitting in a car with him, I’ll look over double-take: ‘That’s him right there. I can smell him. He’s here! And he smells great.’” Fallon exclaimed. “But how do you process something like that? You just sit there and think: ‘I hope I don’t say something that makes him mad’ [Laughs]. But you also don’t want it to end either.”

Also in the interview, Fallon opened up about the initial writing process for The Gaslight Anthem’s upcoming album, History Books. “I wanted to make that deal with myself because I felt like if I call the guys and say: ‘Do you want to do this?’ You have to have something to show them. I wanted four demos that I felt good about, which is practically half an album,” Fallon told the publication. “When I finished the first song ‘Positive Charge’, it felt like a Gaslight Anthem song that would belong up there next to ’45’ or [‘The ’59 Sound’], and knew I was onto something special.”

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

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Mike Henderson

Mike Henderson, Hit Country Songwriter and Founding Member of The SteelDrivers, Dead at 69