Elvis Presley altered Bruce Springsteens life with iconic song

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Over the weekend, Bruce Springsteen graced the sofa of The Graham Norton Show on BBC One. The Boss, as he is known, was promoting his new album, Only The Strong Survive, but the star would not have started playing music if it were not for Elvis Presley.

Elvis, of course, influenced many musicians and artists throughout his career, but Bruce has previously pointed at the King as the inception of his own career.

The star first saw Elvis when he performed on The Ed Sullivan Show back in September 9, 1956.

Elvis was just 21-years-old at the time, and was introduced to the TV show by British star Charles Laughton, who was filling in for the titular host that evening. Elvis performed a string of massive hits, including Don’t Be Cruel, Ready Teddy and the iconic Hound Dog.

It was the final song in that list that left a young Bruce utterly blown away.

Bruce looked back on Elvis’ version of Hound Dog during his appearance on Desert Island Discs.

He said it was a song he “could not live without”.

Bruce continued: “When I heard it, it just shot straight through to my brain. I realised, suddenly, that there was more to life than what I’d been living.”

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At the time, Elvis “The Pelvis” Presley was somewhat of a controversial figure. His gyrating dance moves prompted him to be branded a “menace” on society, due to his sexual actions.

Bruce noted how this outrageous change in the status quo was the first step towards him hitting the stage.

He said: “I was then in pursuit of something and there’d been a vision laid out before me. You were dealing with the pure thrust, the pure energy of the music itself. I was so very young but it still hit me like a thunderbolt.”

He also noted: “I couldn’t imagine anyone not wanting to be Elvis Presley.”

Years later, Bruce even tried to break in to Elvis’ mansion home, Graceland.

A 26-year-old Bruce in 1976 left placed him on tour in Memphis, Tennessee, grabbing a taxi to Graceland to pay his respects to the King.

He hopped the fence, and started towards the doors of the building. But he was stopped at the last second by security.

He asked the bouncer: “Is Elvis home?” He was told: “No, Elvis isn’t home, he’s in Lake Tahoe.”

Bruce wasn’t deterred, however. As he was escorted off the premises he told the guards that closed in on him all about how famous he was, and how he had recently appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.

“The guards weren’t buying it,” he said, before adding: “Later on, I used to wonder what I would have said if I’d knocked on the door and if Elvis had come to the door because it wasn’t really Elvis I was goin’ to see. But, it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear, and somehow we all dreamed it. And maybe that’s why we’re here tonight, I don’t know.”


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