Bruce Springsteen Returns To His Roots In 1995, In The Loder Files

Springsteen, who had just won an Oscar for 'Streets of Philadelphia,' pleased fans with an E Street Band reunion.

Where do old interviews go to die? Since 1988 they’ve gone into the MTV News vault, but we’ve been exhuming them to bring you these classic natterings. Here’s the latest in the series, which runs every Tuesday.

Bruce Springsteen fans wondered if their guy was going Hollywood when he moved to Los Angeles — to Beverly Hills! — in 1992. Two years later, when he won an Oscar for his theme song for the movie “Philadelphia,” they figured that, well, yes, he apparently had.

Springsteen’s life had become all kinds of interesting following the release of his hugely successful 1984 album, Born in the U.S.A. The following year he married Julianne Phillips, a model and TV actress who’d made a fleeting appearance in the video for “Glory Days.” This struck many, if not most, of Springsteen’s followers as very strange behavior. In 1987, he released the brooding Tunnel of Love, a record which suggested that not all was well in the unexpected union. In 1988, he and Phillips filed for divorce. In ’89, in a once-unthinkable move, Springsteen broke up the E Street Band, the group that had been with him, in one form or another, since the early ’70s. Had the man lost his mind?

In 1991, Bruce married backup singer (and certified Jersey girl) Patti Scialfa. In March of 1992, he released two albums, Lucky Town and Human Touch, on which he was backed by session musicians (although E Street keyboardist Roy Bittan was also on hand). His tour in support of these records, with a new and nameless band providing backup, ran into 1993. Then came the Oscar. And then, finally, in 1995, Springsteen reassembled the E Street Band to record some new tracks for a greatest-hits album. For fans, the stars seemed to be coming back into alignment.

It was around this time that we dropped in on Springsteen in a New York recording studio. We talked about the band, and about his Oscar for the soundtrack song “Streets of Philadelphia” (which was actually the demo version of the tune). He seemed to be feeling good. The E Street reunion turned out to be temporary, though: while two of the band’s members, bassist Gary Tallent and the late keyboardist Danny Federici, turned up on Bruce’s starkly political Ghost of Tom Joad album that year, the whole group wouldn’t get back together for good until his next studio album, The Rising. This involved a longer wait than fans, and probably the band, too, expected. It took seven years.

Enjoy digging through The Loder Files? You’ll find more here, and there’s much more to come from the vaults — check back every Tuesday!