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Bruce Springsteen Posts Touching Tribute to Tom Petty, His ‘Long Lost Brother’

While they were unquestionably kindred spirits, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen never really collaborated, apart from sharing stages at events like the 1979 “No Nukes” concert, a 1986 Bridge benefit and, wow, that 1990 show in L.A. when Springsteen and Bob Dylan joined Petty onstage for an encore. The reasons for that are fairly obvious: Their musical styles and lyrical subject matter are quite similar, they’re both alpha bosses, and they’re both such strong and distinctive songwriters that there arguably wasn’t much room — or need — for the other in a song.

Yet theirs was a friendship that stretched back to the 1970s — Petty considered the Boss a “fellow traveller,” according to Warren Zanes’ excellent 2015 biography — and on the morning of Springsteen’s first preview of his four-month run of solo shows on Broadway, he posted a tribute to his colleague, who died late Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest on Sunday.

“Down here on E Street, we’re devastated and heartbroken over the death of Tom Petty. Our hearts go out to his family and bandmates,” he wrote. “I’ve always felt a deep kinship with his music. A great songwriter and performer, whenever we saw each other… …it was like running into a long lost brother. Our world will be a sadder place without him.”

Springsteen fans will not want to miss Variety‘s two-part interview with the Boss, which published this morning.

 

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