Bruce Springsteen pays tribute to David Bowie at start of River tour


Bruce Springsteen last night opened his The River tour with a moving tribute to David Bowie, reminding the audience that he “supported our music way, way, way, back in the very, very beginning ” before covering one of his songs, which you can watch below.

Bruce recalls how “he rang me up and I visited him down in Philly while he was making the Young Americans record. He covered some of my music… It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City, Growin’ Up… He was a big supporter of ours. I took the Greyhound bus down to Philadelphia, that’s how early it was…”

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band then went on to perform a storming version of Bowie’s Rebel Rebel.

If you wish to hear David Bowie’s version of Springsteen’s It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City, you’ll find it in SDE’s Top 10 Lost Tracks of David Bowie


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Didn’t realize Bowie was so big in the States. Just read Blackstar hit number one in the US album charts this weekend (his first US No. 1 album). Still choking back the lump in the throat every time I hear one of his tracks. Thanks for a wonderful legacy of songs David.


Lovely tribute (just like Madonna’s).

I haven’t heard Blackstar yet but I watched the music videos from it this weekend. Brilliant stuff! He will be missed…


Thanks for this, Paul.

I’m a grown man, but don’t mind admitting I sobbed at the death of Bowie. There’s no point in my trying to express my feelings, and I don’t usually invest emotionally in musicians at that level. But this was DAVID BOWIE, and his music had meant so much to me. With his new music he had once again found his muse, and he was better than ever. His voice was strong, the writing was strong.

Little did we know that the motivation was a timer running down.

I’ve been buying Bowie since the 70’s – and saying a farewell to him was too much. So yes, I admit, I sat and sobbed. Such a loss. Now I/we must live with his music, which will be with me until my own dying days.


Thanks for this Paul. I’ve appreciated Bowie since I was a kid (back in the pre-CD days) but I had no idea about his support of so many other artists throughout his life.

When I bought Blackstar last week on the 8th and listened to it a couple of times before hearing the news on Sunday I was very moved by the work but sensed something very haunting in the music, like I was listening to someone who wasn’t quite here. Like the vocals were coming from some “other” place. As usual, Bowie was already moving on to the next thing… though part of me wants to, I’ve not been able to play the LP since. I’m hoping I can return to it soon.

I was hit pretty hard by this, and I’m still trying to process it.


That was a brilliant tribute and the song sounded absolutely fantastic.
I agree about Madonna, she is a huge Bowie fan and has spoken from the very beginning of her career about how Bowie influenced her.


I thought he would have gone for something less obvious. Young Americans would have been good considering the original was sort of based on his style.


Thanks. Still grasping it.


Brill – nicely done Bruce

Read that Madge did this and then “collapsed” to the stage. That old buzzard needs to park.


Madonna didn’t collapse , it was just part of the performance. David Bowie was the first artist she ever saw perform live & she paid a touching tribute to him.


She did a great tribute as well led in by a heartfelt retelling of her first “Bowie moment,” much like many celebrities and many on here are doing lately. Let’s share in the collective celebration of his life and career without letting ageism or personal dislikes taint it…

José David

Thanks for share.
It’s makes me smile.