Bruce Springsteen wrote his entire new album on an acoustic guitar gifted to him by a fan

Bruce Springsteen performs at the Closing Ceremony on day 8 of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 at the Air Canada Centre on September 30, 2017
(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Bruce Springsteen’s new single, Letter to You, which is also the title track to his forthcoming album with the E Street Band, is an unabashedly electric guitar-based rocker.

But in a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Boss reveals that the record’s origins lie in an acoustic guitar gifted to him by a fan.

According to Bruce, the fan, who he believes to have been from Italy, showed up at his stage door during his Springsteen on Broadway residency of solo acoustic shows in New York City in 2017 and 2018 and presented him with the instrument.

“I said, ‘Geez, you know, thanks,’ ” Springsteen said. “And I just took a quick glance at it and it looked like a nice guitar, so I jumped in the car with it.”

While Springsteen couldn’t recall the brand of acoustic, only saying it was “a company he’d never heard of,” he confirmed that “all the songs from the album came out of it. In perhaps less than 10 days. 

"I just wandered around the house in different rooms, and I wrote a song each day. I wrote a song in the bedroom. I wrote a song in our bar. I wrote a song in the living room.”

As far as Bruce’s guitar work on the album, the Rolling Stone article states that the traditionally Tele/Esquire man relied on a Gretsch (again, no model given) for “a few of [his] twangy guitar leads.” 

One of these “twangy” leads could well be the one heard in Letter to You, which you can check out above.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.