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Bruce Springsteen eloquently paid tribute to the late John Prine, “a true original,” as part of his guest DJ turn on Sirius XM’s E Street Radio Wednesday morning. “Over here on E Street we are devastated by the loss of John Prine. Not only was he one of our country’s great songwriters, a real national treasure,” he said. “A sweet and lovely man. I was proud to call him my friend. He wrote music with towering passion, great details of ordinary lives. His death just make me angry. He was simply one of the best we had.”

Springsteen took over his channel with an 85-minute broadcast, “From His Home to Yours,” with a carefully crafted set weaving 21 songs with themes of isolation, hopes and dreams and a wide range of genres, including rock, folk, rap and gospel to provide some comfort and companionship to fans sheltered at home due to the coronovirus crisis. He took a moment to honor Prine, who  passed at the age of 73 from COVID-19 complications, with a selection of Prine’s  “Angel from Montgomery.”

Springsteen was precise with his song choices, which included songs by Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Common, Morrissey, Cracker, wife Patti Scialfa, Lucinda Williams, his own music and more. At one point, he started to rally the troops to practice social distance themselves with the same fervor he approaches a live audience.

“Are you alright? Are you alright? Are you social distancing, are you staying in your home with your loved ones? I think that’s the question of the year, Are you all right?,” he asked. “If you are by yourself that’s not so bad. I spent 35 years of my life alone in my room and I liked it. My sons are doing that now and they sound pretty happy. They are in no rush to come home. What do you miss? I miss going to Max’s and the Windmill and getting a hot dog. I miss walking along the promenade and boardwalk in Asbury Park. I miss sitting at the bar and having beers with some friends. I miss baseball.”

The show — recorded in his home in rural New Jersey — also gave fans a glimpse into the 70-year old rocker’s new normal, as he talked about “being lonely on the farm,” before playing the late Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely.”

‘I’m with my baby, Patti. This goes out to [their children] Evan, Jess, Sam — Mom, I miss you,” he said.

Springsteen noted that “these days sometimes you can feel like you’re looking out on the edge of the apocalypse,” as a fitting intro to Bob Dylan’s “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.”

Springsteen chose his words carefully, speaking in a calm voice while embodying the spirit of a free-form jock, often surprising fans along the way with touching and funny commentary set to a backdrop telling the story of today’s times. In some fashion, it was as meticulous as an E Street band set, particularly in his introduction of his own “Cover Me,” from “Born in the USA.”

“I think the strangest thing is how the world suddenly feels unsafe — a walk, going to the grocery store, a drive, walking along the beach which is now closed,” he said. “That feeling of safety you once had has been stripped away. I’m going to take the time to play one of mine.”

He then turned to Jon Bon Jovi, “a neighbor of mine for a little inspiration,” before playing “Livin’ on a Prayer. “He’s back down in Jersey now.”

In a nod to alternative radio (and one of his more hilarious anecdotes), Springsteen went to the well of Morrissey for “Every Day is Like Sunday.”

“I think everybody is waking up these days, that it’s Groundhog Day. Every day is like the other day. I get up, I exercise, I exercise some more. I go downstairs I eat breakfast, I eat breakfast again,” he laughed. “I go in front of the fire and read a little bit. If I’m lucky I go outside on the farm and Patti and I walk a bit.”

He also waxed deep when introducing Don Henley’s “The End of the Innocence,” which he called “one of my all-time favorites.”

“The only thing that I am really sure of is that after all of this is over, the world isn’t going to be quite the same,” he said. “I think we are all going to be suffering some post-traumatic stress and people are going to take a while before they trust one another again, before they can come close, before they can gather again at events that are part of the celebration of being human and being together.”

Springsteen then seamlessly segued gospel singer Marion Williams’ a cappella “Trouble is Hard” into Common’s “Letter to the Free,” taking a moment to acknowledge that “the folks who will suffer the worst under this pandemic, are the folks who have no safety net, the incredible unemployment sweeping the nation. One week out of work can kick the bottom out of your life.”

Springsteen concluded on a positive note, thanking fans for listening and hoping “I lightened your day and the burden a little bit.”

This isn’t the first time Springsteen guest starred on his own channel. He played DJ once before in 2009, and last month called in to chat with E Street Radio host Jim Rotolo to talk about his involvement with First Lady Tammy Murphy’s New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.

“There are so many problems with a lot of people and facilities being overwhelmed and we just don’t know where we are in the whole thing,” he said.  “How much longer is it going to go, how much worse is it going to get. There is something there that people can get involved with if they’d like to. It’s going to be a helpful and good thing”

If you missed it, the show will air again today at 5 p.m.and streaming at https://player.siriusxm.com/?utm_source={utm_source}&utm_medium={utm_medium}&utm_campaign={utm_campaign}&dtok={dtok}&type=live&id=EStreetRadio

The show will air again on the following dates:

Thursday, April 9 at 6am and 3pm

Friday, April 10 at 10am and 4pm

Saturday, April 11 at 12am, 8am, and 5pm

Sunday, April 12 at 9am and 6am

Monday, April 13 at 7am and 4pm

Tuesday, April 14 at 12am and 8am

 

 

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