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The rock legend, 67, lays his soul bare in a much-anticipated new autobiography, Born To Run, which hit shelves yesterday.
The 500-page epic took seven years to complete and was penned entirely by “The Boss”, as Bruce is known, with no help from a ghost- writer. He punctures his image as a gritty, blue-collar hero, saying he has never done a week’s real work in his life and admitting he craved the approval of his hard-drinking, factory-worker father Doug.
When depression is descending, he says: “Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track.
“She gets me to the doctor and says, ‘This man needs a pill’.” They have three children — Sam, 22, a fireman, show jumper Jessica, 24, and Evan, 26, who works in radio.
He had a very dark episode just a few years ago yet still produced 2012 album Wrecking Ball, with his bandmates none the wiser.
But such were his debts that even as he was lauded on the cover of Time magazine, he was far from wealthy.
Bruce jokes that he worried about Evan’s fondness for punk rock ahead of “the family business”.
Yet when Evan took his dad to see his favourite band, he was amazed to find the guitarist had a tattoo of Bruce on his arm.
The star writes: “He loved me but he couldn’t stand me.
He felt we competed for my mother’s affections.” Yet he credits his dad for his trademark, working-man look — in marked contrast to his stellar career path.