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Steven Van Zandt Exposes Bruce Springsteen’s Lack Of Drug Use

Bruce Springsteen
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

The notion that Bruce Springsteen has never done drugs in his life has long been looked at with skepticism as a way of creating a myth of him as a clean-cut, all-American rocker. After all, he came of age in the mid ’60s, and his first album contains lyrics like, “Wizard imps and sweatshop pimps / Interstellar mongrel nymphs,” so something mind-altering had to have been inside his brain at some point, right?

In a new interview, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who has known Springsteen since 1965, confirms Springsteen’s lifelong abstinence from drugs when jokingly asked if his physique at 62 is the result of taking human-growth hormones.

“He’s the opposite of a drug-created monster,” he told Rolling Stone. “He’s in good shape by not doing drugs. It’s something he doesn’t have to preach about. He’s a living example of what happens when you never do drugs your whole life. I mean, I’m sure he’s taken a drink or two a few times in his life, but he was never a drinker either.”

One of the rare instances where Springsteen was noticeably drunk onstage was on October 2, 1975 at the Uptown Theater in Milwaukee. Midway through the show, a bomb scare evacuated the venue for three hours. During the delay, the band retreated to the Pfister Hotel and got, well, bombed. After the restart, the show lacked the precision for which the E Street Band is famous. Whenever Springsteen plays Milwaukee, he makes it a point to ask the crowd, “Are you loose?,” a reference to that night.

Next: How 'Born To Run' Made Bruce the Boss

Listen to a Drunk Bruce Springsteen Sing Chuck Berry’s ‘Little Queenie’ in 1975

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