Springsteen stint stretched Morello
Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello admits it was a struggle to keep up with Bruce Springsteen on the road.
But even though he describes the experience as “orthopaedically exhausting” he’s gearing up to it all again – and hopes the invitations keep coming.
Morello stood in for regular guitarist Steven Van Zandt when Springsteen and the E Street Band toured Australia last year. The Boss was recording songs on the road and Morello joined in, eventually appearing on eight tracks of High Hopes – streaming today via the Guardian.
The guitarist tells Rolling Stone: “I was very excited, and then immediately intimidated by the idea that I’d have to learn six hundred Bruce Springsteen songs. I was like, ‘If I’m on stage three and a half hours a day, that could be a challenge.’ And it was. But it was great.
“Bruce gave me a list of fifty songs – and, just to be clear, my strength is not learning music. Three months before the tour was to begin, I buckled down and got to learning.”
Morello continues: “Those songs were just for the first show! Before the second show he texted me seven new songs to learn. I had about an hour and forty-five minutes to learn those. And the next day it was a few more.
“I think there were ten shows over the course of that Australian tour. We played seventy-eight songs in that time – I think I got seventy-seven of them right.”
He reflects: “In the hotel bar after one show we were comparing notes. I was like, ‘Rage Against The Machine shows were exhausting, but the band never played longer than one hour and twenty minutes in its history.’ They were cardiovascularly exhausting shows. But the Bruce shows are orthopaedically exhausting.”
Van Zandt is back in position, but Morello has opted to remain on board. Asked if he’d keep going beyond their current booked dates, he replies: “I have yet to say no to a Bruce Springsteen inquiry.”
High Hopes – which was accidentally leaked last month via Amazon – is set for release on January 13. Late E Street Band members Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici both appear.
01. High Hopes
02. Harry’s Place
03. American Skin (41 Shots)
04. Just Like Fire Would
05. Down In The Hole
06. Heaven’s Wall
07. Frankie Fell In Love
08. This Is Your Sword
09. Hunter Of Invisible Game
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream