We are an independent show guide. Resale ticket prices may be above face value.

Why Do We Call Bruce Springsteen 'The Boss'?

Author DanielDaniel, June 19th, 2024

Find Out How Springsteen Got His Nickname

Bruce Springsteen, one of the most celebrated stars in rock history, has a nickname that is almost as universally recognized as the man himself: "The Boss." But how did this famous moniker come about? Let's dive into the intriguing backstory.

Early Days and the Gut Bomb King

Back in 1969, Springsteen was an aspiring rocker, honing his craft in local New Jersey clubs. It was during this time that he formed friendships with fellow musicians who would later join the legendary E Street Band. These friends playfully bestowed a nickname upon him: the "Gut Bomb King."

The origins of this peculiar title trace back to late-night Monopoly games. Picture a Jersey Shore house, dice rolling, and intense wheeling and dealing. Springsteen, always the cagiest player, had a distinctive method of persuasion. He would trade bags of sweet treats and burgers for valuable properties on the Monopoly board. His friends dubbed him the "Gut Bomb King" in jest, unaware that another, more iconic nickname was waiting in the wings.

The Emergence of "The Boss"

Springsteen, never one to take himself too seriously, decided to bestow a new nickname upon himself: "the Boss." Initially meant as a joke, it contrasted sharply with stuffy corporate management types. Stevie Van Zandt, a close friend, started calling him the Boss, adding credibility to the title. At first, only their inner circle used the moniker.

Rise to Fame

As Springsteen's star ascended, fans caught wind of the pseudonym. By the time he released his third album, "Born to Run," the Boss was no longer an insider secret. It had become one of the most well-known nicknames in rock music. Fans, roadies, and fellow musicians alike embraced it, cementing its place in Springsteen's legacy.

Reluctance and Practical Origins

Despite its widespread acceptance, Springsteen remained wary of fully embracing the Boss persona. He attributed the nickname's origin to not only boardgame reasons but also practical reasons: he handled payments after shows. When decisions needed to be made, someone would say, "Ask the Boss". The title stuck, and Springsteen found himself synonymous with leadership.

In retrospect, "The Boss" wasn't his first nickname, but it became iconic. Whether he liked it or not, Bruce Springsteen became a rock legend under that moniker.

NEWS, TICKETS, THEATRE & MORE

"Broadway and show news straight to your inbox!"

MORE from hq

Test Your Knowledge: Broadway Edition!

Test Your Knowledge: Broadway Edition!

Saadiqah, June 19th, 2024
Who doesn't love a word search? A challenge sure to engage your brain; we've designed a custom word to test your Broadway musical knowledge. Can you find them all? Good luck!...
Read more
The Kings of Comedy: Steve Martin and Martin Short

The Kings of Comedy: Steve Martin and Martin Short

Kevin, June 10th, 2024
It's rare for two comedy legends to find a perfect counterpart in each other, but Grammy Award winner Steve Martin and Tony Award winner Martin Short have done so with ease, creating a duo that continues to tickle audiences decades later....
Read more
A Brief History of Queer Theatre

A Brief History of Queer Theatre

Kevin, June 4th, 2024
Queer theatre has always had a rebellious nature, and isn't afraid to show its true colours. It's sparked important conversations during times when openly discussing LGBTQ+ issues was taboo or illegal, throughout history......
Read more
Theatreland Wishes You A Happy Pride Month!

Theatreland Wishes You A Happy Pride Month!

Saadiqah, June 26th, 2023
We are now coming to the last week of June also known as Pride Month around the world. This month is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community after the Stonewall riots, which were protests for gay liberation in 1969....
Read more
Test Your Skills: Scrambled Broadway Songs!

Test Your Skills: Scrambled Broadway Songs!

Scarlet, June 23rd, 2023
Last week we tested your Broadway knowledge with scrambled show names! We thought it was quite an easy one, so have decided to dial it up slightly by scrambling up some Broadway hits. Pen's at the ready!...
Read more
Test Your Skills: Word Scramble Quiz!

Test Your Skills: Word Scramble Quiz!

Scarlet, June 16th, 2023
Pens at the ready! Think you know your Broadway shows? How about if we scramble their names up? Each week we plan on bringing you a new quiz, with each one getting just that little bit harder. What do you win? Bragging rights of course!...
Read more
What are the benefits of being a Theatreland subscriber?

What are the benefits of being a Theatreland subscriber?

Saadiqah, June 2nd, 2023
Sometimes finding a new theatre show to dig your teeth into is like finding a needle in a haystack, where do you begin? Well what if I told you that we have the solution! It's simple, by becoming a Theatreland subscriber....
Read more
PopClassic RockConcertMothers Day