Bruce Springsteen’s recent performance at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was the Boss’ second appearance at the event. He first performed at the Fest with his Seeger Sessions Band in 2006. That was the first Jazz Fest held in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The most emotional moments came when he performed “My City In Ruins” and “When The Saints Go Marching In” (done in a slow almost somber pace). Both brought tears to eyes of many in attendance.

This year the Boss was back with the E Street Band, playing for over two and a half hours (which is considerably longer than the 50-minute to 90-minute sets that other acts are allotted at the Fest). Springsteen mixed old favorites with plenty of tunes from his new album, “Wrecking Ball,” including “We Take Care Of Our Own,” with its references to New Orleans and the government’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina (“From the shotgun shack to the Superdome/There ain’t no hope, the calvary stayed home”). But, once again, the most touching moments for those from New Orleans were “My City In Ruins” and “When The Saints Go Marching In.” The latter song was folded into a soulful rendition of “Rocky Ground.”

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street band perform “When The Saints Go Marching In” at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Photo copyright 2012 by Bruce Spizer.

Like many musicians of his generation and after, Bruce Springsteen was influenced by the Beatles. In an interview shortly after the death of John Lennon, Springsteen indicated that the first song he learned on guitar was a song performed by the Beatles. Today’s questions are about the Beatles and the Boss.

What song, performed by the Beatles, does Bruce Springsteen claim to be the first he learned on guitar? Bonus: What two groups recorded the song prior to the Beatles?

What Beatles song did Bruce Springsteen perform with Axl Rose at the 1994 Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony?

Bruce Springsteen claims that the first song he learned to play on guitar was “Twist And Shout.” Apparently he heard the song on the album “Introducing The Beatles.” While Springsteen may also have been familiar with the song from the Isley Brothers version, it was the Beatles that got him interested in the guitar. Although the Isley Brothers had a hit with “Twist And Shout,” the first recording of the song was by the Top Notes. That record, which is inferior to both the Isley Brothers and Beatles renditions, was produced by Phil Spector, who nearly a decade later worked on the “Let It Be” album and produced records by John and George. Springsteen frequently played “Twist And Shout” in concert; however, his concert version more closely resembles the Isley Brothers rendition than that of the Beatles.



Bruce Springsteen and Axl Rose performed “Come Together” at the 1994 Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

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