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Boss Walks Down 'Thunder Road'

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Bruce Springsteen prefers to let his songs do the talking. When those songs include "Thunder Road," "Nebraska" and "The Rising," it's hard to disagree with his approach.

But for one night, before an intimate New Jersey audience, the Boss delved into his 30-year back catalog to offer a brief window into his songwriting. The oft-reticent Springsteen opened up during a taping for VH1's "Storytellers," detailing influences both obvious and obscure.

There's Roy Orbison's dark romanticism ... and actor Robert Mitchum's blood-chilling preacher in "The Night of the Hunter." Smokey Robinson's soulful voice ... and director John Ford's classic Western "The Searchers." The born in the U.S.A. rock of John Fogerty ... and the pulp fiction of Jim Thompson.

Who knew that a line from "Blinded By the Light," off Springsteen's 1973 debut album, referred to his Little League team? Or that he considers a lyric from the brilliant "Thunder Road" to be "probably the hokiest ... I ever wrote"?

Springsteen spills all this and more during "Storytellers," airing at 10 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The show was recorded at the tiny Two River Theater near Springsteen's Garden State home, an intimate venue with just nine rows of seats.

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