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Bruce Springsteen opens up about parenting: "There were a lot of mistakes I didn't want to make"

Bruce Springsteen speaks to CBS News
"I've gotten to work with the people I love the most": Bruce Springsteen reflects on extraordinary career 14:01

Legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen offered new insight into his relationships with his father and children during an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King. Springsteen told King his complicated relationships with his father influenced how he raised his own kids.

"You've written a lot and sung about the relationship with your dad, your family that you've described as complicated in the past. But at the end of his life ... you all managed to work that out?" King asked.

"Pretty well," he said. "Better than, in some ways, I hoped for. You know, usually you don't expect those things to have a lovely conclusion in some way, you know?"

"Did you worry about the type of father you would be? 'Cause I'm wondering how that influenced the father that you are?" King asked.

"Yeah, there were a lot of mistakes I didn't want to make. And I think the way you look at it is, like, I don't want my kids to have to dig themselves out of my hole. They're gonna have their own hole they got to dig themselves out of. That's just part of life, you know? Now, you're always gonna — we always pass something along," he said . "And that's just — that's just life, you know? So as a parent, you do your best to not lay too much of your own bull**** on them."

Springsteen recorded nearly all of his music over the past decade at his New Jersey estate. Not far from his studio is the barn where he recorded his new concert film, "Western Stars," which he co-directs and stars in.

Bruce Springsteen on new film, marriage and "trying to repair myself" 07:56

"And here we sit, in New Jersey. As you say in your play, you traveled all around the world, and you end up right where you started," King remarked. Springsteen laughed.

"Ten minutes from my house is where we are," he said.

It's also where he and his wife, Patti Scialfa, decided to raise their three children.

"We had, like, an 80-member Irish/Italian family ... And that was the way that I grew up. So Patti and I wanted them to grow up the same way," he said.

Springsteen has been performing for audiences around the globe for the better part of the last half-century. He regularly plays three-plus hours at his shows and told King he still finds performing "psychologically centering" and therapeutic. Still, he doesn't like his own voice.

"Yeah, I never cared for my voice ... I still don't listen to it," he said. "It always sounds like I'm just waking up or something. I don't know."

"That's why I have to write. I have to write or else I'm sunk," he said.

The songs he's written are considered American classics and have been praised by presidents of both parties: from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

President Trump — on the other hand — was not as kind at a recent campaign rally. He said he "didn't need little Bruce Springsteen's help" and other celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z, who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

But Springsteen isn't surprised President Trump is trash talking him.

Bruce Springsteen: President Trump "doesn't have a grasp" on what it means to be American 00:54

"It's just frightening, you know? We're living in a frightening time," he said of the current political landscape. "The stewardship of the nation is — has been thrown away to somebody who doesn't have a clue as to what that means. You know? I mean, United States of America is in your care. Do you know what — do you know what the stakes are? Do you know what that means? And unfortunately we have somebody who I feel doesn't have a grasp of the deep meaning of what it means to be an American."

"You campaigned for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is there anybody, if they called you, you said, 'okay, I'll go out?'" King asked.

"I don't know ... I mean I've kind of spent my chips on the folks I've helped in the past. But I always take it as it goes and see. See how it turns out. Or what comes up as we get closer to elections."

Our streaming network CBSN will air Gayle King's full interview in a special called "A Conversation With Bruce Springsteen" Friday at 8 p.m. ET. 

Behind the Scenes with "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE BOSS: Take a look at this behind the scenes cut of Gayle King's 1-on-1 with Bruce Springsteen! We went to his studio in New Jersey:

Posted by CBS This Morning on Friday, October 25, 2019
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