The Local 913: Joe Grushecky


Joe Grushecky has a long and famous friendship with Bruce Springsteen that all started at a club in New Jersey around 1980.

“Went to see him play one night on The River tour and he dedicated a song to us [The Houserockers]. I was surprised he knew who we were by sight. Steven Van Zandt worked on an album we had out at the time (Have a Good Time but Get Out Alive). Bruce was working on The River at the same time. I imagine Steve told him about us. Several months later he came to see us play at Big Man’s, when Clarence had a club. We hung out for the night and had a great time and became friends. We’ve stayed friends ever since.”

Joe describes their friendship as easy and relaxed. 

“Artistically we’re sort of kindred spirits. He was playing the same songs and listening to the same music and reading the same books, seeing the same movies in New Jersey growing up as I was in Pennsylvania. We lined up all the way down the line in our interests and likes were as far as music and art went. It was easy to establish a working rapport with him. He likes the way I write and I like the way he writes. We both bring something a little different to the table when we combine our brains (laughs).”

Over the years, Joe and Bruce have collaborated together on music and songwriting. Recently, Bruce Springsteen lended his voice on Joe’s new song “That’s What Makes Us Great.”

“We were talking about the current political climate in The United States. I thought it would be something he’d be interested in. He really liked it. I asked ‘would you care to sing on it?’ Right away he agreed and did his thing on it. It was very easy; didn’t take much coaxing.”

For more on Joe Grushecky, go to his website.