Bruce Springsteen says peptic ulcer pain was 'hurting so badly' he couldn't sing: 'It was killing me'

Bruce Springsteen says peptic ulcer pain was 'hurting so badly' he couldn't sing: 'It was killing me'
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Bruce Springsteen opened up about the pain that he endured while struggling with peptic ulcer disease and his fear that he might not be able to sing again.

The 74-year-old singer made his return to the stage with the E Street Band at Phoenix, Arizona's Footprint Center Tuesday night after stepping back from performing and postponing his world tour last September to recover from the condition.

During a Thursday interview with SiriusXM’s E Street Radio host Jim Rotolo, Springsteen admitted that he had been concerned about his readiness to perform at a live show after symptoms he had experienced while battling peptic ulcer disease.

"Once I started singing, you know, you can rehearse singing, but your voice isn't the same in rehearsal. You don't have that edge of adrenaline that really pushes it into a better place and the thing when I had the stomach problem, one of the big problems was I couldn't sing," he shared.


bruce springsteen performing on stage
Bruce Springsteen admitted that the pain he endured while struggling with peptic ulcer disease was "killing" him.

"You sing with your diaphragm," Springsteen explained. "My diaphragm was hurting so badly that when I went to make the effort to sing, it was killing me, you know?"


"So, I literally couldn't sing at all, you know, and that lasted for two or three months, along with just a myriad of other painful problems."

The 20-time Grammy Award winner admitted that he had feared that he might never regain his ability to sing.

"I was, during the course of it, before people told me, 'Oh no. It's gonna go away, and you're gonna be OK,' you know, you're thinking like, 'Hey, am I gonna sing again?' and you know, this is one of the things I love to do the best, the most, and right now I can't do it.," Springsteen said.

He continued, "You know, I can't do it, and it took a while for the doctors to say, 'Oh no. You're gonna be OK.' At first, nobody was quite saying that, which made me nervous, you know, and at the end of the day, I found some great doctors, and they straightened me out, and I can't do anything but thank them all."

Bruce Springsteen playing guitar on stage
Springsteen said that he feared he might never be able to sing again.

Springsteen, who is set to perform in Las Vegas this weekend, told Rotolo that making his comeback at the Footprint Center felt "so damn good."


"I mean, first of all, Phoenix is a great town for us, and the crowd was off the Richter, off the Richter scale," he said.

The singer continued, "A wonderful crowd we had, and the band just played great, you know, and I thought they might be tired, you might be a little fatigued, you might be a little rusty. No. You know, the guys were just fabulous from first song on, and I felt great, and the whole band felt great."

"It was just a real … we couldn't have had a better opener, you know, it was just fantastic in Phoenix. Just wonderful, so we're looking forward to coming to Vegas."


Bruce Springsteen with a mic
The singer resumed his world tour in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday night.

The "Dancing in the Dark" hitmaker explained that he might be making some changes to the show's setlist now that he's back on the road.

"I think we’re approaching [the 2024 World Tour] like it’s a new tour," Springsteen said. "There will be some things from last year’s tour that will hold over; some of my basic themes of mortality and life."

"Those things I’m gonna keep set, but I think I’m gonna move around the other parts of the set a lot more. So there’ll be a much wider song selection going on."

After kicking off in Phoenix, the 2024 edition of the tour will conclude on November 22 in Vancouver, Canada. The tour will hit 17 countries across 52 dates, including a special performance on September 15 when Springsteen will headline the Sea.Hear.Now Festival in his hometown of Asbury Park, New Jersey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original article source: Bruce Springsteen says peptic ulcer pain was 'hurting so badly' he couldn't sing: 'It was killing me'