Bruce Springsteen found his “Jersey Girl” in wife Patti Scialfa.
“We’ve been together for 30 years. That’s a long [time] – you’ve shared a lot,” Springsteen gushed during an October 2019 appearance on CBS Mornings. “You know,
Patti’s been at the center of my life for the entire second half of my life … and an enormous amount of guidance and inspiration and you know, I can’t overstate it. … I’ve been lucky.”
CBS anchor Gayle King subsequently cited a quote from Springsteen’s Western Stars concert film. “‘We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces, and something whole emerges,’” she recited. “That’s beautifully said. What broken pieces are you working with still?”
Springsteen replied that said pieces are “all over” by now. “I think you can’t have deep experience without error, mistakes, pain. That’s all just a part of human existence,” the legendary vocalist added. “So what does art do and music? Music is – it’s a repair shop. So, I’m basically a repairman, and I’m trying to repair myself. If I do that well enough, I will help repair you while I’m doing it.”
Keep reading for Springsteen and Scialfa’s complete relationship timeline:
In the early ‘80s, Springsteen ran into Scialfa at the Stone Pony bar in New Jersey. “She came out and played onstage with, it might have been Bobby Bandiera or, I forget which local band was playing,” he recalled to The New York Times in 2018. “But she came out and played the Exciters’ hit ‘Tell Him,’ and she was very striking right from the beginning.”
Shortly after their meet-cute, Springsteen invited Scialfa to join his E Street Band for the Born In The USA tour.
The couple’s romance did not become public until his divorce from first wife Julianne Phillips was settled.
Two years after going public with their relationship, they welcomed their first child. Son Evan was born in July.
“That is a gift you get from your children and from your wife,” Springsteen, who was 40 at the time, told former president Barack Obama during a March 2021 episode of their “Renegades” podcast. “Your acknowledgment of a new self. And the realization of your manhood. It was huge. You know, I woke up. I felt as someone, not necessarily someone different, but someone so much further down the road than I thought maybe I’d ever get.”
Evan is a musician like his famous parents.
Springsteen and Scialfa tied the knot in June 1991, shortly before the birth of daughter Jessica that December. Jessica is now a professional equestrian, who won a silver medal at the 2021 Summer Olympics.
Springsteen and Scialfa’s youngest son, Sam, completed the family in January 1994. He is currently a firefighter in the family’s native New Jersey.
Scialfa was at Springsteen’s side when he performed at a presidential campaign rally for Obama.
Springsteen opened up to Variety about working with his spouse. “We’ve kind of developed natural boundaries. Some places we have a more professional approach, like if I walk into the studio while she’s working, I have certain boundaries where if she requests my opinion or asks for my help, I give it on a very professional level,” he said. “When she comes onstage with the E Street Band, she’s an E Street band member, and when we walk offstage we’re husband and wife.”
After Springsteen disclosed his struggles with depression, Scialfa stood by his side.
In 2018, the “Born in the USA” singer also praised Scialfa as a mother. “[Jessica] came with a set of tools that — and I have to credit most of this to Patti, because Patti was just very in tune with all the kids all the time — allowed her to make her way through the world in a very aware way,” he said in an Esquire profile. “Consequently, there’s a lot of bulls—t she doesn’t put up with. My daughter, she’s really tough. … That came through Patti. Patti was very independent. So, she has a roaring independence that has served her very well.”
Springsteen dedicated his Western Stars record, and its accompanying concert film, to Scialfa. “We’re always trying to find somebody whose broken pieces fit with our broken pieces, and something whole emerges,” he said in the movie.
The pair schmoozed with George Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney, at their Clooney Foundation for Justice’s inaugural Albie Awards on September 29.