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Bruce Springsteen: ‘I Was a Stone-Cold Draft Dodger’

April 30 (UPI) — Bruce Springsteen says writing and performing “Born in the U.S.A.” helped him reconcile the mixed feelings he has about decisions he made during the Vietnam War era.

“I had some friends, very close friends of mine… guys who came home in wheelchairs and, then, I didn’t go. I was a stone-cold draft dodger,” the New Jersey rocker said at a Tribeca Film Festival conversation with Tom Hanks at the Beacon Theatre in New York Friday.

“I pulled the whole ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’ ‘I’m sorry, sir. I don’t understand what you are saying because I am high on LSD.’ I did everything in the draft-dodger’s text book,” Springsteen recalled. “So, perhaps, I felt guilty about that later on. I had friends who went. I had friends who went and died. I had friends later on who were seriously hurt. And whether it was that or whether it was just the fact it was an event that defined a generation and if you were going to write about the world, if you were going to write about who we are at this this particular moment, if you were going to write about your place, if you were going to try to seize your little moment in history, which were all things I wanted to deliver to my audience, it was something that needed to be reckoned with. … And, so, it was something that I felt I had to come to terms with myself and I needed to sing about.”

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