There have been plenty of books written about Bruce Springsteen, but this is the first to concentrate solely on his early years. The author believes that to fully understand Springsteen's recorded work it is necessary to understand the formative years that shaped him. It covers: The genealogy of the Springsteen family from earliest times. Relationships with his managers - how whenever success beckoned he would move in a new direction. The development of his drive to sound like Van Morrison and Joe Cocker (in the Bruce Springsteen Band). The importance of his booking agent, Sam Keith. The fight to get support from Columbia Records. How a Brown University student saved his career. How the musicians changed the rules to all-night Monopoly sessions. This book covers the year from Springsteen's birth to 1974 - the year before his breakthrough album Born To Run. It explores both the negative factors in his life such as school and Catholicism and the positive ones such as baseball, girls and the guitar, as well as the British Invasion, the civil rights movement and, crucially, his relationship with his father. Springsteen's early bands, the Rogues, the Castiles and Earth, are examined via interviews with ex-members. Also covered are the pre-Columbia years, the audition for Mike Appel, the first two albums and his involvement in what would become the E-Street Band.