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"These are my people..." - a roundup of all official Ivors Academy audio/video/imagery to date

Updated: Jun 8

May 25, 2024

Updated on May 26, 2024: Complete transcripts of Paul McCartney's and Bruce Springsteen's remarks have been added below.

Below we've embedded all audio/video/imagery that's been released officially so far from last Thursday's Ivors Academy Fellowship presentation to Bruce Springsteen, via the Academy's and Springsteen's social-media platforms. As we reported previously, Springsteen is now the first-ever non-UK-native songwriter that the Ivors Academy, the UK’s professional association for songwriters and composers, has inducted into Fellowship since its founding eighty years ago. (U.S.-born contemporary-classical-music composer John Adams and the late French contemporary-classical-music composer/conductor Pierre Boulez also are non-UK-native Fellows.) He joins a prestigious group that includes Joan Armatrading CBE, John Barry OBE, Kate Bush CBE, Peter Gabriel, Sir Barry Gibb CBE, Maurice Gibb CBE, Robin Gibb CBE, Sir Elton John, Annie Lennox OBE, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tim Rice, and Sting.

McCartney was on hand to officially induct Springsteen into the Fellowship, and Bruce delivered an acceptance speech in a manner that conveyed just how deeply moved and honored he is to have been inducted. Even in the edited forms in which the speech has been released officially so far, it is still one of his best summations of not only why he loves British music, culture, and his UK audiences, but also of the essential element in his music and live performances wherever they are or have been heard and witnessed: "the people I've written for and about, and that I can still find them standing in front of me as the clock strikes seven and we go on... That remains one of the greatest privileges and honors in my life as a musician."

The emotions of the evening, as well as a slight cold and the rigors of recent live performances, affected Bruce's voice during both the speech and his solo-acoustic performance of "Thunder Road" that followed it. Nevertheless, the deep, long-forged, and long-standing connections between the artist and his audience are what dominated the night, and appropriately so.

Below you can see and hear the officially released audio/video/imagery to date, and we hope to post even more as it becomes available. Congratulations, Bruce!

And courtesy of NME, here are full transcripts (re-edited to correct some of NME's errors and misquotes) of both McCartney's induction remarks and Springsteen's acceptance speech:

McCartney: Springsteen is a Dutch name. Did you know that? In Dutch it means "man in charge." [Editor's note: Macca must've been joking here; "Springsteen" actually translates from Dutch as "jump stone," a type of stepping stone used in unpaved streets, possibly applied as a surname for stonecutters, historically.] So he’s the man in charge. So unlike Bruce’s concerts, I’m gonna keep this brief. I said to him, "I blame you, man; we used to play an hour, an hour and a half. The Beatles used to play a half hour.’" He starts doing one and we’re all playing three hours now. Anyway, I’ll get on with it...

I can’t think of a more fitting person to be the first international songwriter fellowship except maybe Bob Dylan, or Paul Simon, or Billy Joel, or Beyoncé, or Taylor Swift. The list goes on. Just kidding, Bruce. Anyway, I was wondering how Bruce would fit into The Beatles. When it comes to talent, he was definitely in the Top Five.

Anyway, as I say, he is a mate, and me and my wife Nancy go out to their place in New Jersey, and him and Patti are just the best hosts. I mean, they really look after you, you know? When you go there, it’s like in the winter, he’s got a great big fire going in the fire pit, so we sit outside and drink and chat about things.

He is a fantastic guy. He’s a really nice guy, and he showed up for me at Glastonbury, and he promised to do that about three years before. Then COVID hit. And I thought, "Well, he’s never gonna show up," and then he shows up. He’s a lovely boy. He’s known as being the American working man, you know? But he admits he’s never worked a day in his life. It’s true.

So he’s a lovely, lovely boy. You know what, it’s great for me to be back here because I came here in the sixties. I know I don’t look that old. So it’s a great pleasure for me to present this to Bruce, and he is a Fellow.

Springsteen: Back in 1975, I went on the long flight from New Jersey to the UK, with two different guys who had never been on an airplane. The airplane food was not so great, and my first thought when we landed at Heathrow was, "Where’s all the cheeseburgers?" The cheeseburgers had either been hidden or replaced by something called fish and chips. I knew what a fish was, but I didn’t know what a chip was. It was a little disconcerting.

Our next stop was the Hammersmith Odeon, where I was greeted by a huge sign announcing, "London is finally ready for Bruce Springsteen." And all I thought was, "If London isn’t ready for a cheeseburger, they may not be ready for me."

Me and my 25-year-old American cousins, who were visiting the land of the musical giants: The Beatles, The Stones, The Animals... They all met us, took us to school, told us their deep appreciation of our own American roots and music, taught us the right way to dress and wear our hair. For a young New Jersey rocker, you came to Mecca. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. Youth, loud, hipness, girls. And while I was stone-cold born in the bowels of the U.S.A., at sixteen I desperately yearned to be British. I had a pretty good fake British accent. That’s what the checkout girls at the local supermarket thought.

But I have had a lot of wonderful history here. Next year is going to mark fifty years that I’ve been coming here to entertain you, and win your trust and confidence, I hope. I must first thank our extraordinary fans and audiences. They've been with me since that first night at Hammersmith, all the way to the great gigs that we did at Hyde Park last summer. Their depth of knowledge of my work and their dedication constantly keeps me invested here. It keeps me coming back to these shores, so that I can dig deeper, and so that I can deal more faithfully with my audience’s joys and their concerns.

Now I want to be at the top of my game, and thanks to the inspiration that I see from so many musicians and writers who hail from the UK, we've tried hard to do that. Now, I’ve met many folks over the last fifty years, who worked at all levels at Sony Music, and one thing they all have in common is the dedication and respect that they’ve shown me, my songs, and my work, none more, of course, than Sony Music chairman Rob Stringer. Rob, thanks... I mean... I sold all my music and they still treat it like it’s mine.

But being the first international artist to be granted this Fellowship – especially as an American, who I always suspected the British were always a little suspicious of our strange ways – makes today a meaningful experience for me.

As we flew towards the UK in 1975, all I was wondering was, "What do I have that I could conceivably give back to those people who gave me so much?" And the answer is, I said, "Everything I got."

We just came out of playing Sunderland last night… Hellacious weather, however; hellacious. A driving rainstorm, wind blowin', blowin', blowin'... But standing in front of me in the rain, I realized... These are my people. Now some of them are young, some of them were children, and some of them weren’t. Many wore the lines of their faces of lives hard-weathered and well-lived. Those are my people here in the UK, and I love to come and visit them.

They’re the people I’ve written for and about, and that I can still find them standing in front of me as the clock strikes seven and we go on... That remains one of the greatest privileges and honors in my life as a musician. I want to thank you for taking my music into your hearts and into your souls. I want to thank you for including me in the challenging and beautiful cultural life of the UK.

Once it was only a dream I had. Today it’s real, and I want to thank you for looking at me and seeing one of yours. I guess London is finally ready for cheeseburgers.


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