Bruce Springsteen

Talking with Jimmy Fallon about the Born To Run LP cover artwork.

“The picture in the middle was going to be the cover”

On 10 December 2020, Bruce Springsteen appeared on the Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon, where he talked, among other things, about the Born to Run cover artwork. Bruce explained that he had wanted the close-up portrait that appeared inside the gatefold to be the front cover of the album, but John Berg, art director at Columbia Records in 1975 had other ideas, and he convinced Bruce that the right choice was the photograph we know and love, of Bruce and Clarence. As Bruce told Jimmy Fallon, Berg “came up with the idea of the record folding out like that— so I’ve got to salute him.”

Bruce explained: “The thing about that cover is it’s the beginning of a narrative and it immediately makes you think about friendship and electricity and musical magic. It’s the beginning of some tall tale. It’s remained…one of my very favorite album covers. It’s got the most meaning for me.”

All the photographs for the Born to Run sleeve were taken by Eric Meola at his New York City studio on 20 June 1975.  Signed limited editions from Eric’s Born to Run session are available to purchase, including a 31 frame contact sheet made by Eric for John Berg on the occasion of a display of his lifetime body of work at the prestigious Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY.

Eric is able to fulfil orders placed by Saturday 26 December 2020, but after that there is going to be an 8-10 week delay between orders and delivery— so if you were considering one of Eric’s signed limited editions for your collection, please act sooner rather than later, to avoid a long wait.

The “picture in the middle”: the close-up portrait that Bruce originally chose for the cover
The contact sheet featuring 31 images from the Born To Run session