Riding high on the global charts with his latest album "High
Hopes", the musician stayed true to his New Jersey working class
roots and socially conscious lyrics when answering media
"There is a tremendous problem with income inequality in the
States right now and it's been increasing and increasing,"
Springsteen said a few hours before his opening night
performance in South Africa's tourist capital Cape Town.
"Initially it tears society apart and I don't think society can
make good when economic differences and economic inequalities
are so widespread. It is a real problem in the United States and
a big problem here too," he said.
A journalist had asked him whether things had got worse since
1988 when Springsteen famously compared "the systematic
apartheid of South Africa" to "the economic apartheid of my own
country," during an appearance in neighboring Zimbabwe.
Springsteen and the E Street Band will play three concerts in
Cape Town and another one in Johannesburg, before flying on to
Australia and New Zealand on February 2.
It is their first concerts in South Africa since his guitarist
Steven van Zandt led a campaign by rock musicians in protest
against apartheid nearly thirty years ago.
Springsteen played in neighboring Zimbabwe and the Ivory Coast
in 1988 as part of the Amnesty International human rights
concert series, and he said it was "special" to eventually be in
"It is really incredible and special to be here," he
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One of his fans, waiting since 10 a.m. outside the concert venue
about 30 km (20 miles) north of Cape Town, said they had been
waiting for years for this performance.
"I love his music; he is left of the government," Nico Blignaut said of the gravelly-voiced singer, known to a legion
of fans as "The Boss".
His latest album debuted on top of the Billboard 200 album chart in
the United States and also took top spot in Britain.
The album "High Hopes" is a follow-up to his 2012 album "Wrecking
Ball", which also debuted at number one, and sees his regular band
joined by Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
"I don't want to spend years sitting around trying to come up with
the perfect 10 songs ... We want to play, we want to get out there
and play for people," said Springsteen.
(Reporting by Wendell Roelf)
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