The couple, from similar backgrounds and with similar interests, met way before Springsteen became globally famous. She went on to become his bandmate, friend, and later, soulmate.
Some people are just destined to meet and spend the rest of their lives together. Their meeting may have been written in the charts because of how circumstances line up for them to come together. After all, it's not easy finding a life partner who shares the same interests as you and has had a similar cultural background. Singer Bruce Springsteen, otherwise known as The Boss, and wife Patti Scialfa are blessed with a love story that shows that destiny brought them together.
Just four years apart, Springsteen, 70, and Scialfa, 66, both grew up in New Jersey just 20 miles apart and in the same county. They have similar cultural backgrounds as they share Irish and Italian ancestry. But more importantly, they share a love for music, which has defined their lives. Both of them started young, playing in bands around the Asbury Park area in New Jersey, according to Daily Mail.
They met at a New Jersey bar called The Stone Pony, where Scialfa was performing alongside another Springsteen associate, Bobby Bandiera. Springsteen, intrigued by her talent, introduced himself and the two kept in touch since then. However, he didn't want to encourage her into a life of touring and gigs and gave her some fatherly advice. "I even spoke on the phone to a high school-age Patti Scialfa,” he wrote in his 2016 autobiography Born to Run. "Dispensing the fatherly advice that this was a traveling gig and it’d be best for a young lady to stay in school."
"It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship... I would go down every Sunday and sing, and sometimes he would be there," Scialfa said, as per New Jersey Monthly. "He knew I lived in New York and that I didn’t have a car, so he would offer to drop me off at my mom’s [in Deal]. Sometimes we would go out to the Ink Well in West End and have a hamburger and the chocolate milk with the whipped cream on top.”
Scialfa was her own person and chose to go down the path she wanted to. She auditioned for Springsteen's E Street Band in 1984, before their fabled Born in the USA tour. She became the only female member of the band, but they still didn't come together as a couple. Fans could see their chemistry but the frontman of the band wasn't ready for commitment, not to her or to the woman he then married.
He was married to actress Julianne Phillips from 1985 to 1989, during which time he experienced anxiety attacks. Before marrying her, all his relationships had ended in two to three years, and his relationship with the model and actress was a little cold. "It was tough. I didn’t really know how to be a husband," he told Rolling Stone about his first marriage. "She was a terrific person, but I just didn’t know how to do it."
Eventually, they parted ways and it is only then that his friendship with his bandmate became deeper. Eventually, Springsteen and Scialfa's performance on stage became so steamy "it seemed like their portrayal of romantic heat was, perhaps, something a bit too realistic to be limited to the stage," wrote Peter Ames Carlin in the performer's biography Bruce, according to Daily News.
They soon realized that they had feelings for each other and went ahead with their relationship by showing their love openly in front of the rest of the band. Wedding bells rang for them in 1991 and they have been together since then. They are celebrating their 29th year together on June 8.
"I hadn’t been involved with another musician before and so she had a lot of understanding of where I was coming from and some of the choices I make and a little bit about the twisted parts of my personality that she knew how to handle and live with better than some of my other relationships. It was a lovely beginning to what’s been a very beautiful relationship," he said, as per BreakingNews.ie.
The couple grew together and welcomed three children together. Meanwhile, Scialfa has been by his side through his darkest moments too. During those times when he's "close to the abyss," his wife is "very helpful, and sometimes just time." Springsteen openly talks about his depression, something he's been battling for years. He told CNN that he has to take medication or he "can swing rather dramatically and ... just ... the wheels can come off a little bit."
Through those hard times, hiw wife has been an anchor to him. "Patti’s been at the center of my life for the entire second half of my life ... and an enormous amount of guidance and inspiration and, you know, I can’t overstate it," he said to CBS.