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Springsteen honors Prine, talks hot dogs, baseball, COVID-19 on his E Street Radio on Sirius XM

In this photograph provided by the Jersey City Mayor’s Office, Bruce Springsteen, center, and Patti Scialfa, right, applaud as their son, Sam Springsteen, is sworn in as a Jersey City, New Jersey, firefighter on Jan. 14. (Jennifer Brown / AP)

A few days after the Twin Towers were toppled during 9/11, a stranger had a message for Bruce Springsteen as he pulled up to the Boss on a New Jersey street. “We need you now,” the fan uttered to Springsteen, according to Rolling Stone.

Most of the tracks from Springsteen and the E Street Band’s 2002 classic “The Rising” were written in response to the inexplicable tragedy.

The coronavirus is different than what occurred in 2001, but the common denominator is America is reeling from a surprising attack. This time it is not a terrorist assault but a pandemic.

Springsteen, 70, took over this morning as DJ on his SiriusXM channel E Street Radio and shared thoughts and songs with listeners.

The poetic bard waxed about how his life has changed during the COVID-19 quarantine. “I miss going to (New Jersey’s) Max’s and (the) Windmill and getting a hot dog. I miss walking along the promenade, beach boardwalk in Asbury Park. I miss sitting at the bar having some beers and drinks with friends.”

Springsteen, unlike many of his peers, does not live in a fortress of solitude. He walks the central Jersey streets without a bodyguard. I saw him at a Wanda Jackson show at Asbury Lanes a few years ago.

“I miss baseball,” the Yankees fan said. “I’m not much of a sports fanatic at all, but I do like baseball. This is for all the things we miss, all the things that make us us. All I know is that when this is all over, I am going to take (his wife) Patti (Scialfa) to a baseball game.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer played “Talk to Me Like the Rain” from Scialfa, who also is his E Street Band mate, Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and one of his favorite tunes filled with optimism.

“This is a song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, it’s called ‘Better Times Are Coming,’ and I believe that deeply down in my soul,” Springsteen said.

“I believe that some of the love that is grown, the togetherness that has grown, when you see people coming together on their balconies and applaud all of the health workers who are putting themselves on the line day after day after day. Their courage, their bravery, it’s truly something I’ve never seen before. I am going to send this one out to them.”

The Boss believes it will not be business as usual once normalcy returns.

“The only thing that I am really sure of is that after all of this is over, the world isn’t going to be quite the same. I think we are all going to be suffering some post-traumatic stress, and people are going to take a while before they trust one another again, before they can come close, before they can gather again at events that are part of the celebration of being human and being together.”

Springsteen followed by playing Don Henley’s “End of the Innocence.” He also played “Angels of Montgomery” from venerable singer-songwriter John Prine, who died Tuesday from the coronavirus. Will Springsteen write songs inspired by what the coronavirus has wrought? It would not be surprising.