Bruce Springsteen has heaped praise on Patti Smith for transforming his song "Because the Night" into a rock classic, insisting he has no regrets about giving up the track in the early years of his career. The Boss wrote the tune during recording sessions for his album "Darkness on the Edge of Town", but he struggled to finish it and was persuaded to pass the track onto Smith by music mogul Jimmy Iovine during a drive to New York beach resort Coney Island.
And Springsteen is adamant it was the best decision for the song because it was unlikely to have ever been included on his 1978 project, and may have become a lost tune. He explains, "Jimmy Iovine, who was then an engineer, ...he drove me to Coney Island, and somehow he talked me into giving up the song, which I'm glad that I did because I wasn't going to finish it, and she finished it."
"It would have never seen the light of day, much less been the song that it is if it wasn't for her working on it, so thank you Patti." Springsteen performed his version of the hit on U.S. TV's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday, November 16, when he was joined by his rock pal Steve Van Zandt and the show's house band, The Roots.
Punk icon Smith recently admitted she initially resisted recording "Because the Night" - but a late night vigil as she waited for her then-boyfriend Fred 'Sonic' Smith to call persuaded her to hit the studio for her biggest hit. In new Springsteen documentary "Promise: Darkness at The Edge of Town", Smith recalls the night she first heard Springsteen's idea for the love song and says, "I was in my apartment and I was having a long-distance romance with (MC5 star) Fred 'Sonic' Smith... who was supposed to call me, and I waited for him to call me for hours and thought, 'Well, I'll listen to that darn song'. It was so accessible, it had such an anthemic tone, it was in my key."
"I still tried to resist it but I filled in the blanks and in the blanks it tells the story of me waiting for Fred to call and of my love for Fred."