Bruce Springsteen Was the "Gut Bomb King"

By Chrisanne Grise 11/14/12

The Boss reputedly never took drugs. But food issues threatened his early career, when he had "the gastronomic sophistication of a feral dog."

Still in his salad days Photo via

Bruce Springsteen is known for being in great physical shape, but a new biography describes how The Boss dealt with an addiction to junk food earlier in his career. In BrucePeter Ames Carlin writes that the young Springsteen had "the gastronomic sophistication of a feral dog, feasting on Velveeta-and-mayonnaise sandwiches, or the glistening fried chicken at the Tasty Dee-lite drive-through. Vegetables rarely made an appearance." Springsteen—who cooperated with Carlin for the book—has reputedly never taken drugs, but used to self-medicate with food instead. "He had a hard time sleeping at night, so I'd sit up watching TV with him while he wolfed down all this junk food: sodas, cakes, all this horrible stuff," says a former girlfriend, Diane Lozito. He earned the nickname “Gut Bomb King” for bribing friends with “sacks of candy bars, Ring Dings, and Pepsis he brought with him” during weekly Monopoly games. But everything changed in the late '70s, when Springsteen hired a fan named Obie Dziedzic as his assistant. She started buying his groceries and, Carlin writes, "cooking the dinners he chose from the menus she'd crafted to broaden and add real nutrition to his stubbornly adolescent palate." And it worked: "Bruce let Dziedzic maneuver him into eating vegetables and sauces beyond the tomato-based kind you ladle onto spaghetti." Springsteen's whole diet was reversed; one old friend even remembers a scolding for not finishing his salad: “Whaddaya doing? Gimme that salad! It's healthy for you!" These healthy habits have stuck with The Boss through the years; at one of his recent pre-concert meals, the options included veal shank, vegetarian dishes—and at least six kinds of salad. 

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.