Don’t be afraid of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Ghosts,’ they love to rock ‘n’ roll: The new song

“Ghosts” are among us.

But don’t worry, they love to rock ‘n’ roll.

“Ghosts” is the name of the new single from the upcoming Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band album, “Letter To You.” 

The track, released on Thursday, Sept, 24, begins with a Max Weinberg beat and Springsteen exclaiming “I hear the sound of your guitar!” The song is partly a lament for the rock ‘n’ rollers who have gone to the other side, and party a vow to keep the spirit of the music alive.

Bruce Springsteen released new single "Ghosts" on Thursday.

I’m alive and I can feel the blood shiver in my bones

I’m alive and I’m out here on my own

I’m alive and I’m coming’ home

It’s a fiercely propelled rocker that doesn’t relent and doesn’t let the listener down.

The song is also a tribute to Springsteen’s early Freehold band, the Castilles. Several photos of the band are show in the Thom Zimny directed video for “Ghosts,” which was also released on Thursday. The members of the band, Bob Alfano, Curt Fluhr, Vinny Maniello, Paul Popkin, Bart Haynes, Frank Marziotti and George Theiss, have all passed away. 

Springsteen is the last one. Theiss, the man who co-wrote the first songs Bruce Springsteen ever recorded, passed away in July of 2018 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

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“’Ghosts’ is about the beauty and joy of being in a band, and the pain of losing one another to illness and time,” said Springsteen in a statement. “ ‘Ghosts’ tries to speak to the spirit of the music itself, something none of us owns but can only discover and share together. In the E Street Band, it resides in our collective soul, powered by the heart.”

Springsteen wrote about the Castiles, and the friendship and band rivalry he had with frontman Theiss in his “Born to Run” autobiography.

“George was the best vocalist we had,” said Springsteen in ‘“Born to Run.” ‘“He had a real voice and charisma and did the job well. I was considered toxic in front of a microphone, my voice the butt of many of (manager Tex Vinyard’s) jokes, and years later, after selling millions of records, I would visit Tex and he would take grand pleasure in sneering at me, ‘You still can’t sing. George is the singer.’ “

The Castiles

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One of the photos shown in the “Ghosts” video of that of Springsteen at Theiss’ wedding in 1969. 

“I’m glad that George is being acknowledged,” said Barbara Theiss Dressler, George’s younger sister, via email. “I’m really disappointed that Bruce waited so long to acknowledge George … but of course I’m on George’s side.”

 “Letter to You,” due Oct. 23 from Columbia Records, is produced by Springsteen and Ron Aniello.

“I love the emotional nature of ‘Letter To You,’ ” said Springsteen in a statement. “And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”

The album includes nine recently-written Springsteen songs, as well as new recordings of three previously unreleased songs from the ’70s: “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest” and “Song for Orphans.”

Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; 

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