Bruce Springsteen cancels shows so 'something worse doesn't happen'

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Fragile’ Bruce Springsteen, 73, was forced to delay shows and get healthy by his wife and doctors so ‘something worse doesn’t happen’ amid diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease – after ‘rough few years’ of throat surgery and COVID ‘take a toll’

  • Springsteen has pulled the plug on all eight of his tour dates in September 
  • The rocker’s peptic ulcer disease has made him too ‘uncomfortable’ to perform
  • His wife and doctors insisted he get healthy to avoid future health issues

Bruce Springsteen was forced to cancel a string of shows to avoid ‘something worse’ happening with his health after a spate of recent medical struggles started to ‘take a toll’.

The Born to Run rocker, 73, was set to perform eight dates across the US in September but pulled the plug on them all to undergo treatment for ‘symptoms of peptic ulcer disease’.

The announcement came just days after COVID forced him to postpone two concerts in Philadelphia.

Now, a source close to Springsteen has revealed how his wife Patti Scialfa, his doctors and his E Street bandmates stepped in to urge him to delay his shows and focus on his recovery over fears that he his health could ‘get worse’ if he doesn’t take the time to recover. 

‘Bruce has had a rough couple of years,’ an insider exclusively told ‘He’s had COVID several times and even had to pull the plug on shows in August due to getting the latest strain. 

Supportive: Bruce Springsteen is under orders from his wife Patti, pictured together on Broadway in 2018, to rest after struggling with symptoms of peptic ulcer disease

Heartbroken: Springsteen, pictured performing on stage in July, is under orders to rest after a spate of health setbacks

The rocker (seen with his wife Patti) is understood to be heartbroken at not being able to ‘do what he loves’ 

‘This was just a couple of weeks ago and it really takes a toll on someone of his age.’

The source added that the Boss ‘hasn’t been the same’ since undergoing throat surgery in 2013, which saw doctors cut open his vocal chords to repair damaged discs in his neck.

‘It has really had an impact on his overall well-being,’ the source continued. ‘Everyone wants him to just focus on his health and not push himself.’ 

According to the insider, Springsteen is heartbroken at having to postpone his shows – however his camp feel that it is the best decision to help him avoid having to undergo more serious treatment in the future.  

‘Bruce hates not being able to do what he loves,’ they continued. ‘Although an ulcer doesn’t sound serious, it can be and can require surgery.’

Another source added to that Springsteen has been left frustrated at the cancellations, but that his symptoms have made it ‘very uncomfortable’ to perform.

‘Bruce isn’t dying which is the best-case scenario, he isn’t hiding from any other lingering problems, the ulcers that he has are just kicking his a** and making it very uncomfortable to perform the way that he and his fans expect,’ they said. 

‘Bruce is in amazing shape and with this setback, it just sucks because once Bruce is in tour, he fully encompasses himself with it.

‘It is who he is, so this bump in the road frustrates the hell out of him, but his stubborn nature was nurtured by his band mates and wife who convinced him to get healthy now so something worse doesn’t happen down the line.’

They added that the veteran rocker will be ‘back before you know it’ after having a ‘few stress-free weeks and rest’.

Born to perform: The Boss, pictured on stage in his heyday in 1980, is struggling to perform his lengthy energetic sets

Back in May, the rocker sparked concern from fans when he took a tumble on stage during a performance in Amsterdam  

Fans watched Springsteen roll onto his back and lay on the floor with his guitar still in hand before his concerned colleagues promptly rushed over to assist him 

They finished: ‘He has to listen to his doctors over his demanding work ethic he puts himself through and he is actually doing it and will give the rest of his shows 120 per cent.’ has contacted a spokesperson for Springsteen for comment. 

Springsteen broke the news on Instagram on Wednesday, telling fans he had been left ‘heartbroken’ at his latest bout of ill health.

‘Over here on E Street, we’re heartbroken to have to postpone these shows,’ the post read. ‘First, apologies to our fabulous Philly fans who we missed a few weeks ago. We’ll be back to pick these shows up and then some.

‘Thank you for your understanding and support. We’ve been having a blast at our US shows and we’re looking forward to more great times. We’ll be back soon. Love and God bless all, Bruce.’

A separate note confirmed that his scheduled performance at JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, NY had been cancelled, and added: ‘Mr. Springsteen is being treated for symptoms of peptic ulcer disease and the decision of his medical advisors is that he should postpone the remainder of his September shows.’

Springsteen, whose hits include Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark, has now postponed a total of 15 dates as part of his Springsteen and E Street Band 2023 Tour – which hit the headlines back in May when the rocker tumbled over on stage during a performance in Amsterdam, sparking concern from onlookers and workers who rushed to help him up. 

The I’m On Fire singer drew gasps from fans as he tripped and fell after climbing several steps on the stage.

Fans watched Springsteen roll onto his back and lay on the floor with his guitar still in hand before his concerned colleagues promptly rushed over to assist him. His guitarist stepped in to remove his instrument while two concert workers manually hoisted Bruce back onto his feet.

Statement: The music icon, 73, announced that he will be taking a break from touring as he undergoes treatment for ‘symptoms of peptic ulcer disease’

Health woes: In August he postponed two concerts in Philadelphia, after ‘having been taken ill’ 

Fortunately, the fall didn’t shake Bruce up too much and he quickly smiled before addressing the audience. 

‘Good night everybody!’ he roared into the microphone while throwing his hand into the air and beginning another song. 

The rocker’s latest health battles come almost seven years to the day after he opened up about his struggles with depression in his tell-all 2016 autobiography, Born to Run. 

In the memoir, Springsteen explored his history with the mental illness and his father’s fight against it, an in an interview with Vanity Fair at the time, he shared his fears about succumbing to the illness in the same way that his dad did. 

‘You don’t know the illness’s parameters,’ he told the magazine. ‘Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?’

The interview went on to cite paragraphs from Springsteen’s memoir, revealing just how the illness has impacted his life in recent years. 

‘I was crushed between 60 and 62, good for a year and out again from 63 to 64,’ he wrote. ‘Not a good record.’

And although his struggles may not have been noticeable to those on the outside, the star writes in his book about how his wife, Patti Scialfa, would see him at his worst.

‘Patti will observe a freight train bearing down, loaded with nitroglycerin and running quickly out of track… she gets me to the doctors and says, “This man needs a pill,”‘ he wrote.

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