After nearly three decades of marriage, Bruce Sprinsteen and Patti Sciafla are still going strong.
This past summer, the couple celebrated another wedding anniversary, marking 26 years of marriage and even more years working together in music. Bruce, 68, and Patti, 64, have been through it all since they launched their careers together on the Jersey Shore music scene in the 1980s.
Both New Jersey natives, Bruce and Patti ran in similar social circles growing up and as young adults. In fact, the two grew up just 10 miles from each other, according to Rolling Stone. So Patti, who had been dreaming of a career in music since she was a teen, already knew some of Bruce's friends and bandmates for years before she met the Boss himself.
According to The Daily Mail, the two first met in 1980 at the famous New Jersey bar the Stone Pony, a time before Bruce's music career had really started to take off. In 1984, as Bruce was planning his Born In the U.S.A. tour, Patti auditioned to be a backup singer, becoming the only female member of Bruce's E Street Band.
Bruce and Patti's chemistry was obvious to fans-the two often performed passionate duets during the Born in the U.S.A. tour, and then again during the Tunnel of Love Express Tour in 1988, according to an excerpt from the singer's biography Bruce in the New York Daily News. However, in 1985, Bruce married his first wife, model and actress Julianne Phillips. But their marriage fell apart just a few years later, and Julianne filed for divorce in 1988 (it was finalized in March of 1989).
Soon after separating from Julianne, Patti and Bruce moved in together. "Patti's been in love with Bruce for as long as I can remember," her high school art teacher Curtis K. Smith told People magazine back in 1988. "We'd always heard this and that about Patti and Bruce from [her brother] Michael. It wasn't a big surprise around here when it finally came into the open."
In 1990, the couple moved to Los Angeles and had their first child, Evan. Just one year later, the couple married and welcomed their second child, Jessica. Three years later, their son Samuel was born.
Now the rock 'n' roll pair reside back where it all started-on the New Jersey coast-while they continue to make music and perform together. And while working together may be difficult for some married couples, these two make it seem easy. "We've kind of developed natural boundaries," Bruce told Variety. "When she comes onstage with the E Street Band she's an E Street band member, and when we walk offstage we're husband and wife."
More recently, the twosome have found new ways to lean on one another. The Boss revealed he's been battling depression throughout his sixties (just like his father), but Patti was been right there with him. "She was stable enough and strong enough and she brought a lot of love," Bruce said, "so those were very healing things over a long period of time."
And looking back at it all, he knows Patti understands him better than anyone, which might explain their long and happy marriage. "I hadn't been involved with another musician before and so she had a lot of understanding of where I was coming from," the singer told BBC Radio. "It was a lovely beginning to what's been a very beautiful relationship."
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