Bruce Sprinsteen and Patti Scialfa (born July 29, 1953) were married on June 8, 1991 at their Beverly Hills home. They have three children Evan James was born in 1990, Jessica Rae was born in 1991, and Sam Ryan was born in 1994.
Vivienne Patricia “Patti” Scialfa (“SKAL-fah”) was born July 29, 1953 in Deal, New Jersey. She was the middle child of Joseph Scialfa and Patricia (Morris) Scialfa. She also has half-siblings from her father’s second marriage. Her father was a successful local entrepreneur, who started with a single television store and became a real estate developer.
Springsteen met Scialfa through the New Jersey Shore music scene. The two remained casual friends in the early ’80s. In 1984, Scialfa joined the E Street Band, three or four days before the opening show of the Born in the U.S.A. Tour, either because Springsteen wanted to expand the emotional range of the band (Marsh, Glory Days) or because Nils Lofgren contracted mononucleosis, which made it impossible for him to sing his backing vocals. They dated briefly, shortly after she joined the band. In 1986, she appeared on the Rolling Stones’ Dirty Work album, leaving her unique vocal mark on “One Hit (To the Body)” as well as other tracks. She worked with Keith Richards on his first solo disc Talk is Cheap. Steve Jordan, who co-produced the Richards’ record, was a friend of Scialfa’s from her Greenwich Village days.
During the 1988 Tunnel of Love Express tour, Scialfa took a central role in the sexually-charged stage performances, such as “You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)” and “I’m a Coward”, thereby displacing Springsteen’s traditional on-stage foil, saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Springsteen and Scialfa were later pictured together in tabloid photographs on a hotel balcony in Rome. Springsteen was married at the time to model Julianne Phillips. After Phillips filed for divorce in 1988, Springsteen began living with Scialfa. Springsteen’s divorce from Phillips was finalized in 1989. Springsteen and Scialfa were married when she was pregnant with their second child, Jessica Rae.
When Springsteen decided to retire the E Street Band in 1989 and record and tour with a new session band, Scialfa was cut from the band. Clarence Clemons, for one, not so inconspicuously suggested that bands “shouldn’t let girls join” when asked by Rolling Stone magazine for an explanation behind Springsteen’s decision.
The Springsteen-Scialfa union weathered the initial media attention and their partnership in music and life is seen as one of the strongest in the entertainment world. Nevertheless, Scialfa has been forced to tolerate, if not overcome, the impression that her own career as a lead singer is a result of her marriage to Springsteen and not a result of her own talent. She might be best known as the woman who inspired Springsteen to write (the bawdy) “Red Headed Woman”. He also dedicates his famous cover of Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl” to her in concert (although his initial performances of the song pre-dated his relationship with her).
Scialfa, Springsteen, and their children live in Rumson and Colts Neck in New Jersey. Scialfa is most recently a member of Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions Band (where she is reunited with Lisa Lowell). On that Seeger Sessions Band Tour, as on tours since 1999–2000′s Reunion Tour, she sometimes misses shows or stretches of shows to return home and take care of the couple’s children. As Springsteen once told a Rotterdam audience in 2003 during The Rising Tour, when she began a five-show absence, “Patti sends her regards, she couldn’t be here. The kids need her more right now than the band”
During the Springsteen and the E Street Band’s 2007 Magic Tour, Scialfa achieved a breakthrough of sorts when for the first time one of her songs, “Town Called Heartbreak”, was played in its entirety during the set.