Vivienne Patricia Scialfa (// SKAL-fə; born July 29, 1953) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Scialfa has been a member of the E Street Band since 1984 and has been married to Bruce Springsteen since 1991. In 2014, Scialfa was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the E Street Band.
Patti Scialfa in 2008
|Birth name||Vivienne Patricia Scialfa|
|Born||July 29, 1953|
|Origin||Deal, New Jersey, United States|
|Instruments||Guitar, piano, vocals, percussions|
|Years active||Late 1970s–present|
|Associated acts||E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen|
Scialfa grew up in the Jersey Shore community of Deal, New Jersey. She was the middle child of Joseph Scialfa and Patricia (née Morris) Scialfa. Her father was of Sicilian ancestry and her mother is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. 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.
Scialfa was writing songs from an early age and first worked professionally as a back-up singer for New Jersey bar bands after she completed high school. In 1994, she stated in a Lear's Magazine interview that she had little talent for anything but music and that she attended college as a way to further her ambitions as a performer while also satisfying parental expectations. She has a music degree from New York University, earned after she transferred from the University of Miami's jazz conservatory at the Frost School of Music.
While in college, Scialfa was submitting original material to other artists in the hope that it would be recorded. However, none of her songs were recorded, and after graduating, Scialfa worked as a busker and waitress in Greenwich Village. Together with Soozie Tyrell and Lisa Lowell, she formed a street group known as Trickster. For many years, she struggled to make her way in the songwriting and recording industry in New York and New Jersey before playing at Folk City and Kenny's Castaways in Greenwich Village, as well as Asbury Park's The Stone Pony. Scialfa had a brief role in The Stone Pony's house band Cats on a Smooth Surface. These gigs won her notice and, eventually, recording work with Southside Johnny and David Johansen.
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. In 1986, she appeared on the Rolling Stones' Dirty Work album, leaving her vocal mark on "One Hit (To the Body)" as well as other tracks. She worked with Keith Richards on his first solo album Talk is Cheap. Steve Jordan, who co-produced the Richards record, was a friend of Scialfa's from her Greenwich Village days.
Scialfa maintains her music industry friendships over many years. Her friendship with Soozie Tyrell and Lisa Lowell pre-date their mutual work as background vocalists and musicians on the Buster Poindexter 'aka' David Johansen album (featuring a Soca song by Arrow, "Hot Hot Hot") in 1987; Lowell and Tyrell have since worked on various Springsteen-Scialfa recording projects and Tyrell, violinist, has recorded and toured with Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Scialfa has recorded three solo albums, 1993's Rumble Doll, 2004's 23rd Street Lullaby and 2007's Play It As It Lays. Her first two albums received four-star reviews from Rolling Stone, while the third got three and a half. Her records are a mix of confessional songwriting, impressive vocal range, and traditional country, folk and rock music. Springsteen and fellow E Street bandmates, like Lofgren and Roy Bittan, contributed backing work. Following the release of her second album, Scialfa played a series of club dates along the East Coast and she was also the opening act of the post-final night of the Vote for Change tour.
When asked during the press conference for the NFL Super Bowl in 2009 whether she was working on a new album, she confirmed that she was. She confirmed again, during an interview on the radio show Bruce Brunch on 105.7 Hawk radio, on April 10, 2011 that she had written most of the songs for her fourth album and just needed to find time to record it.
In the early 1980s, Scialfa met Springsteen at the Stone Pony, a New Jersey bar. Although initially reluctant, Scialfa joined the 1984 Born in the USA tour, postponing the recording of a solo record. After the tour, Scialfa started a short-term relationship with actor Tom Cruise. In the spring of 1988, Springsteen separated from his first wife, Julianne Phillips, and Scialfa and Springsteen started living together shortly afterward. Springsteen and Phillips's divorce was finalized in 1989.
Scialfa and Springsteen first lived in New Jersey together and later in New York for a short time before moving to Los Angeles, California, where they started a family. On July 25, 1990, Scialfa gave birth to the couple's first child, Evan James Springsteen. The couple married on June 8, 1991, at their Los Angeles home in a ceremony attended by family and close friends. Their second child, Jessica Rae Springsteen, was born on December 30, 1991, and a third child, Samuel Ryan Springsteen, was born on January 5, 1994. The family returned to New Jersey in the early 1990s and now lives in Colts Neck, New Jersey. They also own homes in Wellington, Florida, near West Palm Beach, and Los Angeles.
- Rumble Doll (1993)
- 23rd Street Lullaby (2004) – (#152, US Billboard 200)
- Play It As It Lays (2007) – (#90, US Billboard 200)
- Contributed a song called "Children's Song" to the charity album Every Mother Counts, the song is a duet with her husband, Bruce Springsteen (2011)
- "Linda Paloma" (from the album Looking into You: A Tribute To Jackson Browne), a duet with Bruce Springsteen (2014).
- Stewart, Allison. "Patti Scialfa's Glory Days; With 'Lullaby,' the Boss's Wife Steps Into the Spotlight", The Washington Post, June 20, 2004. Retrieved July 18, 2012. "Scialfa (pronounced SKAL-fah) grew up in the affluent suburb of Deal, N.J., and attended the prestigious jazz program at the University of Miami before moving to New York."
- "Patti Scialfa - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic.
- ""The Boss's Wife" (video)". Go & Do Michigan. 2007. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- ""Bruce Springsteen accepting the 2010 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award" (video)". YouTube. April 23, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- Schindehette, Susan; Balfour, Victoria (October 10, 1988). "Romancing the Boss". People. Vol. 30 no. 15. Time Inc. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- O'Brien, Glenn (1986). "The Buster Poindexter Story". Spin (March 1986).
- The Acoustic Storm Interviews acousticstorm.com
- Guterman, Jimmy. (2005). Runaway American Dream: Listening to Bruce Springsteen. Da Capo Press. p. 214. ISBN 0306813971.
- Michael, Jason (2004). "Vote For Change – and rock hard while you're at it!". Between the Lines News (1240).
- "NFL Videos: Bruce Springsteen". National Football League. January 29, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- "Bruce Brunch – 105.7 The Hawk – Classic Rock for the Jersey Shore". Hawkfm.net. Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- Interview with Patti Scialfa, "Red-Headed Woman", page 42-44, Q, 1993
- "E Street detour: Patti Scialfa leaves hubby Bruce Springsteen at home during road trip". Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- Sawyers, June Skinner. (2004). Racing in the Street: The Bruce Springsteen Reader. Penguin Books. ISBN 0142003549.
- Kirkpatrick, Rob. (2007). The Words And Music of Bruce Springsteen. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 120. ISBN 978-0275989385.
- Kirkpatrick, Rob. (2007). The Words And Music of Bruce Springsteen. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 149. ISBN 978-0275989385.
- Associated Press, "Springsteen scraps Halloween display", Kentucky New Era, October 30, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2011. "The 59-year-old rocker and his wife say too many visitors to their Rumson neighborhood raised concerns for the safety of children and parents."
- Sandford, Christopher (1999). Springsteen: Point Blank. Da Capo Press. p. 387. ISBN 0306809214.
- "Madonna, Jennifer Lopez On 'Every Mother Counts' Documentary Soundtrack". Billboard. September 14, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- "Bruce Springsteen, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt Highlight Jackson Browne Tribute Album". January 16, 2014. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.