Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen speak on stage during Tribeca Talks.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen speak on stage during Tribeca Talks.

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The "Born to Run" singer got candid about the financial troubles he faced early in his career while talking with Tom Hanks at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday.

(CNN) —  

Bruce Springsteen admits he evaded taxes for years before the IRS finally came after him.

The “Born to Run” singer got candid about the financial troubles he faced early in his career while talking with Tom Hanks at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on Friday.

“First of all, I never met anyone in New Jersey who paid their taxes,” Springsteen joked. “The entire state wasn’t paying any taxes. So, years went by and all of this time went by. Nobody’s paying any taxes. Me, the band, no one I know … I didn’t pay those taxes.”

Springsteen said it was when his 1975 Time magazine cover hit stands that the government started to pay more attention.

For the next several years, Springsteen said all of the money from his concerts and albums went straight to Uncle Sam. He said he only had about $20,000 to his name by the time he was 30.

Springsteen’s songs have become anthems for the American dream. Despite his history, he added: “But I pay ‘em now.”

Hanks shot back with a slight dig at President Trump: “Looks like you’re not going to have to pay so much now.”

Now, Springsteen said he feels like he’s finally achieved balance in all areas of his life. But he admits it took him a long time.

“Basically, you tell a story to save your life. When I was very young, I felt like I was drowning,” he said. “You are not living. A writer tells a story to save his life … Life awaits you, but taking it is a rough and tumble business.”