1 of 2
Jack Plunkett, Associated Press
Musician Bruce Springsteen gives the keynote address at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas on Thursday, March 15, 2012.

AUSTIN, Texas — Bruce Springsteen took a rapt audience on a music history journey and gave young rockers insightful advice in an often hilarious tour-de-force keynote speech at the South By Southwest Music Conference.

On Thursday, The Boss takes over Austin with the speech and an exclusive show later in the evening. He got off to an often riotous start as he name-checked all the musicians that have inspired him over the years from Elvis to Johnny Rotten and James Brown. He also marveled at the unfathomable diversity at SXSW and led a sing-a-long of "This Land is Your Land."

Springsteen is the focus of extreme attention at the moment with a new album, "Wrecking Ball," that debuted at No. 1 in 14 countries after its release last week and a tour scheduled.