News Archive April - May 2009

ROCK HALL INVITES BRUCE FANS TO "FANFEST," JUNE 12 - 14
Thom Zimny will screen rare footage, and much more in Cleveland
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum welcomes fans from across the region and country for a weekend of events celebrating Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen, beginning Friday, June 12 through Sunday, June 14. If you've been wanting to check out the new exhibit, "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen," this is a great time to make the trip to Cleveland, with Springsteen-related programs and film screenings to fill the weekend.

Special event partners for "Bruce Springsteen FanFest at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum" include Brucespringsteen.net, Backstreets.com, and media partner SIRIUS XM’s E Street Radio. In less than two weeks, music scholars, industry experts, Springsteen fans, musicians and bands from around the country will travel to Cleveland for a weekend devoted to telling the story of Springsteen’s career.

To launch the event, music critic and SIRIUS XM radio host Dave Marsh will be the Rock Hall’s guest for "From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits" on Wednesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. in the Museum’s 4th Floor Theater. Marsh will be interviewed by Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of Educational Programs. For the FanFest weekend, Onkey will also spotlight the Born in the U.S.A. album, and interview Backstreets editor Chris Phillips.

Additional FanFest programs include exhibit curator Jim Henke talking about "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land"; Emmy and Grammy-award winning producer Thom Zimny showing rare Springsteen film footage. More big-screen showings will include Blood Brothers, VH1 Storytellers, Hammersmith Odeon London '75, Live in New York City, and Rock Hall induction ceremony highlights (Springsteen inducted Bob Dylan, U2, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, and following his own induction, performed with the E Street Band and Wilson Pickett).

Full schedule coming soon, both here and at rockhall.com; hope to see you in Cleveland!
- May 31, 2009

TICKET ALERT
Don't forget, tickets for the three Giants Stadium shows go on sale Monday morning at 10 a.m. Eastern. Prices range from $33 to $98. Be sure to note: unlike previous Giants Stadium shows, the entire field is now general admission, no seats. GA and reserved seats must be pucrhased in separate transactions, with an eight-ticket limit per person altogether. See Ticketmaster.com for full details.
- May 31, 2009

ANYONE NEED A PAIR? SECTION 603ZK, ROW 92-AND-A-HALF!
In yesterday's Star Ledger, "Springsteen's Giants Stadium tickets are already offered by online brokers" addresses the fact that, once again, secondary sellers are jumping the gun with tickets at inflated prices. According to the story, "A spokesman for the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, the state agency that runs the Meadowlands, says no tickets have been sold and any re-sale offers are 'all speculation at this point.' He said none of the websites in question have any tickets and won't until after the official sale." The Star Ledger article, however, goes on to provide theories that contradict the NJSEA rep.

Today, Backstreets corresponded with NJSEA VP of Event Marketing Helen Strus, who defended the Sports Authority's statement and took issue with the article. For one thing, Strus says, "The story mentions the tickets may come from fan clubs or presales. Everyone on Backstreets knows there is no official Bruce Springsteen fan club and there are no presales for a Springsteen concert."

But more pertinently, she says, "the majority of tickets listed [by resellers] do not exist nor can they ever exist."

"A pair in section 125, row 42 for Oct. 3 are going for $2,200," states the article. Strus counters, "Those tickets can't be in hand—and never will be—because there are only 37 rows in that section." She continues:

For Giants Stadium, the lower tier (100 level) sections range from 37-41 rows. The mezzanine (200 level) has 11 rows in every section. The upper tier (300 level) has 31 rows in every section.

Let's look at the article's main source:

Molly Martinez, marketing director for the Connecticut-based TicketNetwork, one of the nation's leading ticket exchange sites... said brokers can't offer tickets they don't yet have.

"That is part of the ticket network policy," she said....

"I have a certain degree of skepticism," she said about the sports authority's claim that no tickets have been distributed.

Martinez's quote about skepticism discredits the NJSEA, and she has no leg to stand on. Her site is posting multiple locations that do not exist. The same locations are also listed for all three shows. Ticket Network lists the following for the 9/30 show and none of these rows exist in Giants Stadium—so how can Molly say her site does not allow brokers to post tickets they do not have?

Sample of tickets listed on Ticket Network:

  • Section 119, row 42 (37 rows in that section)
  • Section 214, row 30 (11 rows)
  • Section 217, row 30 (11 rows)
  • Section 223, row 30, (11 rows)
  • Section 130, row 45 has the priciest tickets at $1131 each. There are 41 rows in this section.

As of 3 p.m. today, our box office is still creating the event on the Ticketmaster ticketing system for the Monday, June 1 onsale. It is impossible for anyone to have a ticket to one of these concerts at this time.

The bogus seat locations Strus points out serve to further confirm what was suggested by the recent TicketsNow snafu for the "oversold" show in DC—resellers listing tickets in advance of an on sale, particularly for a Springsteen show, don't necessarily have those tickets.

Today, TicketNetwork, Inc. was one of three ticket sellers (along with Select-A-Ticket and Orbitz Worldwide) named in a suit by NJ Attorney General Anne Milgram, "for allegedly violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and Advertising Regulations by advertising and selling tickets to three upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts at Giants Stadium before the tickets are available for sale." The lawsuit also charges that "Some tickets offered by Orbitz Worldwide and TicketNetwork are for seats which do not physically exist within Giants Stadium." Read the full press release from the Division of Consumer Affairs here.
- May 27, 2009

LITTLE STEVEN'S STATE OF THE TOUR
While the E Street Band starts a two-month European tour this weekend, don't forget that U.S. fans will be getting another taste in a matter of weeks: the band's performance at the Bonnaroo festival, which will bring Bruce and the band briefly back Stateside, is coming right up on June 13.

In a recent teleconference, Steve Van Zandt spoke with a group of journalists looking ahead to the festival in Tennessee—"Bonnaroo's right around the corner!" Here we present the higlights:

On tailoring the set for a festival crowd
I don't think you can change things too much. You are who you are—in our case, I think we change things a lot normally. I mean, every night is different, every tour is different. There is a very wide range of songs that we've done over the years that Bruce has written over the course of whatever it is, 30, 35 years—there is a lot of stuff to pick from.

Every time he writes a new album, he is basically writing a new show. He is saying something with that particular album, and then we build the show around that, with the other songs from the past, and then see what connects to it, what amplifies that idea, what complements that idea. So, we don't particularly change things according to who the audience is. We kind of do what we do, and then you just hope people dig it.

And then on top of that, we build in a certain amount of spontaneity right into the show. These last couple tours, in particular, we've been taking requests from the audience and really turning arenas and stadiums into clubs. Last tour, people would come with signs for a lot of obscure Bruce songs. And this tour, there’s been any kind of songs. We've played The Ramones, The Clash, and Tommy James... "Wild Thing"... all kinds of fun, sort of bar band type of songs. It just loosens everybody up and keeps the thing fresh—and there's nothing like playing a song you've never played before and never rehearsed before in front of 20,000 people. It's just an immediate sort of electric jolt that keeps everybody very awake.

So, we won't change a thing. We are who we are. I love the fact that we're playing to, I don't know, probably half of the audience who maybe never even heard of us. And that's nothing but fun, and nothing but exciting.

On the mechanics of covers
Believe it or not, we do a sort of 20-second talk-through right there on stage, you can actually hear us rehearsing in our heads. We try and run through the song in our minds—it's usually something we've never played, and something we may remember from when we were a kid. We'll say, "Are there any tricky moments in this thing?" or "What's sort of happening in the bridge?"... you know, is there a bridge, where the solo comes? We do a 20- or 30-second, maybe as much as a minute sometimes standing there.

Most of our show [is like a] hurricane. We only do a couple slow songs out of the 25 songs or so we do. So it's a funny moment, because everything sort of halts for a minute, and we discuss it... and then we just jump in. Like last night, we did "Mony Mony" by Tommy James, and we're like going through this thing in our heads. And Bruce says, "Isn’t there like a funny riff in the middle or something?" And we're asking around, "anybody remember that riff?" "Nah." So alright, we'll figure it out when we get there. We just jump in, and we get to the middle of the song, and if nobody remembers the riff, we skip to the next part. You just got to do the best you can with it. But its fun—it’s really just true spontaneity in the truest sense of the word.

On the paucity of Working on a Dream songs in the set:
I think what happened at rehearsal this time... we learned all the new songs, and we will be playing them. But the theme of the show—which is having to do with what's going on out there with the economy and everything—conjured up other sorts of songs that we hadn't played before or played rarely. And all of a sudden we're going through "Seeds" and "Johnny 99," and brought back "Land of Hope and Dreams," and you found the song "Hard Times" by Stephen Foster and brought back this "American Land" song that Bruce had done.

And before you know it, an interesting sort of show just coalesced using some of these more obscure songs of his and others. And I think part of the reason is that the new songs have [a] bigger size to them. I mean, "Outlaw Pete" plays a big role in the show, as does "Kingdom of Days," "The Wrestler." We were doing "Lucky Day." We'll probably do that again, that's going to come and go, and "This Life."

There are a few coming and going, but the ones we are doing—"Working on a Dream," Kingdom of Days," "Outlaw Pete"—are just gigantic. You know, they’re big. They have quite a lot of size to them. So maybe, in a way, that sort of does the job and expresses the idea in fewer songs.

On the best crowd so far:
Well, I say this every year: the loudest crowd... I mean, we have the best crowd in the world, it's very consistent. But the loudest, rowdiest crowd is always in the Carolinas. I don't know why, nobody knows why, but every year it's true. South Carolina, North Carolina—there is something about that area that's just extremely vocal, extremely enthusiastic and [they] participate at the show in a level that's a little bit higher than everybody else.

But, truthfully, everywhere we go, it’s just the best audience I think, ever in history, for any artist. We have a very, very consistent audience who is very, very understanding about the fact that we did some things and do new things. I looked at the setlist of the day, and two-thirds of the setlist was from the last ten years and only about a third from the first 25 years. That's very unusual I think. And it's a tribute to our audience that they encourage it and support the new ideas, the new songs. And they're not expecting a nostalgia type of act, which we're just not. We're an ongoing concern here, still creating things. Bruce is still writing just fantastic things and vital things and is very, very much inspired and motivated to continue doing things as we have all along.

We don't go on stage with a different attitude than we... you know, we're the same as we were when we were 25. So, it's great. It's a tribute to our audience that they really support that.

On songs he'd like to play:
Well, some of my favorites we very rarely play. And one of my very favorites is "Restless Nights"—we've never played it live. So I'm hoping at some point here, one of these tours, we actually do. That's probably my favorite issued band album, the album that never came out, which ended up on Tracks, the second disc of Tracks which was a collection of outtakes.

Most of the pop/rock stuff that Bruce was writing in that late '70s, early '80s period is my favorite stuff. That's my favorite genre, obviously. You could tell from my radio format, the Underground Garage, that's my favorite genre. And a lot of those songs... just didn't really get released, tragically. And so, I'm hoping someday we do "Restless Nights" and some of those songs on that record. It's great.

On playing festivals:
There is an interesting phenomenon going on right now that really wasn't going on ten years ago. And it's not as evident here in the states. I think Bonnaroo is certainly a great one, and Coachella. You’ve got maybe a handful of great festivals here. In Europe, it's a festival every week in almost every country. It's an incredible phenomenon right now.

But I think what they have in common is that young people are starting to use these festivals as a way of balancing out what has been a kind of isolated generation or two between computers and video games and that sort of thing. There's been a lot of young kids coming home instead of hanging out in the park or something like we used to do, or even hanging out at the mall like the previous generation. It's sort of: come home, go in your room, turn your computer on, or text on your cell phone. It's been a very isolated sort of way of socializing in a funny kind of way. Now all of a sudden I think that's being balanced out... where they are coming out and being with other young people and it's a very, very healthy thing.

This is just my own observation; I haven't seen anybody talking about this. But that's what I'm seeing lately. It's just a very, very healthy and cool thing. Like I say, in Europe, it's exploding. I mean, Norway, Spain... literally, they overlap. They can't even do one a week, it's more than one a week. So I'm hoping we do a whole lot more of these, and I think what I'm expecting at Bonnaroo is just—I hope a lot of young people see us that have never seen us before, and it's going to be fun.

On the call: Adam Gold (Village Voice), Gary Graff (Billboard), Rachel Stein (Fuse), Ryan Snyder (Yes! Weekly), Rob Turbovsky (Boston Phoenix), and Byron Hensley (Saturday Independent).

More on Steven at Knoxville.com, and CNN.com.
- May 27, 2009

SUNDAY WE'LL LOOK BACK ON THIS...
Updating our Sirius XM update: Fans of “Live From E Street Nation,” the weekly live call-in show for Springsteen fans hosted by Dave Marsh on E Street Radio, now have another chance to catch the show. It continues airing live every Friday from 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. ET (at which time fans who want to talk about anything Bruce-related can call 1-877-70-BRUCE to join the discussion), with a repeat of each Friday’s show now airing on the following Sunday night from 8-10 p.m. ET. Whether you’ve already got Friday, or Sunday, on your mind, you can tune in at Sirius channel 10 or XM channel 58.
- May 27, 2009 - Shawn Poole reporting


GREAT NEWS FOR HARD TIMES: FANS DONATE BIG TO THE NJ FOODBANK
Saturday brought to a close not only Springsteen and the E Street Band's North American spring tour, but also our "Photographers Agains Hunger" campaign to benefit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Thanks to everyone who particpated, together we raised more than $135,000 to fight hunger in New Jersey.

That's through individual fan donations of $25 each—as the man said, "From small things, big things one day come"!

Here's what FoodBank President & CEO Kathleen DiChiara said via e-mail:

Just amazing, and what a team effort by the fans!

We are all energized and inspired by the goodness this represents. This is what you all have made possible: for every dollar of our operating budget we are able to provide about $7.00 in food to those in need. This wonderful project will enable us to provide just about $1 million in food to the poor and hungry in NJ.

Way to go, fans!!

Saturday afternoon, names were drawn and matched to the prints, using the photographers' names, in alphabetical order. Though the winners came from places as diverse as the birthplace of the Beatles to the swamps of New Jersey, from Florida to Washington state, perhaps the most poignant match was that of Andrea Tyrrell from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Defying odds, mathematics and the gods of chance, she was miraculously paired with fellow Okie Barbara Pyle's shot of the E Street Band, titled "My Hometown" made 34 years ago just a few hundred miles away in the small town of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.

Here are the winners:

Name City, State/Country Photo
Anthony Woodley Plymouth, UK Mary Alfieri
Kimberly Doan Lake Hamilton, FL Danny Clinch
Joanna Arlow Olympia, WA Anton Corbijn
Shirley de Knegt-Kuzik Sparta, NJ Lynn Goldsmith
Tony Rea Cave Creek, AZ David Michael Kennedy
Lynn Hilditch Liverpool, UK Annie Leibovitz
Susanne Yurasits Frankoin Lakes, NJ Eric Meola
Kerry Flynn Nantucket, MA Neal Preston
Erik Carlson South Orange, NJ Barbara Pyle
Lance Tibbetts Stamford, CT David Rose
Dominic Tolli Wayne, NJ Pam Springsteen
Cynthia Wolfe Saint Clair Shores, MI Frank Stefanko
Frank Orlich Mahwah, NJ Albert Watson
Jeffrey Grubbs Boca Raton, FL Timothy White
Bonus Prints
Rosemarie Korbelak Red Bank, NJ Danny Clinch - Bonus
Kerry Nolan Atlantic Highlands, NJ Eric Meola - Bonus
Lloyd Scholss White Plains, NY Neal Preston - Bonus
Andrea Tyrrell Tulsa, OK Barbara Pyle - Bonus

Thanks again to all who chose to be part of this—the generosity during hard times has been astounding and heartwarming, from the photogaphers themselves jumping at the chance to make a difference, to the support and number of donations this project received from fans around the world.
- May 25, 2009

SATURDAY NIGHT VIDEOS
Courtesy of the Star Ledger and NJ.com, three video clips from the May 23 Meadowlands leg-closer:

- May 25, 2009


LIVE FROM THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY
Courtesy of the Star Ledger and NJ.com, four video clips from last night's Meadowlands opener:

- May 22, 2009


HELPING HUNGRY HEARTS IN THE GARDEN STATE
As usual, Springsteen has been supporting hunger-fighting orignizations across the country on this tour. With these final shows of the leg in New Jersey, of course, it's his own local food bank that gets a boost: the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, to which Bruce also lent his image for their "We Can't Let This Bank Fail!" campaign.

Above left: a representative from the FoodBank selects a raffle ticket to upgrade a lucky fan plus a guest to the pit at the Izod Center. All a raffle ticket costs you is a donation of five non-perishable food items, and they'll be doing it again on Saturday night. Click here for details.

Above right: As shown on the video screens before last night's show started, there's just one day left in our Photographers Against Hunger campaign—less than 24 hours now. Make your $25 donation by noon on Saturday to be entered into the drawing (and support the NJ FoodBank too, of course). This is an extremely rare chance to own a stunning work of art by a renowned photographer, for a small fraction of its value. Each $25 donation you make gives you another chance at one of 18 original, gallery-quality prints of Springsteen, or Springsteen and the E Street Band.
- May 22, 2009 - photographs by A.M. Saddler

A SORT OF HOMECOMING
Bruce and the Band bring it home to Jersey before heading overseas
Gearing up for the last two shows of the first North American leg tonight and Saturday, May 21 and 23, at the Izod Arena at the Meadowlands... lots to report:

Help support the Community FoodBank of New Jersey by bringing five items of non-perishable food, and you'll be entered to win pit passes! For the first time at a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert at the Meadowlands, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey is collecting food, and patrons who bring five or more items will have the chance to be upgraded to the pit. There will be a winner each night.

Here’s how it works: For every five (5) food items you bring, you will get one (1) raffle ticket for a chance to be upgraded to the pit for you and a guest. (10 items = 2 raffle tickets, 15 items = 3 raffle tickets, etc). For full details, check out the following PDFs.

Food drive details
Food drive details PLUS info about GA admission, transit, and more

You can also help the FoodBank through monetary donations at the venue, and through our "Photographers Against Hunger" campaign, less than 48 hours left!

SIRIUS XM's E Street Radio channel will be on location, with special Memorial Day weekend coverage. Dave Marsh will broadcast live from the parking lot (near Gate A) for a tailgate special tonight, starting at 6 p.m. Friday morning at 10 a.m., Marsh will host a special edition of his "Live From E Street Nation" program (listeners are invited to call Dave at 877-70-BRUCE to join the show). And all weekend, E Street Radio will be broadcasting a series of archival concerts recorded at the Meadowands, from 1984-'85 Born in the U.S.A. shows to Rising and Magic concerts at Giants Stadium. The series begins in the wee hours tonight, at 12:30 a.m., with the August 5, 1984 concert at what was then the Brendan Byrne Arena. See the E Street Radio page for the full schedule.

Speaking of Giants Stadium, lots of buzz going around about E Street Band shows there in the fall. Back in April, the NFL's Rich Eisen explained (at the 4:10 mark) why the new York Giants have three straight away games scheduled: "Three straight on the road, a scheduling anomaly they can thank in part Bruce Springsteen [for, who] in week number four is going to be taking over Giants Stadium...."

Word now has it that Bruce and the E Streeters will play the final concerts at the soon-to-be-closed venue, over three nights in late September and early October. There's talk of tickets going on sale on Monday, June 1. And if you don't believe your eyes, how about your ears?

Despite the authority in that voice, this is not yet official. We'll let you know when there's an announcement.

The Star Ledger analyzes the ticket sales for these Meadowlands shows, based on "documents submitted by Ticketmaster as part of the Attorney General's investigation into its business practices. The documents provide a rare glimpse into the ticket industry and prove what concert-goers have long suspected and more. For a hot show, the odds are long, the seats are few and the sale window slams shut in minutes." Read Peggy McGlone's "Getting into a NJ Bruce Springsteen concert is harder than imagined."

Also note that the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority counters the report with their own figures.

We'll be back with a post-show report tonight!
- May 21, 2009


"PHOTOGRAPHERS AGAINST HUNGER" CAMPAIGN ENDS SATURDAY
With four bonus prints in the pot, last chance to be one of 18 winners!
Our month-long Photographers Against Hunger campaign comes to a close this Saturday, May 23, when we'll stop accepting donations at noon. This is an extremely rare chance to win a large, original print from 14 renowned photographers who have all created notable images of Bruce Springsteen.

Two of them, Barbara Pyle and Eric Meola, have just contributed two more bonus prints (above and right, respectively), bringing the total number of signed, original prints—and the number of winners in Saturday's drawing—to 18. For each $25 donation you make to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, you'll get a chance to have one of these on your wall. We'll announce the winners right here on Monday.

We hope you'll join us, and the photographers assembled for the cause, in helping to fight hunger. But even if you're unable to donate, we encourage you to visit the Photographers Against Hunger page, where this gallery of 18 photographs is something to see in and of itself, including great stories behind the images from Pyle, Meola, Neal Preston, Pam Springsteen, and more. Click here for full details and to see all the images!
- May 20, 2009

LAST WEEK OF U.S. TOUR BRINGS LOTS OF E STREET CHAT
We're rounding the final corner of the Working on a Dream tour's first leg, with just one more week of shows left: DC tonight, Pittsburgh tomorrow, and the two Meadowlands shows at the end of the week. A media roundup as we enter the home stretch:

  • Gearing up for tonight's DC show, the Washington Post talks with "Bethesda's former boy wonder" Nils Lofgren about E Street improv ("Bruce has discovered we don't even have to know a song to play it"), setlist nitpicking, and the "spiritual peace" of rock 'n' roll.
  • Lofgren also spoke with the District's WTOP—read the article here, with online audio of Nils on Springsteen and the E Street Band, and on his own "musical journey."
  • More with Nils from Gary Graff at Billboard.com, addressing the possibility of extending the tour after Europe: "Certainly there's talk about (more shows)... but it's kind of stream of consciousness, not something that's booked a year and a half in advance. I'm sure Bruce and Patti will evaluate what's going with their family and decide whether or not they're gonna do (more), and we'll go from there."
  • In the Star-Ledger, Jay Lustig spoke with father and son for "Born to Drum: Two generations of Weinbergs do the E Street Shuffle." You can also read full transcripts of his interviews with Max and Jay.
  • Jon Bream also spoke with Max earlier this month for the Star Tribune.

And remember, of course, the Jersey shows on Thursday and Saturday aren't the last U.S. stops on the current schedule; in the midst of the European leg, Bruce and the E Street Band will return to the states for the Bonnaroo festival, where they're scheduled to play Saturday, June 13 on the What Stage.
- May 18, 2009

I GOT THE RADIO ON AND I'M JUST CHANGIN' TIMES....
Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's "Live From E Street Nation", the weekly call-in show for Springsteen fans hosted by Dave Marsh on E Street Radio (Sirius channel 10; XM channel 58), has undergone a slight time shift. It now airs one half-hour later on Fridays from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET. The shift is a twofold improvement: it allows many listeners in the Mountain and Pacific time zones to enjoy more of the show during the traditional morning "drive-time," and it allows "You Be The Boss," the daily segment where Bruce's fans turn into "guest DJs" for 30 minutes, to return to airing every day—weekends included—from 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to call "Live From E Street Nation" at 1-877-70-BRUCE while the show airs to discuss all things Springsteen. Marsh also continues to build an interesting lineup of co-hosts. This week, he is scheduled to be joined by Craig Werner, author of A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & The Soul of America, one of the best books ever written about U.S. popular music and its role in social and political change. Naturally, it includes more than a few pages on Bruce Springsteen.

Fans of Marsh's other show about music and politics, "Kick Out The Jams with Dave Marsh," which continues to air live on Sundays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET on "The Loft" channel (Sirius 29/XM 50), can now catch a repeat airing of each week's show as well, on Wednesday nights (or more accurately, Thursday mornings) from 12 a.m.-2 a.m. ET. Rockers who are nite-owls and/or prefer to sleep in late on Sundays, no matter in which time zone you live, set your 007 watches now!
- May 14, 2009 - Shawn Poole reporting


ANOTHER BONUS PRINT FOR "PHOTOGRAPHERS AGAINST HUNGER"
And if you thnk it looks good here, imagine it at 30" x 40"
In our Photographers Against Hunger campaign, you've got the rare chance to win a large, original print from 14 renowned photographers who have all created notable images of Bruce Springsteen. Last week, we added a bonus print from Danny Clinch, to increase the number of winners in the May 23 random drawing, and to significantly increase your odds.

The response was so good, and the photographers' dedication to the cause so great, that we're adding another one to the pot today. Neal Preston has offered up a second image for the drawing, this Fourth of July shot, above, from Wembley Stadium in 1985. (Read his notes in the gallery to find out how he pulled this one off.) While all of the prints donated to the drawing are large format, averaging 16" x 20", Preston's new addition is stunning at 30" x 40".

So instead of 14 photographs, we now have 16 signed, original prints to give away to 16 lucky fans as part of our campaign to fight hunger. Through your donation to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, you'll get the chance to have one of these on your wall.

Just ten days left until the drawing; click here for full details and to see all the images!
- May 13, 2009

THE HITS KEEP COMING!
In 1995, after more than two decades of recording, a Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits package offered a first official "Best of." Not to be confused with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Greatest Hits, released earlier this year as a Wal-Mart exclusive. Which, in turn, is not to be confused with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Greatest Hits, due next month. Or maybe it is. Let's clarify.

On June 1, a new Greatest Hits package will be released in Europe, mirroring the U.S.-only GH release from January, and again focusing on E Street material. The new collection, a "Europe-only Limited Tour Edition CD," will hit shelves just as Springsteen and the E Streeters play the Pinkpop festival, as well as Glastonbury and Hard Rock Calling later in the month, and is clearly appealing to a new audience, much like the Wal-Mart title for the Superbowl. While expanding on the Wal-Mart release, with 18 tracks instead of 12, the new comp still doesn't include any rare material (though the addition of live versions of "Because the Night" and "Fire," charting singles from the Live/1975-'85 box, is a nice touch for newbies). So we won't need to pay this one much mind. But as long as we're on the topic... here's how the Hits hit the fans:

1. Blinded By the Light
x
2. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
x
x
3. Born to Run
x
x
x
4. Thunder Road
x
x
x
5. Badlands
x
x
x
6. Darkness on the Edge of Town
x
x
7. Hungry Heart
x
x
x
8. The River
x
x
9. Born in the U.S.A.
x
x
x
10. I'm on Fire
x
11. Glory Days
x
x
x
12. Dancing in the Dark
x
x
x
13. The Rising
x
x
14. Lonesome Day
x
x
15. Radio Nowhere
x
x
16. Long Walk Home
x
17. Because the Night (Live)
x
18. Fire (Live)
x
Atlantic City
x
My Hometown
x
Brilliant Disguise
x
Human Touch
x
Better Days
x
Streets of Philadelphia
x
Secret Garden
x
Murder Incorporated
x
Blood Brothers
x
This Hard Land
x

- May 13, 2009

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET SCREWIER
Washington DC Springsteen concert oversold by TicketsNow
First, an item from our mailbag this morning. A fan writes:

The Ticketmaster/TicketsNow saga continues. In February, I was one of many who tried to buy tickets via Ticketmaster to the Bruce Springsteen concert in Washington DC scheduled for May 18. I was led to TicketsNow, where I inadvertently bought two $98 tickets at $305 each. When Ticketmaster offered to reimburse those of us who inadvertently overpaid, it took two months to get a $400 refund. TicketsNow said they would still provide tickets, but at face value. TicketsNow called yesterday to say that they would not be able to provide tickets to the Washington concert as promised.

Now, an Associated Press story reveals: "Thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans who bought premium seats to his concert at the Verizon Center next week are being told they don't actually have tickets. TicketsNow.com, a resale company owned by Ticketmaster, says it sold too many tickets.... Customers are getting refunds, along with free seats much further from the stage than the ones they had paid for."

So as to that recurring question, "How can resellers have these tickets when the show hasn't even gone on sale yet?" Answer: they don't.

In the "with us" column, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed "the Bruce Springsteen bill" into law on the day of the St. Paul show, as the Star Tribune reports, prohibiting "online ticket sellers from pushing buyers to resale sites that offer tickets far above face value."
- May 13, 2009

MORE PHOTOGRAPHERS COMING UP ON THE BRUCE BRUNCH
Last week on the Bruce Brunch, host Tom Cunningham had photographers Eric Meola and Frank Stefanko on the air to talk about Photographers Against Hunger. (That's Tom and Frank, L-R, in the studio.) As the campaign continues for just a couple more weeks, Tom is keeping it up: tune in tomorrow, Mother's Day, to hear Lynn Goldsmith on the program at 10:30 a.m., and next week, Sunday June 17, Danny Clinch will be on at the same time.

The Bruce Brunch is on 105-7 The Hawk Sunday mornings from 9 to 11. Listen live anywhere at www.1057thehawk.com.
- May 9, 2009

MEET-AND-GREET AUCTIONS UPDATE
As previously reported, Springsteen has been donating "meet and greet" packages for foodbanks to auction that include tickets to the local show, E Street Lounge passes, and a face-to-face meeting with the man himself for winning bids over $10,000. Plus, Bruce is matching the winning bids -- up to $50,000 -- in each city. Here are the ongoing auctions we know of:

If you're involved in or have information on similar fundraisers in other cities, please email us the details, and we'll list it here.
- May 7, 2009

THE WRESTLER VS. HANNAH MONTANA
Wanna help Bruce bring home the golden popcorn? "The Wrestler" has been nominated for "Best Song From a Movie" in the MTV movie awards. It's up against tunes from Slumdog Millionaire, Hannah Montana: The Movie, and Twilightvote here. The award show airs live on Sunday, May 31.
- May 7, 2009


SEEGER ON SCREEN: CLIPS ON BILLBOARD.COM, CONCERT COMING TO PBS
More from Pete Seeger's 90th courtesy of Billboard.com, with video clips including "The Ghost of Tom Joad" and "This Land is Your Land." Alexander P. Sherman's revew of the concert also notes that the night was filmed for a documentary; according to musicnewsnet.com, the concert will air in HD "in late summer on PBS" as part of the Great Performances series.
- May 7, 2009


BONUS PRINT ADDED TO "PHOTOGRAPHERS AGAINST HUNGER"
In our Photographers Against Hunger campaign, you've got the rare chance to win a large, original print from 14 renowned photographers who have all created notable images of Bruce Springsteen. We've capped the number of entries at 14,000—with 14 photographs to give away in a random drawing, that made the odds nice and easy: a one-in-a-thousand shot.

Well, now we've added a 15th print to the pot, so the math goes all to hell. But to your advantage. Odds are now better than one-in-a-thousand that, through your donation to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, you'll get the chance to have one of these on your wall.

The photograph above—courtesy of Danny Clinch, a Photographer Against Hunger who has now donated two prints to the cause—was taken in Springsteen's New Jersey farmhouse in 2005, when Clinch was on location to shoot the Devils & Dust film. And now it's one of 15 signed, original prints that will be given away to 15 lucky fans when we do a random drawing on May 23, or when we reach 14,000 donations, whichever comes first.

If you've been putting it off, we hope you'll join the effort now; click here for full details and to see all the images!
- May 6, 2009

"YOU OUTLASTED THE BASTARDS, MAN"
Springsteen salutes Seeger at Madison Square Garden for the big 9-0
Last night in New York, on an off night between Working on a Dream tour stops, Bruce appeared at The Clearwater Concert at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night in honor of Pete Seeger. Seeger's 90th birthday celebration was bookended by appearances from the honoree himself, nine decades under his belt and still going strong. In between, a wide variety of artists were there to celebrate the man and play his music: Emmylou Harris recounting correspondence she had with Pete as a young folk singer; Patterson Hood and Michael Franti teaming up for "Dear Mr. President," with other pairings including Tom Morello and Taj Mahal (on "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy"), and Ani DiFranco with Bruce Cockburn; Tim Robbins popping in and out; John Mellencamp offering up "If I Had a Hammer."

And then came Bruce. As the last artist of the night, Springsteen had the lengthiest remarks, with a speech that was an appreciation of Pete's place in history and of Pete as a repository of American history in himself. Bruce spoke of the folk legend's "stubborn, nasty, defiant optimism," and of Seeger as "the stealth dagger through the heart of our country's illusions about itself." Springsteen talked about his own youth, growing up in a town that endured race riots, and how times have changed: "Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man." He spoke about "We Shall Overcome," which he said Seeger moved from an anthem of the labor movement to one of the civil rights movement, and he described preparing for their duet on "This Land is Your Land" at the Inauguration, when Pete said: "I know I want to sing all the verses—all the ones that Woody wrote, even the two that usually get left out." Bruce summed up: "He sings all the verses, all the time—especially the ones we'd like to leave out of our history as a people."

"Pete's gonna come out," Bruce added, "He's gonna look like your granddad—if your granddad could kick your ass." But first, a performance from the Boss. Tom Morello joined him for "The Ghost of Tom Joad," on acoustics this time, trading verses and harmonizing on the chorus. It was a very energetic performance, clearly benefiting from their recent collaborations on the song with the E Street Band. After that, the stage filled with the night's artists for a grand finale. Seeger returned to the stage, and Patti Scialfa came out, too, for "This Land is Your Land." Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Pete's grandson, led the throng through "Well May the World Go." Bruce was on guitar for "This Little Light of Mine," and joined in at the mic for the show-closing "Goodnight Irene." John Seeger, Pete's older brother, had one last birthday wish: "If I'm 95"—and he is—Pete's gonna live to be 100!

For the full setlist from this and other recent shows,
visit our Setlists page

- May 4, 2009

TURN ON THE RADIO: MEOLA & STEFANKO JOIN THE BRUCE BRUNCH
Sunday morning, May 3, on his "Bruce Brunch" radio show, Tom Cunningham will be spotlighting our Photographers Against Hunger campaign, in which 14 lucky donors to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey will bring home large, original Springsteen images by 14 prominent photographers.

Cunningham says, "Two of those 14 renowned photographers will be on the show this week. Thinking about it, between the two of them, they've shot three of the most iconic album covers in rock history. Eric Meola (Born to Run) and Frank Stefanko (Darkness on the Edge of Town and The River) will share their great stories and give us insight into Bruce Springsteen, 'subject.' I am very much looking forward to having them on."

The Bruce Brunch is on 105-7 The Hawk Sunday mornings from 9 to 11. Listen live anywhere at www.1057thehawk.com.
- May 2, 2009

HARRY THE K MAKES THE CALL
More on the Harry Kalas clip played Wednesday night in Philly: Dan Deluca reports that the recording was made in 1985 for WIOQ, when Springsteen and the E Street Band played Philly's Veterans Stadium. "We're going to have a pinch hitter here with the bases loaded and two outs in the 9th innning. It looks like Bruce Springsteen, just called up. They call him the Boss..." Listen here.
- May 1, 2009

THEASBURYPARKBOARDWALK.COM UP FOR A WEBBY
Fans of Bruce and The Stone Pony can show their support for Asbury Park by voting in the Webby Awards — basically, the Oscars of the web, hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by The New York Times. Asbury Park's official site has been nominated, and you can help make the win happen by registering and voting here. The site is listed in the Website category, under Tourism (pitted against sites for destinations such as Sweden and Montreal). Just one day left — public voting is open until April 30.
- April 29, 2009


YOU CAN'T SIT DOWN!
Unless it's to watch video from last night's Philly show, in which case, please go right ahead. Three clips from Philly 1, courtesy of the Star-Ledger, are up at NJ.com now: Badlands / Out in the Street / Outlaw Pete. Jay Lustig's review is here.
- April 29, 2009

A FRIEND IN NEED
The family of Paul Williams, founder of Crawdaddy! magazine, needs help. In 1995, Williams suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident, leading to early onset of dementia, and a steady decline to the point where he now requires full-time care—as Bob Hill writes at Crawdaddy! online, "the type that's difficult to afford when you've spent your entire career working as a freelance writer."

Crawdaddy! was the first U.S. rock magazine, and the first publication to devote major coverage to Springsteen, in early 1973. Williams himself interviewed Springsteen in 1974, later reprinted in Racing in the Street: The Bruce Springsteen Reader.

Read Hill's "When Bad Things Happen to Great Writers," and visit paulwilliams.com to lend your support.
- April 28, 2009

STOP BENDIN' THE SHAFTS!
Tonight, Springsteen's night off between Atlanta and Philly shows, he'll be helping to celebrate a bosom buddy at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Gala Tribute to Tom Hanks.
- April 27, 2009


"PHOTOGRAPHERS AGAINST HUNGER" CAMPAIGN BEGINS NOW!
Stefanko. Goldsmith. Meola. Corbijn. Leibovitz. Fourteen famous photographers in all, in conjunction with Backstreets magazine, are teaming up to fight hunger—and to give you a chance to own one of their original prints of Bruce Springsteen. Today's the first day of our month-long fundraiser for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, and we hope you'll be a part of it. Visit backstreets.com/hunger now!
- April 22, 2009

IN THE WORKS: THE LIGHT IN DARKNESS
Lawrence Kirsch Communications, creator of the recent book For You, is beginning work on a new book called The Light in Darkness, to focus specifically on the Darkness on the Edge of Town era. Like For You, the forthcoming book will feature concert photography and stories from fans. Kirsch tells Backstreets, "This tribute to Darkness will be something special: more passionate stories, breathtaking never-seen-before photos, and some discovered artwork and memorabilia gems that will be of great interest to fans no matter when they were introduced to Bruce's music." Visit thelightindarkness.com for more information and to contribute.
- April 21, 2009

GREETINGS FROM THE FRIENDS
With the Working on a Dream tour hitting full stride, The Friends of the Springsteen Special Collection are working to fully document the tour for the collection, and we once again turn to you for help. We're specifically interested newspaper and magazine articles that preview, and review, Bruce as he and the E Street Band sweep across the U.S. and into Europe this summer. If you can help with articles from shows in your area, please contact us at pbjcrane@erols.com to make arrangements. Many thanks!
- April 21, 2009

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE
Don't forget Record Store Day tomorrow—Saturday, April 18—when an exclusive Springsteen seven-inch will be available at indie shops around the country. We may be able to get our hands on some of these here at Backstreet Records in time... but for now we hope you'll support this endeavor, helping keep brick & mortar stores alive by visiting your local mom & pop record shop (if it's still there!). The single is "What Love Can Do" b/w/ "A Night with the Jersey Devil." See Recordstoreday.com for more information, including a list of Particpating Stores.

Thinking of Danny: With today marking one year since we lost Danny Federici, the weekend will bring a few tributes to the man and his music. On Sunday, Danny's son Jason, Tom Morello, and a whole host of other musicians will play a "Memorial Fundraiser" for the Danny Fund, at the Troubadour in L.A.

That same day on the Jersey Shore, tune in to 105.7 The Hawk from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., when Tom Cunningham's weekly "Bruce Brunch" program will be a tribute to Phantom Dan. Stream it online here—and while you're at it, pair that with the "2nd Annual "Remembering Danny BTX Bruce Brunch Fundraiser," generating more help for the Danny Fund, with some fun giveaways to boot.
- April 17, 2009


- photograph by Joseph Quever, April 16, 2009

THEY'RE GONNA MAKE A TV MOVIE OUTTA ME
Update: But they ain't gonna show it yet
The debut of Biography: Bruce Springsteen. was on the schedule for last night, but it got yanked. If you tuned in at 10, you got to learn about the chrome wheeled, fuel injected Hell's Angels instead. No word yet on a new air date for the Bruce bio, but we'll post it here when we know.
- Updated April 16, 2009

NATIVE "AMERICAN"
In Los Angeles early, for the pair of E Street Band shows tonight and tomorrow, Little Steven spent last night in the audience for American Idol's Top 7. Along with his wife Maureen, Steve got a couple close-ups during Tuesday night's live broadcast. Next time, we wanna see him as a mentor—Garage Rock week, anyone?
- April 15, 2009


REMINDER: "GLORY DAYS" SYMPOSIUM PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS APRIL 30
"Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium," which was a great success in September 2005, will see a second go-round this fall, September 25 - 27, 2009.  Organized by Virginia Tech in conjunction with Penn State Altoona, the three-day event will take place on the campus of Monmouth University with evening musical performances (bands TBA) to be held at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. The 2005 event attracted 330 participants from all across the U.S. and around the world.  Proposals are now being accepted for presentations, and information regarding proposing a presentation can be accessed at the conference web site.  For more information, you can contact symposium organizer Mark Bernhard at mcb7@vt.edu
- April 13, 2009


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAX!
The Mighty One turns 58 today, born April 13, 1951.
- photograph by Alan Chitlik

MEET-AND-GREET AUCTIONS FIGHT HUNGER AT EACH TOUR STOP
It's been decades since Springsteen has toured the U.S. without supporting foodbanks and hunger-fighting organizations in each city, and inviting them to collect donations at his shows. It's rarely publicized exactly how much support he lends to each, but this time around it looks like he's upped the ante.

Springsteen has been donating "meet and greet" packages for foodbanks to auction that include tickets to the local show, E Street Lounge passes, and a face-to-face meeting with the man himself for winning bids over $10,000. Plus, Bruce is matching the winning bids -- up to $50,000 -- in each city. Here are the upcoming auctions we know of:

If you're involved in or have information on similar fundraisers in other cities, please email us the details, and we'll list it here.
- Updated April 13, 2009

DANNY FEDERICI MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER, SUNDAY 4/19 IN L.A.
On Sunday, April 19, Tom Morello, Joe Purdy, and other artists will gather at the Troubadour to put on a concert for the Danny Fund, hosted by Robert Schimmel.

Danny's son Jason Federici -- who is also playing the event with his band Jason Heath & the Greedy Souls -- asked us to pass along the news to Backstreets readers: "I am honored to be able to get some great friends together to play a musical tribute to my father. It's been almost a year since he died from melanoma after a three-year battle. Since then, with your help, we created the 'Danny Fund,' a worldwide initiative to raise awareness and find a cure for for Melanoma.

"If you find yourself in LA on April 19th, come on down for a memorable night at the Troubadour. Thank you for your continued love and support!"

All proceeds will benefit the Danny Fund. Tickets, going fast, are through Ticketmaster.com, or check troubadour.com for more information.

Don't miss some free mp3 downloads that Jason has recently posted to the Danny Fund website.

Jason is also contributing to Backstreets magazine #88, currently nearing completion, which will feature a hefty tribute to the Phantom, including our exclusive interviews with E Street Band members on Danny's life and legacy, and much more. Look for this new, long-awaited issue just a bit later this spring -- we'll provide further updates here when it's on the way.
- April 10, 2009

WHAT WE'LL DO AND WHAT WE WON'T
With a tabloid report today bringing a flurry of emails to our inbox, this is a good time for a reminder that Backstreets has long been committed to covering Bruce Springsteen's professional career, and not his personal life. We'll offer simply this:

Springsteen's reps said today that he stands by the statement he posted on his website on August 28, 2006 regarding rumors relating to his marriage. That statement is no longer on Brucespringsteen.net, but in it, Springsteen countered "unfounded and ugly rumors" by expressing that his years with Patti have been the best of his life, and that "We have built a beautiful family we love and want to protect, and our commitment to one another remains as strong as the day we were married."
- April 8, 2009

SPRINGSTEEN IN THE L.A. TIMES: YOU SAY POTATO...
Sunday's Los Angeles Times ran a hefty Springsteen feature, with Geoff Boucher taking in the Asbury Park rehearsals and speaking with the Boss. Bruce talks about being "in search of the show," telling Boucher, "I've got half a thing planned in my head... mainly we're getting the new songs down and then finding the things that are in tune with the times and what's going on out there right now." Springsteen also likens his creative life to gardening:

"As I get older I find that writing is getting more fluid and I'm giving myself less rules. No matter what you put out at this point, everyone has their particular Bruce Springsteen record that they're waiting for or thinking of. It should be dealing with this, it should be talking about that, it should sound like this. . . . That's just part of being around for a long time. The nice part of it is your ears are always open to the voices of your audience. But at the same time I don't tend to sit down with an external idea . . . A lot of it is listening to what's coming. One week the potatoes are up in the garden, one week it's tomatoes."

He leaned back and laughed, pleased with the idea of digging in the dirt. Skeptics who think the star takes himself too seriously would have been surprised to hear him braying with laughter. "If potatoes are up, I pick 'em!"

Read "Bruce Springsteen, Tour 2009: Working on a Dream."

- April 6, 2009

ON THE RECORD WITH JIM HENKE
Bruce talks with Rock Hall curator about songwriting as "a meditation," a mining expedition, and "a magic act... Abracadabra!"
Curator Jim Henke has been with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum since 1994, well before the Cleveland institution opened to the public. For the past year, he's worked in earnest -- with help from Toby Scott, Kevin Buell, and Springsteen himself -- to assemble artifacts for "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Sprinsteen," which opened on Wednesday. "There have been a lot of really good exhibits here over the years," Henke tells Backstreets, "But I have to say, in terms of exhibits on an individual artist or band, this is probably the most comprehensive one we've gotten."

Springsteen "obviously had a big role in picking the artifacts" for the exhibit, says Henke. "The nice thing was that in the last couple of months, as we were getting it together, Bruce really got more personally involved -- it was his idea to loan us the Esquire guitar, for example." And as Springsteen got engaged in the project, the effect was cumulative: "Initially, they said we could have two or three of his songwriting notebooks," Henke continues, "but we wound up with way more than two or three. And then because we had that, then Bruce had this ciruclar table that was in his house -- he said it's actually that table and chairs where he sat to write about 90 percent of his songs. So he thought it'd be really cool if we had that in the exhibit, so he sent that out. Then along with it, to make it look more real, he sent some of his utility bills and stuff like that that we could lay on the table with some of the lyric books."

While the exhibit is chockablock with concert artifacts like outfits and instruments, Springsteen's songwriting doesn't get short shrift, thanks to these lyric books on display. "He writes in these school spiral notebooks," says Henke. "They're pretty fat ones, like an inch thick, and most of them are filled from cover to cover." For display purposes, visitors to the Rock Hall will see, for example, Bruce's Darkness notebook open to "Badlands," along with displayed reproductions of drafts for "Adam Raised a Cain," "Racing in the Street," "Darkness," "Prove It All Night" and "Streets of Fire."

Springsteen has yet to see it all up and running in Cleveland, since the exhibit and Bruce's new tour started on the same day -- "he did say he was planning on making it out here at some point," Henke says. In the meantime, the curator paid a visit to Springsteen in New Jersey, for an interview to coinicde with the exhibit. In an excerpt here, they discuss his songwriting process.

Jim Henke: In general, what is your songwriting process like?
Bruce Springsteen: It's very relaxed. It depends -- you just get an idea and sit down with a guitar, and it’s a meditative state. Songwriting is fundamentally a meditation. It's the exercise of your craft, your intelligence. But it's primarily meditative, in that it works best when you go into a light trance-like situation. Where you just start to sort of... you're scraping the top of your subconscious, like with a knife, and the shavings, sometimes they turn into a song. And then occasionally the knife plummets deeply in, and it's not something you -- it would be like having a shapeless piece of clay or something in front of you, and you start to run your fingers over it. You're just sitting there with the clay, you don't have an idea of what that clay is going to be yet, you just start running your fingers over the clay. And as you're running your fingers over the clay, your emotions, who you are, the issues that are on your mind, the sounds you may want to hear, the shapes you may want to hear, the shapes you may what to see, your relationship to the world itself begins to define itself in the images, music and lyrics that are just kind of flowing out of you.

Then there's a point where also your studied craft comes into play. In other words, okay, you've plummeted a certain amount: you've got your basic story, you've plummeted into some of your unconscious, and you've come up with something that feels like life. It feels like it has some breath and some blood in it. But now you've got to call on your craft to refine it, to write well, to make good choruses, or verses. And so your craft comes in, but you're still listening. The main thing is what you're doing if you have your clay in front of you: you're seeing all the time. What is assisting you in moving forward? Your eyes -- you’re seeing, you’re seeing. If you're a musician, what is assisting you in moving forward with a song? Your ears. Every time you strum the chord, you're listening. What is the song telling you? What is the character telling you about his fate? And if you listen hard enough and if you yourself are a seeker -- in other words, your motivation is that you are in search of whatever it is you might want to call it, truth, experience, reflection of the world as it is -- you want to sing your blues away, you want to sing about your gal, your friends your town, your country, your day at the beach, what ever it feels like, alright. These things come forth and begin to sort of give shape and refinement to your thoughts and emotions.

So it's a magic act. Basically, nothing exists in this room when I walk in, and you literally pull something from thin air and give it physical properties, and by the end, someone out in the world holds it in their hand. You've taken something, you've literally, boom, you know, zoom there it is, Abracadabra!

But it begins in the air; it begins as ideas and emotions and it begins as something that has no physical property whatsoever. So it's a lot of fun to do, would be the way I put it, and I get great excitement, exhilaration, and enjoyment out of it. And of course occasionally it's very, very frustrating. In the old days your percentage is about 95 percent failure to about 5 percent success, but hey, if part of your 5 percent success is "Born in the U.S.A." or "Born to Run," once those things are there, you forget about the 95 percent. It's like coming home from the dentist: you forget about the pain, and you're happy about how good your teeth look. It's the same thing -- it's like once the song is played, all you're thinking about is, wow, that was great.

Henke: Do you just start with the music first, or the words, or is it a combination?
Springsteen: I don’t have any rules. The only record I started words-first was my first record, because I imagined myself as being some sort of poet at the time... plus, I would sit there with a rhyming dictionary or just by myself and just pour forth with whatever the images were in my head at the time. Later on, almost immediately, I began to -- and even on that record, the music is so evocative that you use it.

Say on this record, Working on a Dream, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted the music on the record to be like. I wanted a very big, orchestral kind of rock music.... Your inner world is a mine, and there are many, many different veins, and if you work one vein a lot it may go dry. Okay, I have The Ghost of Tom Joad and Devils & Dust; okay, I don't have any more of these songs in me right now. But then you may -- if you turn around and your eyes are open so you can see -- you go, "Oh, what's that over there?" Chip, chip, boom, you may find a vein of a certain kind of music may come bursting forth, and music will pour out of you -- the minute you finish a record, sometimes.

This was something I didn't allow myself to do in the early days. I only looked at one vein, the vein I was very concerned about defining about myself with, and ignored everything else -- that's what's on Tracks, and I ignored a lot of good music. But now I don't do that; I'm open to whatever feels like it's going to come through my creative system at a given moment.

So at the end of Magic, wow, it grows into something... like, that was fun, I like that big production style, I haven't done that in a long, long time. Brings you to, "I've come up with another song." Oh, and then you go home that night and think, I really want to make something big and rich and romantic but that carries with it the concerns of somebody at my age. Innocent and kind of knowing at the same time. And take that sound, the sound of it -- which is basically is the sound of innocence in those days of the Beach Boys and the Spectors -- and take that sound and combine it with my 60 years of experience on the planet Earth, and so you have Working on a Dream. People said I was ripping off a Kiss song -- actually, thought I was ripping off "Heroes and Villains." But it was like, you just start to... there was a vein that just comes rushing out... and these days I'm able to listen to it, and work on it, and I'm able to get more music to my fans.

- April 3, 2009 - Chris Phillips reporting - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum/Design Photography.


YOU CAN LOOK: ROCK HALL EXHIBIT NOW OPEN
In Cleveland, catch a ride "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land"
At this rate, Bruce Springsteen might have to start bumming rides.

First his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air appeared at the Rock Hall Annex, which opened in December in New York City. Now his 1960 Chevrolet Corvette is parked inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, where a major new Springsteen exhibition is on view through the spring of 2010.

"From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Sprinsteen" was officially unveiled yesterday, the same day the new E Street Band tour began, following a special preview the night before for museum members.

You'll find the Corvette convertible (Bruce's gift to himself for the success of Born to Run) in the museum's lower lobby. Also on display is a motorcycle that Bruce rode on a 1989 road trip throughout the Southwest. The Harley-Davidson is on the museum's fourth floor, with the rest of the exhibit spread over the uppermost reaches of the Rock Hall, on the fifth and sixth floors.

Along with the big-ticket items previously pictured previously, the career-spanning retrospective also includes several of Bruce's songwriting notebooks, as well as memorabilia from his pre-superstardom days, including a bar of Dr. Hunter's Pure Vegetable Castile Soap, which is where the Castiles got their name.

Rock Hall chief curator Jim Henke says the exhibit is the most extensive installation ever devoted to a single artist at the museum, where the likes of John Lennon, the Clash and U2 have been the subject of previous exhibits.

"Even the most die-hard fans will see things they've never seen before," Henke says.

The opening of the Springsteen exhibit coincides with the Rock Hall's weeklong Induction 2009 celebration, culminating with the induction ceremony Saturday at Cleveland's Public Auditorium. Max and Garry will be on hand to do the honors for Elvis Presley's rhythm section, drummer DJ Fontana and bassist Bill Black, who will be inducted in the Rock Hall's sidemen category.

Between the Springsteen exhibit and other induction-related activities, Rock Hall officials say they've seen an uptick in attendance this week.
- April 2, 2009 - John Soeder reporting - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum/Design Photography.

G.A. INFO: FRIDAY NIGHT'S SHOW IN GLENDALE
While we've got a PDF for you that runs down the G.A./pit lottery procedure for the tour in general, don't forget to check venue websites for additional information. For tomorrow night's show in Glendale, AZ, Jobing.com Arena has posted a venue-specific PDF that lists wristband distribution location (Gate 4) and more.
- April 2, 2009

MARSH HOSTS "LIVE FROM E STREET NATION" ON E STREET RADIO
Longtime critic and Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh has a new weekly live show airing Fridays, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Eastern, on E Street Radio, the all-Springsteen channel on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio (Sirius 10 / XM 58). “Live From E Street Nation” will feature Marsh playing and discussing Springsteen’s music and taking calls from fans who want to talk Bruce. Marsh also will have a different co-host each week. Tomorrow’s will be Daniel Wolff, author of 4th of July, Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land and the fascinating new How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them. A discussion of the merits of three-minute records vs. schools is likely to ensue, along with gauging reactions to the beginning of the Working on a Dream Tour. Fans are invited to call Dave and his weekly guest co-host at 877-70-BRUCE to join the show.

Listeners may also enjoy Marsh's other two Sirius/XM shows, where Springsteen-related subjects occasionally arise, too: “Kick Out the Jams with Dave Marsh,” a weekly show on music and politics that airs Sundays, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Eastern, on The Loft channel (Sirius 29 / XM 50); and “Live From the Land of Hope and Dreams,” Marsh’s political talk show that airs Sundays, 2 - 5 p.m. Eastern, on the Sirius Left/XM America Left channels (Sirius 146 / XM 167).
- April 2, 2009

ROLL OF THE DICE
An update on the New Jersey ticket debacle and subsequent lottery: the Public Affairs office of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority reports that they have "completed the ticket selection process for the Attorney General and will be mailing results tomorrow," so customers should be hearing the results next week.
- April 2, 2009


THE NEW DAY BREAKS
Take a gander at the tour opener with video at brucespringsteen.net, featuring "Working on a Dream" from last night in San Jose.
- April 2, 2009

NEW WILLIE NILE CD IN STOCK; FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD
In addition to the new songbook for Springsteen's Working on a Dream, in both piano and guitar TAB editions, we've also just added the new Willie Nile studio CD to our shelves at Backstreet Records. Following the acclaimed Streets of New York, House of a Thousand Guitars is another strong effort from Nile, clearly riding a creative surge. Recommended.

Free listen: Get the title track now, which we're offering as a free mp3 (thanks to River House Records and GB Music) on our Downloads page.
- April 2, 2009


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CHANGE YOUR SHIRT
New tees in stock now, including this official "Bruce" shirt from Thrill Hill.
See new shirts here,
and ALL shirts here.

Backstreet Records is the mailorder division of Backstreets, delivering Springsteen merchandise to fans for more than 25 years. We carry numerous collectibles, tour shirts, books, magazines, and imported CDs and records.
The world's best selection of Springsteen collectibles, all available by mail.

See all the new arrivals in our online shop



#91 IS HERE!
Our massive new issue honors a very Big Man. More than half of the 116-page, perfect bound Backstreets #91 is a tribute to the life and music of... do we have to say his name?

Full contents list
Subscribe now!
Order a single copy
Back issues



Gaga for Bruce
Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band rework the Late Night theme for The Tonight Show; James Wormworth to become permanent member [TVweek.com]
Hey, Mr. President!
News report on TicketsNow saga includes DC footage
In honor of this week's Lost season finale, something we missed
David Menconi has the story on "Human Touch" in Greensboro
"Pete Seeger at 90" on BBC Archive on 4
Two -- no, six -- no, twelve -- baker's dozen!
Anyone not charged with murder wanna hire the B Street Band? [Associated Press]
Here in Youngstown...
Hitler's First Springsteen Show
Max on Jay, and on the WOAD tour so far [Billboard.com]
The Heaton family visits the Mahoning Valley [The Vindicator]
Check out the May 2009 issue of Q Magzine for a "Q Hero" spread on Springsteen



We also post all known concert dates for some of our favorite Jersey Shore (and Shore-adopted) musicians:

Willie Nile
Bobby Bandiera
Southside Johnny
John Eddie
JoBonanno
Joe D'Urso... and more.

For more information on upcoming shows such as these, check out our Concert Calendar.



SAVE TILLIE

Many from the Springsteen community banded together to preserve this Asbury Park landmark.... and Tillie has now been saved!

Check our Save Tillie page for the latest developments.


THE SPRINGSTEEN SPECIAL COLLECTION

Organized by Backstreets in 2001, this storehouse of Boss books and magazines is the largest such collection outside of Bruce's mother's basement. Thanks to the generosity of fans around the world, total holdings are now well over 11,000. But the collection is by no means complete.

Check out the Springsteen Special Collection page for more info.

 


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