Frequently Asked Questions
The Backstreets Frequently Asked Questions list is a work in progress. Last updated: January 21, 2008

Questions Truly Asked Frequently

Questions Regarding Backstreets Magazine

Questions Regarding BTX



Questions Truly Asked Frequently

Where can I send a letter to Bruce Springsteen?
We'd love to be able to help, but unfortunately we have no method of contact for Bruce Springsteen. There is currently no address given for fan mail. Some years back, we were able to recommend that letters be sent to Springsteen care of his record label, but mail sent to that address began to be returned to sender. So unfortunately, we have nowhere to point you. If we ever discover an official fan mail address for Bruce Springsteen, we'll post it immediately and permanently, and we'll make sure you can't miss it.

Does Bruce have an e-mail address?
Sorry, but really, we have no method of contact for Bruce Springsteen. If he has an e-mail address, he's kept it under wraps and hasn't posted any drunken rants on message boards or anything. He does have a myspace page (run by his record label), and an official website: www.brucespringsteen.net. We imagine that if Springsteen or his organization ever chooses to offer an e-mail contact, it would be posted there.

But this is important! I'm no regular fan, I represent a food bank/major concert promoter/publisher seeking rights permissions/third world country, and it's imperative that we get in touch!
Well, we still have no method of contact for Bruce Springsteen, but for official business you might try his publicist, Shore Fire Media, which has a website at www.shorefire.com. They might be able to help with such matters. Sincere best wishes.

So you really don't know of any way to contact Bruce Springsteen?
'Fraid not. Backstreets is an independent organization, not affiliated with Springsteen, his management, or his record label. We do not have any means of contacting him, of passing along requests, of obtaining autographs or backstage passes.

But it's my boyfriend's birthday!!
Oh, well if that's the case, then simply send us a self-addressed stamped envelope, and we'll... nah, just kidding, we really don't have a way.

Isn't there at least a fan club where I can get a signed 8x10 or something?
Nope. Backstreets may be the closest thing there is to a fan club, but we're not a fan club — we publish a fan magazine, and we're an independent group with no ties to the Springsteen organization.

Okay, but seriously — there has to be a way, becuase I hear that songs are played by request — how can I make a request?
Make a sign.... Get lucky and run into him somewhere on the day of the show.... For the most part, it seems to be a right place/right time thing. Promise, there's really no Request Line that we're keeping secret.

When is Bruce Springsteen coming to my town?
If you're looking for concert information — where Springsteen will be playing, when, and how to get tickets — you'll find everything we know posted on Backstreets.com:

  • Check our Tour/Ticket Info page for Springsteen's current itinerary. Every date on his official schedule is posted there, along with everything we know about how to get tickets to each show. We keep the Tour/Ticket Info page updated on a regular basis, with any additions to the itinerary posted there ASAP.
  • Check our News page for additional tour news and, occasionally, speculation. We do our best to only post solid, verifiable information on Backstreets.com, but that doesn't rule out news of future tour plans and potential shows that have yet to be announced and are not yet reflected on the tour/ticket info page.
  • If you're looking to catch one of Springsteen's legendary surprise performances, well, there are never any guarantees where or when these will happen -- that's where the word "surprise" comes in. But you might check out our Concert Calendar, which lists scheduled dates by friends and related musicians, for possibilities. In every case, we highly, highly recommend that you limit your expectations to the band on the bill -- for your own sake, out of respect for the performers hard at work, and because "Brooocing" has been known to scare him away -- but hey, you'll never catch him if you're not there.

Why isn't Bruce Springsteen coming to my town?
Could be because he was there last year; or because the market isn't perceived to be large enough to justify a tour stop; or maybe a date in your town is in the works and it just hasn't been announced yet. Hard for us to say, as we have no connection whatsoever with the tour staff and are not involved with any such decisions. But we understand your frustration. And we should point out that many Springsteen fans do travel in order to see him perform.

Can you tell Bruce Springsteen to come to my town?
Try slipping us a fifty and asking that again, and we'll see what we can do.

Can you tell me more about an upcoming ticket sale/seating chart/show/ticket policy?
We post as much information as is feasible on our Tour/Ticket Info page, and we hope that's useful. It's a place to start. But if you need more specifics, the best thing to do is contact the ticket seller (generally, Ticketmaster) or concert venue directly with additional questions. If you discover any pertinent information that isn't reflected on our tour/ticket info page that you think other fans would like to know, please e-mail it to editor@backstreets.com, and we appreciate the help!

Can you tell me where to buy bootlegs?
No, we can't. Can't tell you where to score dope, either, or where to buy cartons of cigarettes that fell off the back of a truck. While Backstreets magazine does review bootlegs as a service to those readers who will be spending their hard-earned money on them anyway, we do not carry bootlegs nor can we help collectors obtain these items. We advocate tape- and CDR-trading over buying bootlegs. For more information on the collecting and trading of CD-Rs, mp3s, etc., check out Flynn McLean's column "Burning Down the Road" in the pages of Backstreets.

But I don't read Backstreets Magazine!
You oughtta.

Backstreets Magazine

What is Backstreets Magazine?
Publishing quarterly since 1980, Backstreets Magazine is how we started, and it remains closest to our hearts -- a printed magazine for Bruce Springsteen fans, dedicated exclusively to his music and performance career. Yep, it's all Boss, all the time. See our About Us page for a brief history of the magazine and a list our staff. Like the website, the magazine also covers "the extended family" — the E Street Band in particular, as well as other related Jersey Shore musicians, like Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. We may even keep up with what Shane Fontayne is up to once in a while. But "The Boss Magazine" is our subhead, and that's the goal with each issue: to focus squarely on what concerns Springsteen fans.

But there's no connection between Backstreets Magazine and the Springsteen organization?
Right. It's an independent fan endeavor, from start to finish. We do our damndest to look all professional-like -- there's no Xeroxing involved, we're printed on slick paper, we've recently added full-color, we actually have proofreaders -- but it's a fan magazine, in every respect. We're longtime fans ourselves, and we receive a great deal of assistance and contributions from many of our readers around the world. The magazine wouldn't be possible without the worldwide community of fans; that's both who it's by and who it's for.

So when did you start the website?
Back in 1995 — the Solo Acoustic tour for Tom Joad was the first Boss activity we covered on the web. At the time, we called our site "The Backstreets Highway" (jeez, was there really a time when the superinformationhighway references were clever? Oh, probably not) at an AOL-hosted URL that was hard to remember. Like http://members/aol.com/somethingsomething.... Would've used Backstreets.com, but that was taken by some porn company at the time. No kidding. Whoever it was, they went belly-up, so to speak, in 1998, which is when we grabbed the name, and we've been Backstreets.com ever since. We started the website to help keep our readers informed between issues of the magazine, particularly around tour time when getting information quickly can make a big difference.

Why put out a magazine when you have a website?
Call us old-fashioned. We like print. We like having something to hold in our hands; we prefer it as a medium to cover subjects in more depth; and we like the handy and ever-expanding archive that results. Gather up the 80-plus issues that we've published since 1980, and you've got by far the largest repository of Bruce Springsteen information published under one roof. Plus, all those different colored spines sure do look purty lined up on the shelf like that, don't they? As great as the web is for being able to get news fast, the magazine remains our biggest labor of love here at the Backstreets Towers. With the emphasis on labor: most of our time and energy goes into the magazine.

How many issues do you publish a year?
Backstreets is generally published every three or four months, though the actual publication date is affected by breaking news, tour coverage and the occasional special issue. Each issue of the magazine is progressively numbered, and when you subscribe, each year of your subscription guarantees you the next four issues.

Do I need to subscribe in order to get the magazine?
No. We do offer single copies of each issue for sale by mail while supplies last (click here to buy a single issue direct). Backstreets is also available at a number of newsstands and record stores around the nation and even overseas. Though as a small magazine, it can be difficult to find. Check our Where to Buy page for more information. (Record and book stores interested in carrying Backstreets can contact our office for wholesale information. Though the magazine's audience is select, the sell-through percentage is extremely high and the magazine is offered to distributors on a guaranteed, full-return basis. Backstreets is also handled by a number of independent distributors including Ingram, IPD and Media Solutions.) If you're interested in the magazine, we highly recommend that you consider subscribing-- not only to support Backstreets more directly, but for the convenience of getting the magazine as soon as it comes off the press and at a discount from the cover price. And it's risk-free -- we offer a money-back guarantee if you're not happy.

How can I tell when my subscription expires?
Subscribers can tell the expiration date of their current subscription by looking at the number that appears above their name on their mailing label (it follows an "X") (we cleverly call it the "X number"). Your X number will always tell you the number of the last issue you’re currently signed up to receive. If that number is the same number as the latest issue, your subscription has just expired. Renewing at any time simply increases your X number, adding another 4 issues for each year you renew.

Do I need to look for my X number?
Well, it helps us if you do, and it helps keep you from missing an issue. So it's a win-win. Unlike most larger, consumer magazines, Backstreets does not have the resources to continually bombard subscribers with renewal mailings, so it really helps if subscribers take note of their expiration issue. Since Backstreets carries very little paid advertising, subscription revenue is the only real support the magazine has. By subscribing or renewing you are helping us with this admittedly modest effort. Again, you can renew in advance to add more issues to your subscription, which will help prevent any lapses or delays in service.

Is there a faster way to get my copy?
The magazine is mailed Periodicals Class to subscribers in the U.S. rather than First Class, so that can sometimes mean it doesn't reach you as quickly as we'd all like. That's the main reason we originally came up with the "SuperSub," in response to requests from subscribers who wanted to receive their magazine by First Class mail. (For overseas, the SuperSub functions similarly — overseas SuperSubs receive their issues by Air Mail rather than ISAL shipping.)

What is a "SuperSub"?
Backstreets has a SuperSubcriber program for those hardcore fans who also serve as supporting members of our magazine. SuperSubs get a package of subscriber services in addition to their normal subscription. SuperSub benefits include getting the magazine sent First Class, a special edition SuperSub t-shirt (we design a new one each year), a free 20-word classified ad in every issue (this alone is an $80 value), a special holiday card with greetings from the staff each year, and an automatic First Class subscription to all Backstreet Records catalogs and special hotsheet mailings. It's a bit pricey — $55 a year, $65 overseas — but the first class service is worth its weight in gold when you need your Backstreets fix right now. And when Backstreet Records comes across limited quantities of collectibles, SuperSubs generally hear about them first. For Air Mail service in addition to all the other perks listed above, the SuperSub is available to overseas fans for $65. We very much appreciate the extra base of support provided by our loyal SuperSubs.

How do I let you know of a change of address?
This is an important one: You may have a forwarding order with the post office, but the post office is not required to forward Periodicals mail, and they usually don't. So if we don't have your current address on file, there's an excellent chance that your magazine will be destroyed (literally) -- and to add insult to injury, the post office will charge us return postage to send the ripped-off cover back to us. You can help us avoid all that and make sure you get your issue by e-mailing orders@backstreets.com with both your old and new addresses (marked clearly), or using our online address change form. You can also fax your change of address to: (919) 968-9622, call us at (919) 968-9466, or mail it to: Backstreets Subscriber Services, 1818 Airport Road #300, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

What do I do if my copy arrived damaged?
We do our best to make sure Backstreets arrives safely -- rather than mailed "naked," it's mailed to subscribers in a protetcive plastic polybag, and to SuperSubs in an envelope. But occasionally, stuff does happen. Drop an e-mail to orders@backstreets.com to report a damaged issue, and we'll replace it for you ASAP.

What do I do if my copy has yet to arrive?
Please note that it can take a while for each issue to make its way to you. Not to say it will, but it can. Periodicals mail can be slow and erratic, and we know that two subscribers living on the same street have reported receiving their copy of Backstreets weeks apart. So we do ask for your patience in allowing time for your copy to reach you. It's a good idea to allow up to 6 weeks for delivery, and sometimes even longer than that when starting a new subscription.
In order to make sure the magazine makes its way to you, it's also important to make sure we have your current address -- don't forget to send us your new address if you happen to move. (See "How do I let you know of a change of address?" above.)
We'll provide the most current issue status on the Subscriber Services page to give you a better idea of when to expect your issue. Every once in a while mail does fall into a black hole. If you haven't moved and haven't received your issue by a certain point, we'll consider your issue lost in the mail, and we'll gladly replace it. Check Subscriber Services for the latest update and to report a missing issue.

Oops-- I moved, and I forgot to give you guys my new address. I think that's why I haven't received the latest issue. What can I do about it?
Of course it's best if you change your address with us in advance, but if your forget, we can still mail another copy to your new address. Our standard charge for a re-send is two dollars, which helps us cover the postage for the reshipping. To request a re-send, just send two dollars along with your address update, and we'll get another copy sent your way. Mail to: Backstreets Subscriber Services, 1818 Airport Road #300, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

I just started subscribing — can I catch up on issues I missed?
Sure. Though many of the earliest issues are sold out and command high prices on the collector's market, and other issues along the way have sold out as well, many back issues are still available at reasonable prices. Go to the Back Issues section of our online shop to peruse and to order — you'll find a complete listing of Backstreets back issues there, with detailed contents information for each issue.

Do you get input from readers?
Absolutely. Letters to the editor are always encouraged and we read them all and publish as many as space permits. Beyond the letters column, Backstreets is very much a forum for the ideas and input of the many subscribers who contribute to the effort for each issue. Concert reports, images and news items sent in by subscribers are essential in helping us keep the magazine and website informative, and the help of our friends and subscribers is greatly appreciated. See our Contact Us page for information on how to get in touch.

I’m interested in writing for Backstreets, above and beyond a letter or a concert report. How should I proceed?
You’re welcome to pitch a story idea to us — we do have a stable of regular contributors, but we're always looking for more good writers to help out. If you have a story idea you'd like to pursue for Backstreets, feel free to send us a brief description of what you’re interested in writing. Note: "A funny thing happened on the way to the Springsteen show"-type travelogues are already in great supply. As for unsolicited submissions, we're happy to take a look at anything you'd like to send along. We regret that we cannot always reply, and we don't often have room in the magazine to run articles that were not assigned beforehand, but you can be pretty confident that an editor will at least be reading your piece appreciatively over a sandwich or something. See our Contact Us page for information on how to get in touch.

Do you need illustrators?
To date, only occasionally; but incorporating snazzy drawings into the magazine is something we'd like to do more of. Illustrators should send samples of their work to:
Christopher Phillips
c/o Backstreets Magazine
1818 MLK Jr. Blvd. #300
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Isn't there a Backstreets book?
In late 1989, Harmony Books published Backstreets, Springsteen: The Man and His Music, by the Editors of Backstreets. This 224-page book collected some of the best from past issues of Backstreets Magazine and also included an extensive concert-ography. We updated the book in 1992 with the softback edition of the Backstreets book, adding new photos and updates to the studio and live listings. The Backstreets book is now out of print and out of stock, but both the 1989 hardback and 1992 paperback editions can often be found at good used bookstores — we recommend you seek it out.

Will Backstreets ever do an update to the Backstreets book? A third edition, perhaps?
Good question — it's been on our minds for years, but it's largely been a matter of finding the time. We're still looking.

Where can I find the bootlegs you review?
Backstreets' official position is that we do not endorse the buying or selling of unauthorized material, and we do not carry bootlegs nor can we help collectors obtain these items. Bootleg collecting is a reality at present, however, and because our readers have repeatedly asked for it, we do provide a columnist who does consumer-oriented reviews of new bootlegs so collectors can know what dogs to avoid. Our official position remains that fans are always better off spending their money on official items, or on trading tapes and CDRs to collect unreleased music.

How can I get in touch with traders, or even just other fans?
There are numerous fan forums online: our own BTX, the newsgroup rec.music.artists.springsteen, and other online message boards. Check out our new "Burning Down the Road" column in the magazine for more information and tips. Also consider that Backstreets' classified ads are some of the best-read classifieds in any collector's magazine. Fans who are looking to connect with other fans or collectors are highly encouraged to use this affordable method of getting your message out there. Rates for messages or penpals are half the price of commercial ads. Numerous traders use the classifieds to connect with traders in other cities. Though as a magazine we support the efforts of Springsteen fans to connect with each other, we cannot take any responsibility for our classified advertising, so be a careful consumer.

Does Backstreets Magazine accept advertising?
Absolutely. Most magazines are supported almost exclusively by advertising revenue; Backstreets is an odd case, in that our support has come largely from our readers. Loyal subscribers and customers who shop from Backstreet Records have helped Backstreets continue to publish for nearly a quarter of a century. But we've always run ads in our pages, and while we're more content-heavy than most magazines, we do accept ads for each issue. Backstreets offers both classified and display ads. See our Advertising page for more information, or simply e-mail editor@backstreets.com with your snail-mail address in order to receive a rate card.

BTX

Does Backstreets sell Springsteen tickets?
No. We're pressing the redial button and yelling at our computer screens just like everybody else. But we still may be able to help you find tickets, with the Backstreets Ticket Exchange (BTX). BTX is an online message board where Springsteen fans can sell or trade extra tickets with each other. Face value only is our strict policy on BTX -- it's a place for fans to help fans, beat the scalpers, and get as many fans as possible in the door.

How does the Backstreets Ticket Exchange work?
There are four separate BTX forums where fans can post. One is for posts from those who need tickets, one is for posts from those who hold extra tickets to sell, and one is for posts from those looking to trade one show for another. For example, if Frankie has extra tickets to sell, she can first check the Ticket Needers forum to see if a fan in need has already requested tickets for that night; if not, she can post what she has on the Ticket Holders forum. Through e-mail, Private Messages, or other contact methods of their choosing, the haves and have-nots can connect, transact, and boom, Frankie has just helped a fellow fan get precious tickets to a show while circumventing the scalpers.

You said there were four forums.
Oh yeah — the fourth is "Loose Ends," for any non-ticket-exchange Bruce talk, to help keep the Traders, Needers, and Holders forums focused on the task at hand. This is a good place to check for additional other show information, ticket sale info, and just general Bruce chat.

Is Backstreets involved in the actual exchange?
No. We maintain and monitor the forums, but it's up to fans to connect with each other, and we can take no responsibility for any transactions.

So how do I go about exchanging money and tickets safely with someone I’ve never met?
First of all, we presume you've gotten a good vibe out of the person you're about to transact with. After all, trust is the basis of any relationship. If trust isn't quite enough to get you to mail off a couple hundred bucks in an envelope with your fingers crossed, consider a C.O.D. delivery. Many carriers such as UPS and Federal Express offer a C.O.D. option, by which tickets can be delivered and accepted in exchange for payment. Meeting in person is another option.

Do I need to register to use BTX?
To use it fully, yes. You can read posts without registering, but if you'd like to respond via post or private message, or post a new topic yourself, you'll need to register. There's a button at the top of the page which you can click to start the registration process.

I'm trying to register, but I can't read the code.
Try using a different browser application, that usually solves it.

I filled out the registration form and I want to post — why isn't my account active?
Once you've filled out and submitted the registration form (making sure your e-mail address has been entered correctly), there's still one more step to complete the account activation process. After submitting out the registration form, you'll need to check your e-mail for a confirmation letter, and click on the link provided within to finish the registration process. If clicking on the link doesn't work, try copying the URL and pasting it into a new browser window.

I'm an America Online user, and I'm having trouble posting.
Right now there are known problems with compatibility between AOL and BTX, resulting in "invalid session" error messages when attempting to post. One way to get around it is by using a different browser, rather than AOL's (in other words, use AOL to connect to the internet, but then minimize AOL and use a different browser application for BTX). We're doing what we can to solve the problem (caused by AOL not giving its users a stable IP address), and we're sorry that BTX isn't yet entirely AOL compatible. You might also check the "Loose Ends" board for posts from other AOL users who have figured out solutions or workarounds.

I'm not an AOL user, but I'm still having trouble posting.
It could be your browser settings. Do you have cookies turned on? If you don't, that will definitely give you session-related grief. If that's not the problem, try clearing your cache and Backstreets.com cookies, in that order, and see if that's any help.



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