MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND SPECIAL: 2013 CALENDAR FREE WITH ORDER!
As we head into summer, here's a special deal to get Bruce up on your wall for the summer months and beyond: order $30 or more of Boss merch from the Backstreet Records shop, and we'll send you the official 2013 Bruce Springsteen calendar for FREE! Here's how:
1. Place at least $30 worth of stuff in your shopping cart
Add the 2013 calendar to your cart
3. Use the coupon code FREECAL at checkout to
wipe out the cost of the calendar
Free calendars available while supplies last. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend! - May 24, 2013
MAY 23, NAPLES: PURE MAGIC IN A MAGICAL PLACE
Just when you thought it was just another good concert, Bruce pulls out the magic trick that makes it a truly memorable night.
It was a memorable place, that's for sure: Piazza Plebiscito in Naples is a wonderful square. It was Bruce's first public square concert ever, and the first open-air date of the European leg of 2013. Moreover, it was a homecoming: the Zerillis, the family of Bruce's mother, came from Vico Equense, a few kilometers from here.
You had all the right ingredients for an epic night. Yet the concert was far from sold out (fewer than than 20,000 in a place that could hold well over 30,000), and the show struggled to take off. Bruce came out earlier in the afternoon, two hours before the regular stage time, for a short acoustic set "per la mia gente" ("for my people"): "This Hard Land" and "Growin' Up."
The real show began with a special intro: "O Sole Mio" played by Nils, Charlie and Roy on accordions while the rest of the band took its place and as Bruce pulled up a sun-shaped sign from the audience. He launched the band into an unusual opener, perfectly chosen for the occasion: "Long Walk Home," followed by "My Love Will Not Let You Down," "Out in the Street," and "Hungry Heart." Bruce's voice sounded a little bit rusty when the show went into the standard sequence from "We Take Care of Our Own" to "Spirit in the Night."
Then it was time for the first real surprise of the show, though not the best. Bruce spent a good deal of time collecting signs from the first row, including the Beatles' "I've Got a Feeling” ("Steve would like that!"—and we would have too, but unfortunately that didn't happen) and a photo of the old Zerilli Restaurant ("I could have ended up there serving pasta!"). The chosen request was for a girl named Rosy. "We've never, ever, ever played this in the middle of a show," Bruce said; not an unusual song, if seldom played these days, but definitely in unsual spot. "Rosalita" was followed by a nice "The River," with a wonderful reprise prompted by audience chanting, and "Prove It All Night" with the '78 intro.
Then it began to rain. Many Italian concerts have been wet ones: Milano 2003 and Florence 2012 were memorable for the rain as well. This time, as at those others, Bruce played "Who'll Stop the Rain." But this time it worked — it stopped raining at the end of the song. Yet the wet part of the show was probably the most fun, with a raucous "Pay Me My Money Down" seeing all the band following Bruce under the rain.
The last part of the show was "usual" Bruce — better than 99% of live music, of course, but no real standouts, except for "My Hometown" as a first encore, dedicated to Vico Equense.
And then the magic happened.
After a fun, long "Twist and Shout," Bruce ushered each member of the band off the stage, one by one. Then he remained by himself on stage, with just an acoustic guitar. He told the audience that many years ago he played in town in a theater — refering to the Ghost of Tom Joad tour — and that he wanted to close this show with the same song that ended that night back in 1997.
He played "Thunder Road" acoustic to an almost muted audience, with his voice echoing off the buildings around the square. Pure magic in a magical place. It was only for one song, when you expected the whole concert to be like that... still, that ending made this concert unforgettable.
For the full setlist from this and other recent performances,
see our Setlists page
- May 24, 2013 - Gianni Sibilla (Rockol.com) reporting for Backstreets - photographs by Erik Knevelbaard
WHERE DO YOU THINK THE FILM IS?
Catching up with Nick Mead, director of Clarence Clemons doc
As we move ever closer to finally getting Backstreets #91 off to print and into your hands, we checked back in with filmmaker Nick Mead, close friend of Clarence Clemons and director of his documentary, Who Do I Think I Am?Our Clarence tribute issue is now due in time for the anniversary of his death in June, and we thank all our readers for your patience as this effort has come together. Among many of Clarence's friends and cohorts over the years, this print issue will include a remembrance from Nick Mead of his time with the Big Man; we reconnected with the director this week to find out the latest status of Who Do I Think I Am?
"The last screening was at the [Glory Days] Bruce Symposium in New Jersey," Nick tells Backstreets, which was in September 2012. "Before that was the National Constitution Center, and before that the Garden State Film Festival in Asbury," the film's premiere [right]. "On the way to the Paramount Theatre we got a text saying that the fire marshal was turning people away. Clarence loved that." Additionally, an auction of a private screening raised money for Little Kids Rock, but so far that's it — no other showings, no home video — despite Clarence having secured a distribution deal for the film before he died.
“It's been two years since Clarence had done the deal with distributor Virgil Films for its release," Nick explains. "Obviously, tragedy got in the way. But Joe from Virgil and I had a great meeting with the family and estate representatives in Arizona in December, finally ironing out the agreement which would make Clarence's vision for this film complete." He sounds hopeful that this means things will be moving forward soon, and that more fans will get to see the film. "We're also all thrilled that the proceeds of Clarence’s film will be going to charity. It's absolutely right that his legacy lives on in the continuing support of people less fortunate than ourselves."
Their meeting ended with the E Street Band show in Glendale (December 6, 2012). "It's cool to see Jake up there making it his own, which is awesome, and it was moving indeed to watch Jarod up on stage with Bruce at the end."
Nick is anxious for this project that Clarence loved so much to reach a wider audience, but he hasn't been twiddling his thumbs in the meantime. "My latest, The Last American Outlaw, is now completed," he says. "It's about George Christie, then one of the leaders of the Hells Angels, going on an Easy Rider-inspired journey across America when he gets arrested for the 75th time by the FBI. So our film about freedom became a film about his fight for freedom. Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols gave us some music! It premieres in Ventura on June 8, tickets sold out in less than a day.
"I'm also just about to start a film with Leonard Peltier. It's a documentary about how you can chain a man down, isolate him, destroy his material sense of being, but you can never restrain him: his outlet is the freedom of his imagination which is expressed through his art."
One more thing Nick shares with us, a letter to treasure. "The letter is one Clarence wrote to me during filming, except I didn't know it. I lent him a notebook of mine during one sequence about 'Chinese express mail,' where you write a letter and burn it and the smoke takes the message to your ancestors. He wrote this in my notebook, but I didn't discover it until later. It says it all, his feelings about the film we were making.”
You'll be able to read more from Nick in Backstreets #91 about what Clarence calls "one of the greatest things I have ever done," their trip to China, the making of Who Do I Think I Am? and of a friendship. - May 23, 2013 - Christopher Phillips reporting - Glendale photograph by Alan Chitlik - all other images courtesy of Nick Mead
SPRINGSTEEN & I COMING TO THEATERS JULY 22, TIX ON SALE JUNE 4
We now have a release date — and an official trailer — for Springsteen & I, the Ridley Scott-produced documentary about Bruce fans around the world: on July 22, the film will be shown simultaneously in theaters worldwide. Locations and ticket pre-sales will be available beginning on June 4. Visit springsteenandi.com and brucespringsteen.net for additional information, including a chance to appear on the movie poster. And click here for a longer version of the trailer.
- May 23, 2013
"THE GREATEST SHOW SPRINGSTEEN NEVER PLAYED" They've re-created eight historic Bruce shows, including the legendary Capitol Theatre and Winterland shows — concerts most Springsteen fans are well familiar with. Now, the acclaimed Springsteen tribute band Tramps Like Us has consulted with a panel of Bruce experts to create what they would consider to be the greatest Springsteen concert never played. The 35-song / 4-hour show's setlist (which can be seen here) was put together by Tramps frontman Mark Salore along with the input of Mike Appel, NJ.com blogger Stan Goldstein, The Light in Darkness author Lawrence Kirsch, and former E Street Radio program director Tom Wilkinson.
The first "fantasy concert" performance will be this Friday at the Stone Pony, as E Street Radio broadcasts from the boardwalk across the street (see below), with two additional performances to follow in July:
Advance tickets are recommended for all of these shows. More information can be found at trampslikeus.com. - May 22, 2013
E STREET RADIO'S DAY AT THE BEACH Marsh to launch Memorial Day Weekend livefrom Asbury Park
Along the Jersey Shore, as in so many other places, Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Since this summer at the shore will be the first after Hurricane Sandy left so much damage in its wake, it's also shaping up to be, as Springsteen biographer and E Street Radio personality Dave Marsh recently noted, "one of the most important Jersey Shore summers ever."
Marsh and his E Street Radio associates have planned a special day of live broadcasting from Asbury Park, NJ for this Friday, May 24. Their goal is to kick off Memorial Day Weekend in true Springsteenian style: having fun, of course, but also helping to sustain awareness and support of the Garden State's ongoing post-Sandy relief and recovery efforts.
All of the live broadcasting will emanate, rain or shine, from the E Street Radio tent set up right on the Asbury Park boardwalk, directly in front of McLoone’s Asbury Grille, 1200 Ocean Avenue. Fans are invited to come up to the boardwalk, see the live broadcast in person and perhaps be on the air themselves to talk Bruce, the Jersey Shore, etc. If you can't make it to McLoone’s in person, there will be plenty of opportunities to listen and participate by telephone/internet, too.
The day will begin at 10:30 am ET with a special extended version of the weekly call-in show Live from E Street Nation with Dave Marsh. By the time Marsh's show concludes, he hopes that "we'll know a lot more” about what post-Sandy problems still exist and how all of us can get involved in helping to solve them. Special guests will include Southside Johnny Lyon, Backstreets Shore correspondent Lisa Iannucci, NJ.com's Stan Goldstein and Kathleen DiChiara, President & CEO of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Marsh is seeking to talk to a variety of "people who know what's going on at the shore... I don't just mean who's playing what venue, but who's still having trouble with housing, who's still having trouble with eating, who is still having trouble with getting to where they used to live.”
Other special Jersey-Shore/summer-themed programming airing Friday and throughout the weekend will include two complete recordings of classic Springsteen concerts from the Jersey Shore: the March 18, 1999 Asbury Park Convention Hall show and the March 7, 2003 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall show, along with extra helpings of summer-themed Springsteen tracks mixed into the regular playlists through Monday. On Friday afternoon, Jersey boy Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem will conduct a special Guest-DJ session live from the Asbury Park boardwalk, playing some of his favorite Springsteen tracks. Nick Masi's Springsteen-covers show Cover Me also will focus on summer-themed music, and the live Friday-night call-in-request show The Wild and the Innocent with Jim Rotolo will focus on "your favorite Springsteen summertime memories." Rotolo will broadcast live from the boardwalk, too, allowing him to take requests on the air not just via the phone and internet (as usual) but also directly from fans hanging out at McLoone's Asbury Grille.
All of E Street Radio’s Memorial Day Weekend 2013 programming is part of the "Sirius/XM Sounds of Summer" series. For further information, broadcast times, etc., check out the E Street Radio and Sirius/XM websites. - May 22, 2013 - Shawn Poole reporting - photograph by Lisa Iannucci
THERE'LL BE SHOUTIN' FROM THE HARD ROCK ON OUT TO SEA… Little Steven’s The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream Hits The Road
Having now conquered Broadway with a sold-out run, The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream, the unique "BioConcert" musical production co-directed by Steve Van Zandt and Marc Brickman, is taking the show on the road. A series of performances along the East Coast begins this coming Memorial Day Weekend with three shows in Hollywood, Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. More Florida shows follow at the end of May in Clearwater and Jacksonville.
After leaving the Sunshine State, The Rascals have June and July dates scheduled for Philadelphia, the Carolinas, Atlanta, Boston, Holmdel, NJ and Wantagh, NY (Jones Beach).
Stevie already has expressed his desire to take this production to as many different locations as possible. To that end, one additional late-August Connecticut date also has been announced and is on sale, though it's not even listed yet on the official website. (You can buy Connecticut tix right now, however, by clicking here.) If this fantastic musical experience hits your neck of the woods, by all means don't miss it. Visit RascalsDream.com for updated news/links regarding dates, tickets, etc. - May 21, 2013 - Shawn Poole reporting
WHEN I'M OUT IN THE STREET...
I wear what I wanna wear — and we've got the brand new E Street Nation shirt courtesy of our friends at Protect, the National Association to Protect Children. Their line of T-shirts from fictional locales benefits the great work that they do, and once again they're letting us make this one available to our readers through Backstreet Records, with proceeds benefitting Protect.org.
This soft, two-sided tee reads "Proud Member of E Street Nation" on the front chest, and on the back lists a number of the Nation's important highways and byways — including, of course, Thunder Road, Tenth Avenue, and Flamingo Lane. In stock now, in all sizes from Small to Triple-X.
BRUCE AND DKM'S "ROSE TATTOO" OUT NOW, TO BENEFIT BOSTON INJURED
As we reported earlier this month, Springsteen's latest recording is another collaboration with Dropkick Murphys, contributing vocals to their "Rose Tattoo" to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The digital, three-track For Boston charity EP is out now, as announced on dropkickmurphys.com, with their Bruce collaboration followed by "two live acoustic tracks recorded at the Gibson Showroom in Las Vegas just four days after those tragic events. It's available exclusively through iTunes for the special price of $1.29. Everyone involved has agreed to donate 100% of the money raised through this release."
The funds will be distributed through the Dropkicks' own charity, The Claddagh Fund, "a nationally-recognized official 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to serve the most vulnerable in our communities."
A THANK YOU NOTE TOSWEDEN
Over the weekend, Springsteen and the E Street Band wrapped up their three-night, sold-out stand at Stockholm's Friends Arena; today, Sweden woke up to a special thank you note.
As reported in Aftonbladet (translated from the Swedish), the newspaper in which Springsteen placed a full-page advertisement:
Bruce Springsteen, 63, has left Sweden. But not without a salute to the Swedish people. In today's Aftonbladet, the Boss surprised [everyone] by buying a full-page ad to thank Sweden.
"We want to thank you and all of your relatives for making us a part of your life, your culture, your country," he says in the ad.
The idea came from Bruce Springsteen himself. On Saturday night, the artist moved by the reception he has received in Sweden over the years.
"The idea came after these three concerts. He wanted to show his gratitude to the Swedish people. It has just been extraordinary, the reception and the number of tickets sold," says Kristofer Akesson on Live Nation.
Springsteen's ad notes the 2012 concerts in Gothenburg, as well as this recent Stockholm run. - May 13, 2013
CIAO FROM LANDAU
More talk with Jon Landau as the Italian dates approach: Gianni Sibilla talked with Springsteen's manager — in his own words, "the executor of Bruce's vision" — for Rockol.com. In addition to discussing the Wrecking Ball tour, its crew, its success, and his own role in Bruce's work, Landau was also asked about reissues and plans for the future:
A part of Bruce's work has been devoted to important reissues, such as the Bornto Run and the Darkness on the Edge of Town/The Promise one. Do you see something like that coming for The River and Nebraska?
Bruce was totally into those projects, especially The Promise. We were very proud of the product, thanks to the collaboration with such great guys as director Thom Zimny. I think each one has to have a different approach and we work on these things when we have time. I think eventually, yes, there will be something, but we don't have a timetable. We're not close to ready to put out anything like that out. We'll do it when we'll do it and when they're ready to go we put them out.
TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM: "IT'S A BIT OF A WALK"
An audience favorite at the Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals, Twenty Feet From Stardom is finally coming to theaters soon. Director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on some of the greatest — and often unsung — backup singers in rock and soul music, including Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear, Gloria Jones and Dr. Mable John. Along with Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, and Sting, Bruce Springsteen features prominently in the film, as you can see in the new trailer above. TwentyFeet From Stardom opens June 14 in New York and Los Angeles, and the top 50 markets will open by Mid-July.
- May 9, 2013
IL MINISTRO DELLA CONGREGAZIONE ROCK! Bruce Springsteen appears on the handsome new cover of Italy's monthly rock magazine, JAM, with a nine-page story on his upcoming Italian dates. "Rock Against the Economic Crisis: an Interview with Jon Landau and Nils Lofgren. 'Hold on, we're coming!' says Landau to the Italian fans."
Landau tells JAM, "Bruce is well aware of the economic and social condition in Europe and Italy. So, the show is intense... But it has all of the joy, the positivity, and the spiritual uplift that Bruce always brings with him.
Nils adds, "I'm like anyone else in the audience: these songs make me sad and make me laugh, make me ecstatic to be alive and make me feel goofy. We want to inspire people and send them home with some hope."
Sample more of the cover story online in both English and Italian. Bruce and the E Street Band move on to Italy following their remaining dates in Scandinavia; they'll play Naples, Padua, Milan and Rome, spread out from May to July. - May 8, 2013
DOING HEAVEN'S WORK WELL: THE LATEST LESSON FROM NILS
So... do you need callouses like Nils to play the "Youngstown" solo? Or do you get callouses like Nils by playing the "Youngstown" solo? Find out for yourself, as Nils Lofgren has posted the latest installments of his Online Guitar School instructional videos, with Intermediate Lessons 8, 9, and 10 comprising more three-and-a-half hours of tutoring — "note by note, lick by lick" — on his signature guitar lead from "Youngstown" live. "After years of promising," the guitarist tells Backstreets, "I finally got this one done, probably the most frequent request I've gotten for the Guitar School."
You can get a taste of it with this YouTube sample and see Nils knock out the solo in real time at home, bare bones and up close; to break it down and work through it one-on-one, download the videos from nilslofgren.com. The latest Note From Nils has more on the solo, the song, and the lessons. - May 6, 2013 - photograph by Nils Lofgren
ADELE AND SOOZIE, TWO BIRTHDAYS ARE BETTER THAN ONE!
We're sending out warm wishes today to
two great women in the Springsteen family/"family" who happen share a May 4 birthday: Bruce's mom Adele Springsteen, who turns 88 today, and "Sister" Soozie Tyrell, who'll be spending hers as she did her birthday eve [above], onstage with the E Street Band in Stockholm, Sweden. Happy birthday to you both! - May 4, 2013 - photograph by Rene van Diemen
BASIA BULAT'S HOME RUN With baseball season now in full swing, Canadian singer/songwriter Basia Bulat, using just her pianoette (hammered harp) and beautiful voice, belts one out of the park this week with her unique version of "Glory Days," courtesy of The Onion's A.V. Club. - May 3, 2013
MR. SPRINGSTEEN CALLING FOR MR. CASEY...
Bruce and DKM team back up, helping Boston victims with "Rose Tattoo"
While Bruce Springsteen's body was in Olso on Sunday, his heart must have been with with his pals the Dropkick Murphys during the band's "For Boston" benefit concert [above] to raise funds for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.
From the stage at the House of Blues, DKM frontman Ken Casey explained that the band had a three-pronged plan to raise funds for the victims. The first part was the release of a For Boston T-shirt with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the victims and their families. The second was the concert, put together in less than three days, that included Bar Room Heroes, The Old Brigade, The Parkington Sisters, Big D and The Kids Table, State Radio before finishing up with the Dropkicks.
The third way to raise funds: a re-release of the Dropkick Murphys' "Rose Tattoo," with some additional help from Bruce Springsteen. The band announced this third prong live on stage, and originally Springsteen's voice was to be part of the announcement [above, Casey attempts to connect with Bruce’s call]. As everyone knows, cell phones have been known to misbehave at the most inopportune moments... in the middle of a benefit, this was one of those times.
But the collaboration itself is in the can. Guitarist James Lynch told Backstreets, "Bruce actually called us up the day of the bombing and asked what he could do to help. We didn't have to reach out. He was there for us." Ken Casey added, "As soon as we figured out what we were going to do, Bruce went into the studio, recorded his parts and nailed them right away."
The Dropkick Murphys / Bruce Springsteen recording of "Rose Tattoo" is expected to be available next week on iTunes, with proceeds directly benefitting the victims of this tragedy; stay tuned for further details. - May 3, 2013 - reporting and photographs by A.M. Saddler
THE DANNY FUND TEXTING CAMPAIGN BEGINS
May is Melanoma Awareness Month; text DANNY to 50555 now to donate $10 for the Danny Federici Young Investigator Award
After original E Street Band member Danny Federici passed away five years ago, the Danny Fund was started in his name as the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and the Federici family joined together to help fulfill his dying wish — to raise melanoma awareness and fund the most promising scientific research in the quest to cure this disease. Our readers and E Street Band fans around the world were generous in responding to the Danny Fund's initial call; now, they need our help for a special campaign.
The Danny Fund Texting Campaign: Today, the MRA is launching a texting campaign in collaboration with the Danny Fund, along with Bruce Springsteen, AT&T, and mGive. Proceeds from the campaign will raise funding for an MRA Young Investigator Award in Danny’s name. MRA is dedicated to supporting promising research to advance the pace of scientific discovery toward a day when no one suffers or dies from melanoma. Its Young Investigator Award Program funds researchers whose innovative and ambitious projects often spearhead groundbreaking scientific developments. A simple text will donate $10 for the Danny Federici Young Investigator Award.
Text DANNY to 50555*
Reply with YES to confirm your $10 donation to MRA and the Danny Federici Young Investigator Award
A letter from Jason Federici: Just a few days ago, on April 17th, my family remembered the fifth anniversary of my father Danny Federici's loss in his battle against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. To honor my father and his hope to raise melanoma awareness and funding for scientific research, I am asking for your participation in the DANNY Campaign. Today, you can help us reach our goal by texting DANNY to 50555 to donate $10 to The Danny Fund and Melanoma Research Alliance. 100% of you contribution will go to support a $225,000 Young Investigator Award in honor of my father and his fight with this deadly disease.
For those of you who didn’t know my dad, he was a talented and passionate man who — when he wasn’t recording or touring with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band — devoted his time to his family and friends. He reveled in all that life had to offer, always with a smile on his face. His vivacity and "carpe diem" attitude never diminished, even after he was diagnosed with Stage II melanoma in 2006. His fight was an inspirational one. He sustained hope and continued to play with the band until he was physically unable to perform. In his last few weeks alive, he adopted a mission to awaken the public to the dangers of the sun and advance outcomes for patients plagued by what is now the fastest growing cancer in the U.S.
Since my father's death, my family and I created a foundation dedicated to raising funds for melanoma research, The Danny Fund (www.dannyfund.org). Today, we are honored for the foundation we built to be a program of the Melanoma Research Alliance (www.curemelanoma.org.) Together, we are working to fund the most promising melanoma research worldwide that is hastening the discovery of better treatments and hopefully, a cure. Your participation today will directly support a young investigator whose ambitious and innovative research often spearheads groundbreaking scientific developments.
To take part in this meaningful movement, please consider donating $10 today by texting DANNY to 50555. Our family, as well as all individuals and their loved ones touched by this disease, are truly grateful and thank you for your support.
IN STOCK NOW New hardcover collection of Springsteen "in his own words," in stock and ON SALE
Backstreet Records is the mailorder division of Backstreets, delivering Bruce Springsteen merchandise to fans for over 20 years. We carry numerous collectibles, tour shirts, books, fanzines, and imported CDs and records. The world's best selection of Springsteen collectibles, all available by mail.
"Thunder Road 75/05": Bruce in perfect harmony with himself, 30 years apart.
Laura Marling and Eddie Berman do a folky "Dancing in the Dark"
May is Melanoma Awareness Month... and the Danny Fund can use your help! Text DANNY to 50555 to give $10 to Melanoma Research Alliance, or click here to make a donation online.
We also post all known concert dates for some of our favorite Jersey Shore (and Shore-adopted) musicians:
Joe D'Urso... and more.
For more information on upcoming shows such as these, check out our Concert Calendar.
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 15,000. But the collection is by no means complete.