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Monday, January 5, 2009

Is There An Ultimate Bruce Springsteen Experience?

By Rocky Wilson
Author of Sharene:
Death: A Prerequisite For Life

Is There An Ultimate Bruce Springsteen Experience?

For some, the ultimate Bruce Springsteen experience could come February 1, 2009, when the legendary rock ‘n roll songwriter, guitarist, and singer performs in a live, center-stage extravaganza before millions of television viewers around the world during halftime of Super Bowl XLIII, in Tampa Bay, Florida.

But for many others, that ultimate experience may have come while attending any of the thousands of concerts Bruce Springsteen, often playing with his highly touted and talented E Street Band, has performed worldwide since buying his first guitar for $18 at age 13, cutting his first album at age 24, and skyrocketing into musical prominence with his ’Born To Run’ album released in 1975.

Whether staging breath-taking guitar duels with long-time friend and E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt, or stroking an acoustic guitar and quietly singing folk ballads, Springsteen has created a cult following totally enamored by his versatility and ability to communicate, in music, with the common man.

Some highlights in the life of Bruce Springsteen include:

* September 23, 1949, Springsteen is born to a bus-driving father and legal-secretary mother in New Jersey

* June 1972, after auditioning before John Hammond, the man credited with discovering Bob Dylan, Springsteen signs contract with Columbia Records, for which he still performs

* January 1973, debut album, ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.,’ is released

* September 1975, Springsteen and E Street Band’s ‘Born To Run’ is released

* October 1975, Springsteen appears simultaneously on covers of Time, Newsweek

* July 1976-May 1977 Springsteen in legal battle with former producer Mike Appel, curtails recording before settled out of court

* 1984 ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ album sells fifteen million copies, includes seven top-ten hits

* 1994 Writes soundtrack for AIDS-related film ‘Philadelphia,’ for which Springsteen earns four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award

* 1999 Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for vocals, guitar

* 2001 Springsteen helped organize top musicians in response to terrorist attacks

* 2008 Actively campaigned for presidential candidate Barack Obama

* February 1, 2009 Springsteen and E Street Band to provide halftime entertainment for Super Bowl XLIII

At times a perfectionist, Springsteen reportedly spent fourteen months working to produce his third album, ‘Born To Run,’ with six months of that time spent perfecting the title song. A contributing factor to that lengthy production time could have been the early advent of what evolved into a bitter legal battle between Springsteen and the producer of his first two albums, Mike Appel. When Springsteen’s fame from ‘Born To Run’ was simultaneously placing his photo on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines, Appel hit the evolving artist with a legal injunction that kept Springsteen from recording with his soon-to-be manager, Jon Landau, for nearly one year.

Possibly Springsteen’s 16th studio-produced album, ‘Working On A Dream,’ to be released one week before the 2009 Super Bowl, will become the ultimate Bruce Springsteen experience for new listeners.

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