AARP-STREET BAND, HAPPY 60th BRUCE!

PHOTO COURTESY DANNY CLINCH "BE TRUE" EXHIBIT OPEN UNTIL SUNDAY ON THE BOARDWALK

PHOTO COURTESY DANNY CLINCH "BE TRUE" EXHIBIT OPEN UNTIL SUNDAY ON THE BOARDWALK

When I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert at Convention Hall, earlier this year – a super-fun moment in my life (thanks to Carolyn Curtin) – I did not sense Bruce as almost sixty years old.

His rocking body – testing the limits of the heroic seams of his black jeans and shirt – didn’t give a hint of a jiggle or bounce in anything but the right places.  No one would have guessed he was a member of AARP (he’s on the cover of the org.’s magazine this month) and about to turn 60 years old, as he did last Wednesday.

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Yes, some will write me about Madonna or a few other rockers, and say there are other iconic AARP card-carrying concert performers.  Madonna’s a scary cougar now and there is just no comparison to Bruce.  Sorry gays…but I digress. 

Tim Donnelly, curator of the Springsteen photo exhibit “Be True” on the Boardwalk until Sunday, equates Bruce to a higher power.

“Springsteen concerts are like Rock and Roll revivals,” said Tim.  “Going to a concert was like getting baptized.” 

I have met countless in our area who have lip-synched with Bruce, laughed with Bruce, cried with Bruce, cheered and celebrated with Bruce throughout his performing years however there’s one local who genuinely put his passion for anything and everything Bruce to paper – in every sense.bruce cover

Ocean Grove resident, Stan Goldstein, author of “Rock and Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore” [photo right] – now in its third expanded edition – has been a fan of Birthday Boy Bruce and his band for more than 30 years, religiously following the tour around the U.S. and Europe.

“I was twelve when ‘Greetings from Asbury Park’ came out,” said Stan.  “I was at Two Guys (store) looking for a Partridge Family album and Bruce’s album caught my eye because of the local connection.  I first saw him perform at the Monmouth Arts Center (now the Count Basie Theatre), in August of 1976.”

Stan’s history with Bruce also includes serving as an official Rock and Roll tour guide for visitors to Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  He told me – as a new fan of the Birthday Boy – I did not know that his band was named after E Street in Belmar, at the corner of 10th Avenue.  But you probably knew that.

A lesser known fact Stan shared provided more insight into Bruce’s early years.

“There’s an old surfboard factory off of Sunset Avenue in Ocean Township, after Wegmans,” said Stan, who also manages the website NJRockMap.com.  “When he was with the band ‘Steel Mill’ he lived in the factory building, circa 1971 – few people realize he was right here for a time.”

Almost 40 years later and with a different band family, Bruce at 60 years-old proves that age is just a silly number.

“I still think of him as a 30 year old,” said Stan.  “Even today he jumps on pianos, slides and runs around all over the stage – no one puts on a better show.  He is still relevant at sixty.”

So, Stan, how has Bruce changed through the decades?

“It’s not Bruce who has changed – the main thing is that the internet lets his fans literally follow the tour from their homes,” said Stan.  “There are sites dedicated to what Bruce played at what exact time in which city during the tour.  Fans Twitter while at the concerts.  Every show is something special and the internet lets more fans get involved than ever before.”

What a difference a few years make. 

Search “Springsteen” for more TheBPlot articles and dish about the unofficial mayor of town.

Do you have a great Bruce story?  Email me:  Richard@TheBPlot.com

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