A Dissenting View on the Mythicization of Bruce Springsteen

By John Sharkey III
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 115 | Posted Mar. 27, 2012

Share this Story:

Who's the boss? Not Bruce Springsteen.

Bruce Springsteen. The Boss. Blue Collar Rock King. He’s just a Jersey boy done good after years of working on the docks to make ends meet, just a common man breaking his ass to get by, who struck it lucky singing about his girl, his hometown and his Glory Days.

My floppy, white ass.

I’ve been fuming over the popularity of this faux working-class bozo for the better part of the last decade, and now, in what has to be the peak of the mountain of his current resurgence, I bring my unpopular opinion to you.

As someone who has worked in shitty warehouses, print shops and glass factories for the bulk of my life, I can tell you, it’s no fun. In fact, it sucks. Badly. And to paint over the grim reality of that life with a romantic brush is insulting.

The only people, I’ve found, who romanticize the up-at-dawn, back-breaking blue-collar lifestyle are people who’ve never lived it. Like the bearded, skinny jackasses I run into at parties I wasn’t invited to who lovvvvve Bruce because he’s “the realest” artist they or any one of their other freelance web designer friends have ever heard.

This Everyman image Springsteen has cultivated over the years—my god, how did he pull it off? His first record came out when he was 23. Twenty-three. Unless he was working in a coal mine at age 7, he knows very little about the kind of broke-down toil of which he croons so sincerely.

Still, I get it: You can’t blame Springsteen for selling goods to a public eager to buy them. There is a market, and someone has to provide for it.

Did I say “market”? I did. Make no mistake, Springsteen’s image, from top down—what he wears, what he sings about—is a marketing choice. Every breath is calculated, every move researched and deployed with precision. He’s no different than Lady Gaga marketing herself to the fashion industry or Coldplay to feminine hygiene products. The purity you’ve placed upon him is a myth.

He’s been perceived as such an angel for so long, it seems odd even to question it. So people don’t. There’s a whole new generation coming up who blindly bathe in the light of the Cult of Bruce without even questioning whether, for instance, in Ticketmaster’s controversial attempt to cut down on Springsteen scalpers by only selling nontransferable electronic tickets, the man himself actually tried to help his fans escape this lose-lose scenario.

It’s this new generation of Springsteen fans who are the most annoying. They look at the musical landscape and see vapidity. They see Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. They see Chris Brown, Ke$ha and Katy Perry. They want to disassociate with the airheads who call this kind of music their own. So they adopt Springsteen as a signifier of their own validity, their own worth. To listen to Springsteen at an early age is to distance yourself from your bubblegum-listening peers. They see substance in Springsteen, so they strap him on as if he were a shield against vacuousness.

And so Bruce is now more popular than ever, because he’s playing to two markets. He’s got the lifers who have grown up with him, who continue to hear him played on a never-ending loop on WMMR and WXPN—plus a new generation of whiners who think listening to him makes them less whiney by association.

Right now, Springsteen is everywhere; he cannot be escaped. He’s got a new (atrocious) album out, Wrecking Ball . He was the keynote speaker at South By Southwest. He’s got a goddamn exhibit at the National Constitution Center. And, this month, there are two Bruce tribute bands playing here—one at Johnny Brenda’s, one at the christening of Xfinity Live!—on top of the man’s own two shows at the Wells Fargo Center on the 28th and 29th. No small feat for a guy who hasn’t done anything artistically challenging since putting out his best work some 30 years ago.

Look, we all need heroes and people to idolize. I’m no different. I need figures to cling to in these tough times too—to find some solace in grand, larger-than-life escapism. I can’t deny the power of “Born To Run.” I just wish more people were willing to admit “Working on a Dream” is faux-populist horse shit. And don’t even get me started on “We Take Care of Our Own.”

Springsteen isn’t terrible enough to demonize, but he isn’t great enough to canonize, either. He’s the Tim Tebow of music: not very good, but different enough from the rest to stand out. He’s a piece of toilet paper clinging to the bottom of American culture’s shoe. And because he’s remained stuck there so long, we’ve attached undeserved meaning to him.

He’s a rock musician, not The Boss.

And anyway, bosses are assholes.

Bruce Springsteen performs Wed., March 28 and Thurs., March 29, 7:30pm. $68-$98. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. comcasttix.com

Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend


Comments 1 - 115 of 115
Report Violation

1. Anonymous said... on Mar 27, 2012 at 04:58PM

“Awesome, awesome piece. So much truth (even if I'm a Springsteen fan).”

Report Violation

2. radiogirl said... on Mar 27, 2012 at 08:00PM

“Working on A Dream was a piece of crap. Wrecking Ball has promise, but could probably have benefited from some more baking time.

That said, is it at all remotely possible that some people (including the author of this piece) are incapable of understanding that most of these songs are fiction? Short stories set to music, if you will. JK Rowling didn't have to be a wizard to write the Harry Potter series; Herman Melville probably never wrestled a white whale - doesn't mean they didn't spin a helluva yarn.

Toilet paper on the bottom of America's shoe? Don't you think that's a little harsh?

You need to go somewhere else and hone your writing skills, my friend. You may have whined about Springsteen's "authenticity" for the past decade, but until your output bests his, you haven't a clue what it takes to tell a compelling story in three and a half minutes.

Report Violation

3. Anonymous said... on Mar 27, 2012 at 08:29PM

“radiogirl, you don't understand that this working man's mystique is how Springsteen reels in his fanbase. It's absolutely a calculated marketing effort to present a certain image. Writing stories is one thing, but this guy wants to make his work come off as the real deal.

Also, the "your output bests his" argument is fucking moronic. Do you never criticize a politician, or a bad at a restaurant you ate at, or another musician? Seriously, please let this POV rot and die.”

Report Violation

4. radiogirl said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 05:20AM

“Anonymous, your argument makes no sense. I did criticize both the new album and the one which preceded it. I also criticized the author of the piece. No kool-aid has been drunk here.

The so-called working man's mystique has been the backbone of rock and roll since Chuck Berry sang about buying a Cadillac "no money down". What Bruce does is nothing new, subject-wise. He taps the same well as Berry, Dylan and all the blues musicians which came before and spawned rock and roll. We're not re-inventing the wheel.

What could possibly be more American than building something with your own talents and hard work? That he has been so successful has been a combination of his talent, his relentless touring and yes, marketing. If you own your own business, marketing is one of those components necessary for success. The business of selling his considerable talents has made a successful company for nearly half a century. Surely that is an admirable American trait.

Report Violation

5. gary said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 07:10AM

“does ur ar@ehole ever get jealous of how much sh*te comes out ur mouth ??

love the dart board picture, ur like a jealous little teenage girl ha ha

Report Violation

6. VinceK said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:23AM

“Are you sure this wasn't written by Jim Derogatis, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, under a surname. An out and out Springsteen hater who refuses to acknowledge the impact that Springsteen STILL HAS over 40 years since his major label debut. Even if you don't like the albums, the Springsteen tours remains the DEFINITIVE concert experience! Fans tastes will vary album to album, but his overall body of work is stellar with well over hundered artists of all genres having covered his work. Be angy but fair.”

Report Violation

7. John said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:24AM

“Someone needs to get laid”

Report Violation

8. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:34AM

“Wayne Cochran actually had a better feel for real working-class (and it wasn't very romantic) in his last couple albums. Of course, he's a fundie preacher in Florida nowadays...so there's that.”

Report Violation

9. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:35AM

“I'd be angry if I was him too...


Report Violation

10. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:37AM

“Also, this-


Report Violation

11. Tom Acox said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:39AM

“"JK Rowling didn't have to be a wizard to write the Harry Potter series." Exactly, these are fictional characters (based on people Springsteen observes). When Adele sang about some guy spurning her for another girl half that man's age, no one questioned the fact she is 23. Either she is also half the man's age or said man is a pedophile.

It is great the writer has worked shitty jobs but he is currently opining in an Alt Weekly. That's kind of funny.

I take offense to the writer's use of the word 'researched' as if Bruce is a marketing firm. He thinks long and hard and makes thoughtful decisions. That's what artists with integrity do.

The writer also seems to have a problem deciding if he dislikes Springsteen himself or these 'new' fans. I've got no problem with these folks. I'd rather another Hold Steady, Arcade Fire or Gaslight Anthem come along then the next Maroon 5. Don't like Springsteen, John? Take him off your iTunes and stop *your* whining.”

Report Violation

12. Tom Acox said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:39AM

“"JK Rowling didn't have to be a wizard to write the Harry Potter series." Exactly, these are fictional characters (based on people Springsteen observes). When Adele sang about some guy spurning her for another girl half that man's age, no one questioned the fact she is 23. Either she is also half the man's age or said man is a pedophile.

It is great the writer has worked shitty jobs but he is currently opining in an Alt Weekly. That's kind of funny.

I take offense to the writer's use of the word 'researched' as if Bruce is a marketing firm. He thinks long and hard and makes thoughtful decisions. That's what artists with integrity do.

The writer also seems to have a problem deciding if he dislikes Springsteen himself or these 'new' fans. I've got no problem with these folks. I'd rather another Hold Steady, Arcade Fire or Gaslight Anthem come along then the next Maroon 5. Don't like Springsteen, John? Take him off your iTunes and stop *your* whining.”

Report Violation

13. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:46AM

“To me, people applied the working man image to Bruce while he just wrote the music that he wanted to write about. Granted, in recent years he has gotten closer and closer to playing up the image of a sort of working class hero. But up until Ghost of Tom Joad, he did not purposefully do any of that. He just did what he wanted to do, and others fell in line with it.

I am obsessed with Bruce so my view is obviously a bit biased, but Bruce to me is not the working class hero everyone else sees him as. He is just a guy who writes relatable songs. I have lived a privellaged life luckily and have not had to suffer through the miserable working conditions many others have, which I feel blessed for. But I still find his music very human and relatable. He isn't for the working man, he is just for man.”

Report Violation

14. mikefort said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:55AM

“awesome!!!finally someone who agrees with me about loose bedsprings...”

Report Violation

15. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:57AM

“Wow - you make so many great points here and I love your style. So true - he has some classic songs, I've heard he's a nice guy if you meet him on the street, but yes, not The Boss. I so wish I could send this to my dear departed Dad who would always scratch his head and totally not understand the Springsteen fever. He said his music was not music at all, and lots of his songs just aren't. (yet I can totally rock out to Born to Run!) And I was never interested in sitting/standing through an entire Springsteen concert.”

Report Violation

16. HeliumRaven said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:09AM

“"And don’t even get me started on 'We Take Care of Our Own.'”
Why not? You're a writer; we're reading your article for your opinion, yet you take shelter in a lazy colloquialism like 'don't get me started.' You don't have to like Bruce, but anyone who's seen one of his live shows knows that he's one of the hardest working people in show business. After watching him perform for hours on stage, it's clear that he brings a blue-collar sensibility to his job and gives his audience their money's worth. Try putting that much effort into your own writing sometime.

Report Violation

17. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:11AM

“What a cry baby. Springsteen is easily one of the best singer/songwriters since the 1970's. I really don't care if he hasn't experienced the blue collar role, because he understands it and is capable of conveying strong messages in his work.”

Report Violation

18. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:20AM

“"That's just one of the reasons why people hate us in Philadelphia," he says. "They hate me most of all, but they hate us as a whole equally. I guess you could say it's my own fault, 'cause people here are really back-slapping, and I'm not. It's just a town full of asskissers, and I've prided myself on being forthright, and that doesn't really fly in this town. Which is fine with me – not everyone can like us. Most people don't enjoy music. I mean, they'd rather go to brunch, especially people who are dealing with music in this city. This town has nothing to offer music; it's all instant gratification. People were waiting for a band to hate - we'll fill those shoes gladly. Everyone in this town can suck my ass."

-John Sharkey


Report Violation

19. tracy Albrecht said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:22AM

“Its quite obvious that the idiot who wrote this piece has NEVER met nor interviewed the person he speaks ill of..or has is own demons...such as the green eyed one called JEALOUSY !!! pity the fool who knows not what he speaks ....moron!”

Report Violation

20. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:42AM

“So what do you want him to be? Wigged out, drug using, old as shit because you wanted him to start his career after "working" a "real job?" Just because his hands don't get dirty doesn't mean it's not hard work touring non stop and keeping up the name. You're opinion is great, and I see where you're coming from. But just because the fucking shitty industry has outplayed him doesn't mean it's his fault. The songs are real, even though they're drilled in our brains at this point.”

Report Violation

21. Sj said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:54AM

“So if you grow up in a household where your family struggles through blue collar jobs and you watch how it tears at the fabric of relationships and life, you didn't actually experience it? You can't use the experiences gleaned through growing up in that environment to express a world view in your music? You can live 20 years plus in that environment, but if you happen to choose a path where people appreciate and relate to your art, you are phony because you didn't work in the dock? Please. You need to rethink this. Like the art or don't, but don't ignore the fact that we all shaped by a complex mix of experiences, well beyond the jobs you've had or when (or whether) you have achieved financial success. Dig a bit deeper, will you?”

Report Violation

22. Sj said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:54AM

“So if you grow up in a household where your family struggles through blue collar jobs and you watch how it tears at the fabric of relationships and life, you didn't actually experience it? You can't use the experiences gleaned through growing up in that environment to express a world view in your music? You can live 20 years plus in that environment, but if you happen to choose a path where people appreciate and relate to your art, you are phony because you didn't work in the dock? Please. You need to rethink this. Like the art or don't, but don't ignore the fact that we all shaped by a complex mix of experiences, well beyond the jobs you've had or when (or whether) you have achieved financial success. Dig a bit deeper, will you?”

Report Violation

23. man in the yellow hat said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:56AM

“If I can use a phrase during Springsteen's zenith, it's "John, you ignorant slut." Springsteen is mytholized because of his work, from Born to Run to Born in the USA. He evokes what the 99 percenters evoke, a decent wage, a beer, a joint, and a good woman at the end of the day. Whether it's a search for love or what's real, not being enslaved by the office, his writing speaks for generations.
A writer doesn't have to work on the docks to write about working on the docks, but if you can share a little honesty, someone, most working class people will tap a longneck to you and say, Amen, brother. While I agree, he's not the greatest vocalist or guitar player. With his great lyrics, he's as good as he needs to be. Don't hate the player, John, hate the game.

Report Violation

24. Thomas Heneghan said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:07AM

“I have worked a lot of back breaking, night shift, dangerous and undignified jobs and the fact is; I don't remember any co-workers who had used III after their names. I believe we refer to them as a douche if they did.”

Report Violation

25. Johnny 99 said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:38AM

“Can someone tell me where the "romantic brush"" has touched the following?


Early in the morning factory whistle blows,
Man rises from bed and puts on his clothes,
Man takes his lunch, walks out in the morning light,
It's the working, the working, just the working life.

Through the mansions of fear, through the mansions of pain,
I see my daddy walking through them factory gates in the rain,
Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life,
The working, the working, just the working life.

End of the day, factory whistle cries,
Men walk through these gates with death in their eyes.
And you just better believe, boy,
somebody's gonna get hurt tonight,
It's the working, the working, just the working life.”

Report Violation

26. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:52AM

“Sharkey is trying to be controversial. Pretty weak attempt. I hope he doesn't make anything close to decent money, just a wit-less shit talker.”

Report Violation

27. Amy said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:53AM

“Everyone has an opinion - believe me I am not one to hide mine often. I do disagree pretty strongly and I think your opinion is a tad on the harsh side.

I'm sure he found his niche, and like most popular artists, have stuck to it because it sells records. He's getting older, his stuff now isn't as good as it was. He's no saint, but I'm not sure he ever claimed he was.

But one thing to me is undeniable - seeing him and the E-Street Band live is a magical experience. I hope you all get to experience it at some point.

Report Violation

28. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:56AM

“Springsteen is the Larry the Cable Guy of radio rock.”

Report Violation

29. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:02PM

“Well said. He is a good musician that is iT!!! We take care of our own - ughhhhh Hate that song!! Yeah he takes care of his own with $100 tickets, that is a BOSS not a working man's hero !!!”

Report Violation

30. ShitStirrer said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:13PM

“Well, you people who signed on here to register a complaint (which is now 28 comments long) and say that the author is just trying to be a jerk and failing, he sure isn't failing. You guys are getting your panties in a bunch over someone's opinion, then telling him his opinion doesn't matter. I disagree with the author, but all you commenters are underlining the fact that he got to you. Bravo, John.”

Report Violation

31. Shaz said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:29PM

“Love the piece. Now that's entertainment”

Report Violation

32. billy batson said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:43PM

“The first 2.5 records are good....

Report Violation

33. Greg B said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:43PM

“As a freelance web designer/developer, I am offended that you would assume that I like his music. I think he's one of the most overrated musicians of all time and I can't stand him.”

Report Violation

34. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 01:04PM

“What is the point of this shit article? Fuck Philadelphia weekly for even letting this get published. There is a reason he has billions of fans and is considered one of the greatest musicians of all time. If you don't like his music fine, but there is no need to write an article like this. What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Report Violation

35. Clocksckr said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 01:40PM

“Hey Sharkey, Steve Albini called, he wants his shtick back.”

Report Violation

36. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 01:54PM

“ur an idiot. period.”

Report Violation

37. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 02:02PM

“John, everyone is entitles to their opinion and here's mine..you're an idiot. You don't need to 'be' something to write about it. Was the woman who wrote the movie "E.T." and alien? No. It's called art. And how ironic for someone who is as shitty a writer as you are to criticize one of the most honored writers in the history of popular music. Bruce Springsteen does not write about 'the working man', pay attention, Bruce writes about and has always written about the distance between America and the promise of America.Please quit your job as a 'writer' for a rag and do a job you are more suited for...let me help you prepare, repeat after me, 'would you like fries with that'. Thanks for reading this, youve have now read a well written piece of criticism instead of the one you attempted to write. By the way, i printed your article and put it down on the floor for my dog to crap on. He wouldn't do it, he said that would be redundant.”

Report Violation

38. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 02:22PM

“Typical John Sharkey: Everyone's a poser (but me) / no one has the stones to tell it like it is (except me.) I couldn't care less what he thinks about Springsteen, since half of his motivation for writing this pointless thing was probably just to get a rise out of people, but his compulsive contrarianism is tired as hell.”

Report Violation

39. James said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 04:07PM

“Love this. Finally someone telling it like it is. I felt like I had to remain in the closet about my disgust for Springsteen. I'm glad someone had the balls to say it.”

Report Violation

40. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 04:54PM

“I don't know about liking Bruce because he's 'real' but I know that I think he's a great musician and that Nebraska is definitely top 12 on my favorite albums list. To think that there isn't at least some calculation on the part of any band, musician, or artist who achieves the amount of success the boss has had is naive.”

Report Violation

41. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 05:16PM

“What a great article. The only thing he left out is how ridiculous it is that he made rollingstone's top 100 guitarists. His guitar is just another accessory like that stupid thing he wears on his neck. I have been baffled by this frauds success for years and would become ill listening to artie lange bring him up on howard once a day. 68 to 98 dollars a ticket and he does 365 shows a year you've got to be kidding me! I'd be pumping out albums of BS if i were him too. This article made my day, thanks.”

Report Violation

42. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 05:18PM

“This is the biggest sack of shit article. R.I.P. Journalism...”

Report Violation

43. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 05:36PM

“What a dope--linked here from another website. Definitely won't be back. Have fun being miserable!”

Report Violation

44. Eric Feasterville said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 08:06PM

“It pleases me that someone has finally spoke up about the most overrated and grating musical personality polluting the industry. He is such a transparent fraud...it's staggering that so many worship at his empty altar.”

Report Violation

45. Anonymous said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 08:21PM

“Spruce Br”

Report Violation

46. Sandy said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 09:57PM

“John Sharkey III is such a sad litttle jealous man....”

Report Violation

47. ReasonWillPrevail said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 02:44AM

“What's wrong with a little criticism? People criticize restaurants and movies in the paper. So music is out of the question? That's unreasonable. I respect his opinion. Bruce Springsteen is nothing more than toxic sludge from New Jersey. He and Jon Bon Jovi should start a super group and then play to the 45 fans they have that aren't incarcerated. And to the new wave of Springsteen fans: Get a fucking job! This man needs to "come on up for the rising" of people that think he blows. The only redeemable quality of Bedspring's is that his guitar player was on the Sopranos. Nuff said.

Report Violation

48. Al Hanson said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 06:23AM

“Just like a writer of novels you don't have to live the story to make it great. Mr. Springsteen is the same but his novels are lyrics put to music. Doesn't matter if he's been through all he's written. Life experiences of others put to lyrics and music is an art form that not everyone can express. I thank Mr. Springsteen for doing it for all those who can't.”

Report Violation

49. Ed Mack said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 07:23AM

“Bruce romanticizes being blue-collar? He's HAPPY about working down on the dock? Hardly. Bruce's Dad drove a bus and worked as a prison guard.

What did your dad do? Probably paid for your college education.

Show me a musician that doesn't know how to market themselves. No...I mean..seriously...show me that musician...because I won't know them. Only you have that musician...playing in a small, smelly club in front of 20 people on a Wednesday night.

Have fun with that.”

Report Violation

50. Rich said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 08:32AM

“This was a great article in the fact that there were no typos in it.”

Report Violation

51. pete said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 09:12AM

“Backstreets.com is pleased to present a celebration evening of longtime Philadelphia favorite, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen. Fans from Philadelphia and elsewhere are invited to attend the first-ever Philadelphia Springsteen Memories Roadshow April 21, http://www.thelightindarkness.com/news”

Report Violation

52. crazyd19 said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 09:18AM

John Sharkey, the 3rd is definitiely entitled to his worthless opinion, but for those of us who are smart enough to understand Bruce's music, take him for what he is. An out of work, bitter, balding, JEALOUS musician who has no idea what he is talking about.”

Report Violation

53. durantheman durantheman said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 09:22AM

“Not being from this area originally, I have always found Springsteen to be hollow and boring. If I want to listen to "music of the working-class," I probably would put on some Merle Haggard (who is the real deal and not a pussy). Springsteen's music too often sounds like an overwrought and self-important Meatloaf. I can just imagine Bruce sitting down at his desk, brow furrowed, thinking, "Now I shall write something important." Ugh. What a load of horseshit.”

Report Violation

54. Anonymous said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 09:58AM

“The writer needs to be writin' for a living. That was some funny s***.”

Report Violation

55. crazyd19 said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 10:43AM

@ durantheman

A Duran Duran fan commenting on Bruce? If that is where your musical taste lies, I can see how you agree with the idiot who wrote this crap.”

Report Violation

56. Anonymous said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 10:45AM

“That's a really long-winded way to write "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"”

Report Violation

57. Anonymous said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 11:37AM

“"John Sharkey III's writing isn’t terrible enough to demonize, but he isn’t great enough to canonize, either. He’s the Tim Tebow of rock journalists: not very good, but thinks he's different enough from the rest to stand out. He’s a piece of toilet paper clinging to the bottom of Philly journalism’s shoe. And because he’s remained stuck there so long, we’ve attached undeserved meaning to him."

You see, it's incredibly easy to write pithy commentary. My question is this: what was the last album you put out? All I can find on you is that you were in some band a few years ago, and that you hate Nirvana's "Nevermind" album; I believe this was your 'review" of it:

"Fuck that record. It's completely piss-poor. It did not stand the test of time. I can understand the mania that it caused, and I mean, it's good because hair metal sucked, but it almost caused another fuckin' trend that I have no concept of at all – alternative or modern rock. So, Nirvana were dogshit..."

Stay classy, kid”

Report Violation

58. Ham said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 11:47AM

“As I stated yesterday, in regards to the other AH blogger from Philadelphia, in the words of Denis Leary, "what a DB" and you too my friend need some Lamictal and oxytocin. Who peed in your Cheerios when you were a baby???
Jealous is the one word that comes to mind...You just reflect the cynics and haters that make our narcissistic society so great.”

Report Violation

59. Anonymous said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:32PM

“Not sure what you guys want out of your rock stars (also speaking to you, Mr. Sharkey). You curiously don't provide counterexamples of your own heroes. I suspect it's because you secretly know that all musicians exist in a media universe that tries to peddle certain images that may not always be truthful to what the artist is actually like. You think Radiohead's better? Even if Thom Yorke hated the amount of celebrity and press he had to do after "OK Computer" (and I suspect he did), he and Radiohead still exist with a certain public imagery of tortured intellectual artists who would rather be making music with nobody obsessing or paying attention to them. Every artist has to do this. No artist, even folks like Dinosaur Jr who seem to be the antithesis of built-up rockstars, is free from it. I suspect you know this but only write articles like this because you're pissed and need to pay the bills. Tell me I'm wrong and prove it.”

Report Violation

60. RM O'Brien said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:53PM

“If there are Boss fans who confuse the man himself with the desperate characters he portrays in his songs, then certainly it's fair to disabuse them. But that's not really what this article is about. It's just snide and contrarian.

You know Bob Dylan was a calculated revivalist as well. Harry Belafonte was appropriating to some extent when he began singing calypso music. The point is, once you start railing against one artist for being inauthentic, where do you stop?

It's fine -- and even positive -- to point out the complexity and irony in these populist musicians singing about the working class as they lead lives that are only more and more privileged as they become more successful, but condemning someone for it is another thing altogether.

BTW -- the "Boss" nickname came from his bandmates, and it refers to the controlling way he led the band. It's not some kind of declaration of greatness.”

Report Violation

61. crazyd19 said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 01:55PM

“Anonymous said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:32PM

Well said. This guy is just bitter and sad that he is balding.”

Report Violation

62. estreet4ever said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 03:45PM

“Bitter much? Would you like to share your musical tastes with the masses, or just let us know that you loathe Bruce? You are completely unaware of his upbringing. He has first hand experience growing up in a family where his father went from one shitty job to another, and they lived paycheck to paycheck.

You dismissing the album as crappy or whatever it was you said, without providing one iota of supporting opinion, has as much validity has me calling you and all that you write crap. I don't paint in such broad brushes.

You strike me more as a guy who likes to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater type; your need for attention, even negative attention is pretty pathetic.

Bruce does not claim to speak for everyone or to have the definitive answer about anyone or anything. He has a write to express his opinion, it's just that a lot more people are interested in hearing his than yours.

If you don't think he's written anything worthwhile since Born to Run, you clearly haven't been listening”

Report Violation

63. JimmyMac said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 06:53PM

“I don't think you can generalize like this about his entire career, how old were Dylan or Guthrie when they first recorded an album. For the first five or six albums Bruce was there for the working class, sadly too many people jumped on the bandwagon and once that happens there is no going back. Nebraska and Tom Joad were released during the height of his popularity and the core fans accepted and enjoyed his less traveled path. Most of his "myth" has been created by a small percent of rabid fans, but everyone else recognizes him as "The Boss", not their boss. Don't be a hater, buy an ipod and do your own thing, the party door swings both ways and you have the right not to attend.”

Report Violation

64. Deborah J. Draisin said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 10:46PM

“All I know is that the dude has been known to wander around Asbury Park alone and hop onstage at a local gig to play alongside the bands performing there, or strum a tune at someone's beachside wedding - if that's not down to earth, I don't know what is, and that is the legitimacy that kids are relating to.

The argument that a person needs to come from the exact same set of circumstances as another in order to properly empathize with them has always been weak, and anyway, isn't denying that empathy from someone who has lived a different life than you shooting yourself in the foot?

Either way, I'm pretty sure that Bruce grew up in an industrial town, so he certainly does have firsthand knowledge of that life.

If you don't like the music, fine (although I'm not entirely sure you're even saying that,) but your authenticity argument holds no weight.”

Report Violation

65. Pepper said... on Mar 29, 2012 at 11:22PM

“Why all the negativity? I don't understand the point of this piece, how you complain about him, and how he's nothing but a money making machine, then promote his show once in the article and once underneath?

Why don't you write something about an artist you absolutely adore? Do something if not productive, at least positive. There's enough hate in the real world.”

Report Violation

66. Durantheman Durantheman said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 09:12AM

“@ crazyd19

oh what a laugh. My musical tastes lie all over the map. The only requirement that I have is that the music to which I listen be good.

As to my name, it is a joke that I came up with, I'll explain it to you; it is an amalgamation of 3 bands names that are one word repeated (Duran Duran, The The, and Man Man). One day, while burning copies of "Greetings from Asbury Park...," i inhaled the acrid fumes and, feeling a bit off-kilter, thought that a supergroup made up of members of those 3 bands would be a fine idea. So, in the end, Bruce Springsteen is to blame for my joke not coming off as I would have liked it.

Report Violation

67. Anonymous said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 09:13AM

“You are an idiot.”

Report Violation

68. Gloria said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 09:38AM

“Wow. Can't believe this weekly took the time to post an entire article about how an author doesn't like a musician. There's actual news going on, people. And you obviously don't know much about Bruce if you think he never lived it. Before he made it, his family was very poor. Read his recent interview in Rolling Stone, where he talks about growing up poor and his family struggling to put food on the table. And to say he glorifies or glamorises the blue-collar lifestyle proves you aren't very familiar with his music. Anyone who's listened to Born To Run (the album, not the song), The Wild, the Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle, Nebraska, Darkness On The Edge of Town, even the non-hits from Born In The USA would know that his songs are often chronicling the difficulties and strife the working poor experience. "The River", "Downbound Train", "Racing In The Street"..these songs are tragic, not making the working-class life sound appealing at all.”

Report Violation

69. Anonymous said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 10:41AM

“dave grohl said it best.....if bruce is the boss i fucking quit!”

Report Violation

70. Anonymous said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 12:11PM

“@ Pepper (65)

Why does everything in this world have to be positive? Can't someone have a dissenting opinion on a popular thing and a forum to publish it in? Why do people just want their favorite artists to get blow jobs all the time? I'm fine with my own taste being criticized or skewered if the criticism makes sense, and it sure does in this case.

BTW, none of you would be commenting or giving a shit about the article if it was just about compliment fest. Realistically, what gets people's attention is the negative and controversial.”

Report Violation

71. Pat I. said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 12:36PM

“ya know at some point you have to grow up and stop dressing like Arthur Fonzarelli.

I love Springsteen's music. I hate his persona. When you have millions, fame and send your kids to private schools, singing about the working man is disengenous and insulting to those of us who really have to sweat for a living.

Sorry Bruce - you're nothing more than a James Dean version of Marie Antoinette.

Let them eat vegan, locally sourced, organic fair trade cake.”

Report Violation

72. Sheila said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 12:45PM

“First let me state that I'm a big fan of Bruce and have seem him countless times and enjoyed most of the albums that he's put out. Lots of people I know love Bruce, and lots of people I know can't stand him. While I disagree with the author, he's entitled to his opinion, and good for him for having a forum.

Here's my issue - if the author truly has been "fuming over the popularity of this faux working-class bozo for the better part of the last decade", he needs to get a life. Scratch your head over his popularity every now and then? Sure. Wonder what the hell people see in Bruce when you hear him on the radio? Absolutely. But "Fume"? For roughly TEN years?? No wonder you've had so many shitty warehouse jobs.

John Sharkey - get a life. Springsteen is a musician. Whether you believe he's a money grubbing marketing machine or the poet of our generation is not worthy of ten minutes of fuming, let alone a decade.

Report Violation

73. Anonymous said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 02:13PM

“Whether you've been working lousy jobs for a few years of your life or your entire life you know what it's like to be down on your luck. Springsteen didn't become a big star overnight. Go see his exhibit that is on display at the Philadelphia Constitution Center. It only takes a few minutes to realize that here is a guy that knows what it's like to work hard and work his way from the very bottom. You know what he earned the money he has himself by creating music and traveling the world. I'm glad he writes for the working people, he may not work a crappy job but he's still working and performing on stage at 62 years old. He puts the young artists of today to shame.”

Report Violation

74. Anonymous said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 02:23PM

“I've found three distinct groups of Bruce fans, those who liked him pre-"Born in the USA", those who pretend they liked him pre-"Born in the USA" and any and every fan who became aware of him because of and after "Born in the USA". I belong to none of the above.

As for his "saintly" status? Simple. No notoriety for drinking or drugging. Penning an uber-patriotic anthem during the Reagan years. An easily digestible, homogenous & generic offering...like a pureed banana.

Screw the naysayers and detractors of this article, this could be the best thing I've ever read in PW. Thanks John, I couldn't have said it better.”

Report Violation

75. Tony said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 07:19PM

“God...you are a bitter fellow. I doubt if too many will take you as serious as you take yourself. And yes, you do need to get laid soon”

Report Violation

76. Milo said... on Mar 31, 2012 at 12:57PM

“To the "anonymous" poster above who said that Bruce wrote an uber-patriotic anthem during the Reagan years - do your research before you open your mouth to comment on something you know nothing about. "Born in the USA" was about how the USA screwed over the Vietnam Vet. Uber-patriotic? You're uber-brilliant.

As for "failed" musician John Sharkey, III - I am impressed that you have the talent to write for a free alt-weekly. Congratulations.

I have been a Springsteen fan most of my life but, unlike some, I acknowledge when his material is less than stellar. Also, I have no plans on seeing him during this latest tour, because I don't feel like it. However, you really should put the bitterness of your failed career behind you and at least acknowledge the fact that a 62-year old man is selling out arenas all over the world and providing concerts that linger at the 3 hour mark nightly. What will YOU be doing at 62?”

Report Violation

77. Milo said... on Mar 31, 2012 at 01:02PM

“Also, check out the "class" of the writer at myspace.com/johnsharkeysvagina”

Report Violation

78. Eric B said... on Apr 1, 2012 at 11:48AM

The first-ever dissenting view of Bruce Springsteen. Took 35 years for someone to take a stand against the 'working man's' hero, who happens to live in a mansion and dodge paying taxes. (altho, I still take Bruce over than Jovi any day of week).”

Report Violation

79. Nate said... on Apr 1, 2012 at 08:02PM

“Just came here to say THANK YOU.

I've been hating on Bruce for years and I'm glad someone has finally got out there and said what needs to be said.

-A can't-even-grow-some-proper-stubble skinny jackass.”

Report Violation

80. Strofe said... on Apr 2, 2012 at 09:32AM

“This is the most misinformed piece of crap I've ever read regarding Springsteen, and I read them all. I won't try and convince you that you're wrong, because that would be futile. But obviously you don't know enough about him, his history, or his family to reach the conclusions that you have.”

Report Violation

81. Anonymous said... on Apr 2, 2012 at 09:42AM

“You sir are no Steven Wells. The decline of the PW is a sad thing to behold.”

Report Violation

82. KG said... on Apr 2, 2012 at 02:57PM

“What a cute little bit of niche marketing this piece is. Nobody cares if you like Bruce's work or not. NOBODY. But since you went out of your way to seek some reaction, here's another one: Sorry Philly Weakly is as far as your talents have taken you. Now, back to the basement to type more angry shit.”

Report Violation

83. theoryorexperience said... on Apr 2, 2012 at 03:02PM

“Springsteen grew up poor. Money was a constant worry in the house. Those were his formative years and he can't get it out of his system. Maybe now, leading such a different lifestyle, he writes about it more abstractly, but I think it's still a compulsion for him.”

Report Violation

84. bonobono said... on Apr 2, 2012 at 05:38PM

“Come on John, nothing is more pathetic than the mythology of phony American punks like you. I don't like Springsteen much, but your brand of anti-whatever-everyone-else-likes teenage angst bullpoopy is sooooo tired and predictable. Another bespectacled middle-class trifler angry that they have nothing real to be angry about. Silly boy....”

Report Violation

85. Donny Mutt said... on Apr 3, 2012 at 10:10AM

“Death to Videodrome! Long live the new flesh.... and SHARKEY!!!!”

Report Violation

86. Anonymous said... on Apr 3, 2012 at 11:38AM

“the only part of this that rang true was "My floppy, white ass" and the writer isn't even skilled enough to get the punctuation right.”

Report Violation

87. Anonymous said... on Apr 3, 2012 at 12:30PM

“Wow....I hope they did not pay you for the wasted space you took up.

You are exactly what is wrong in the world today. God forbid someone is doing something good ..... Did you write about how many food banks he has helped ? Yes....even right here in your Hometown....another song you probably dispise.......

Get a Life and a real job.........

Report Violation

88. Anonymous said... on Apr 3, 2012 at 08:03PM

“Mr. Sharkey...generalize much? 'Bosses are assholes'...are they, always? I've had my share of bad ones but some have been exceptional and good to work with and for. Journalists (of the rock critic variety and otherwise) run the spectrum between godawful and entertaining but never have I, or I suspect most people, given them a whit of credit for determining whom they like or should like musically. I mean you're just not that important. You write and others actually do - like musicians. Sounds like you're the failed variety of the latter. I'm sorry for your loss and your lot in life. Now about Springsteen - you can say he's over-hyped and many would agree with you. However, he's not talent-less - of that I can assure you. He's not your cup o' tay so fair enough. However, ad-hominem 'boss' bashing will just get you attacks in return on your credibility. Face it, not everyone likes or understands what you like but most of them aren't pissing on your parade btw. Enough Already?”

Report Violation

89. Mike said... on Apr 10, 2012 at 01:53PM

“Anonymous #87 summed it up perfectly, and this "journalist" strikes me as an angry hipster who wanted to see Bruce, missed out on tickets, and than couldn't afford to buy a ticket off of Stub Hub. Just another hater who literally has nothing better to write about. What's funny is, the same could be said for ANY musician/group that is out and popular, and you can blame Mtv for that. Cool article nerd.”

Report Violation

90. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2012 at 10:52AM

“I, too, used to think Bruce confused his own identity with those that struggle, and romanticized life on the edge. My friends and I used to enjoy ridiculing him and his songs in high school.

After actually listening to the lyrics, and am older and wiser, now I know better. What other major American artist has the balls to sing honestly about this aspect of American life, about how the American dream too often remains nothing more than a fantasy?

Name me some other major American acts who are willing to sing honestly about this, or sing about class, that forbidden word in the USA. Billy Bragg comes to mind, but he's from the UK.

I confess to not being a major Bruce fan, but I do recognize when someone's heart is in the right place. Bruce could have sung songs about rock and roll fantasies. He chose to dedicate his career to giving respect and attention to an often exploited and rarely represented part of society. God bless him.”

Report Violation

91. John V. said... on Apr 17, 2012 at 08:02AM

“Show me one other artist who has:
Chose to not record for the better part of 3 years rather than give up control of his music . . . . .
Has never had a cigarette company, beer company, or any other company sponsor his concerts. . . . .
Refused an offer of at least a million dollars to a company wanting to use one of his songs in commercials (Lee Iacocca and Chrysler) . . . . .
Followed up a monster record (Born in the USA) with a dark, mostly acoustic record rather than release a copy-cat record to leverage the popularly of the previous one . . . . .
Has a band so incredibly loyal to him - they leave whatever they are doing at the time to tour with him. Leading the Conan O'Brian band, featured in a TV show, etc., etc. That alone, says volumes . . . . .

I'm betting that John Sharkey III just does not like his politics!”

Report Violation

92. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:28PM

“I don't see Springsteen romanticizing the working life. On the contrary, his central themes deal with the rough conditions that are met with the working class, and instead of taking pride in his characters' labor, he often portrays them as being dragged down from their work and taking out their frustrations though escapism, namely by driving, drinking, and most cynically, murder. "The Promised Land," presents a typical "Springsteenian" take on working hard every day:

Your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes you feel so weak you just want to explode
Explode and tear this town apart
Take the knife and cut this pain from my heart

After Born to Run, Springsteen's characters are not championed as heroes. If anything, they become more pathetic, more desperate, and more hopeless. Take any song on Nebraska or Darkness on the Edge of Town for an example.”

Report Violation

93. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:39PM

“As for his "calculated image," I again disagree. Throughout Springsteen's 70s and 80s career, he follows each commercial success with a difficult, alienating album. In 1980, Bruce released the River, by far his highest charting album at the time. He could do anything, and what he does is release Nebraska: stark acoustic demos about serial killers, estranged fathers, and in general nihilism (note, too, that he tried the songs out with the E Street Band before deciding that the haunting, poorly recorded demos captured his point better).

Or take Tunnel of Love after Born in the USA: a dark song cycle about relationships gone bad. It is every bit as brutal a listen as Nebraska, and even more surprising an artistic choice, given the unprecedented success of Born.

There are many instances in his vast catalog where Springsteen puts his popularity on the line for the sake of his vision. If that's not a true artist, then I don't know what is.”

Report Violation

94. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:44PM

“I enjoy debate and welcome differing opinions, but I found the author's piece unsuccessful not because I disagree, but because its complete lack of research and lack of dispassionate writing. It's one thing to present a well-thought out case arguing against the mythology of Bruce Springsteen, it's another to spew vitriol for the sake of vitriol.”

Report Violation

95. Anonymous said... on Apr 24, 2012 at 03:15PM

“John, John, John.....I think you may be on the John...jerking off to one of your fellow writers stories...you know the one in National Geographic with the pics of jungle titties. You wish someone would give one tenth of a shit about you as they do about Springsteen. Why don't you get off your leathery ass and go to a show? See how much that guy gives!!! I would love to see you up on stage for three hours straight and still sound so great and give out as much energy as song 1! so it pisses you off because people love him? FU!! When you can write a story that move people, in a positive way..and make them consider being a better citizen then you can shoot you mouth off...till then shut the hell up!!”

Report Violation

96. Anonymous said... on May 4, 2012 at 04:05PM

“Personally, I think that placing Roman numerals after your name puts you well ahead in the asshole stakes.”

Report Violation

97. J.R Dobbs, Jr. said... on Jun 9, 2012 at 06:32PM

“Quite true...that's why I gave up on current music entirely and listen to Country Music produced prior to about 1980....Patsy Cline didn't need a Auto-Tune and Hank Williams Sr and Johnny Cash make the 'boss' look like the posing hack he really is. I've even started listening to the AM stations where they still play Sinatra and Dean Martin...when you hear all the real talent from the 30s-50's it's shocking what the Boomers have done to the music industry.”

Report Violation

98. Anonymous said... on Oct 3, 2012 at 03:41AM

“Wow at last somebody tells it like it is! I been saying this about Bruce Springsteen for yrs & oh how i was so bad for doing so.. Fuck all that shit..He is indeed a rock musician and nothing more! The same goes for many others such as CCR and how they were a working mans band.. yeah right ! More like a hard working band ! Being they were together since being kids in high school. The hardest job John Fogerty ever had was his short time spent as a shipping clerk at Fantasy Records. Honestly though very few musicians have actually lived what they sang & most of the ones who did were in the Country & Western side of things & many of the early stars did bust their asses working hard and they knew the value of a penny long before the dollars came their way!”

Report Violation

99. Go-Away-Bruce said... on Nov 24, 2012 at 12:22PM

“Springsteen is a hypocritical blowhard. His voice sounds awful and his songs are non-creative garbage.”

Report Violation

100. martin A. Egan said... on Nov 29, 2012 at 04:23PM

“I was always pretty ambivalent about Bruce Springsteen's Music. I liked the early stuff and odd songs here and there in the later stuff. What made me go back and listen properly was seeing him play a Solo on "Disorder in the House" for his friend Warren Zevon when Warren was so sick he couldn't hold a note properly or even sing in time. I'm in the Business myself and its a sorry place a lot of the time. The emotion Bruce felt was on his face and in his guitar when he played and it was obvious to everyone in the room how upset he was that he was losing a very close friend. That's what I liked about him and still do because I know how hard that stuff is to deal with. He showed up for his friend when by the rules of R&R he didn't really have to. All the rest is just Business. M”

Report Violation

101. Anonymous said... on Jan 2, 2013 at 06:34PM

“Dear Mr. Sharkey, I have just read your line from above "And to paint over the grim reality of that life with a romantic brush is insulting" and it leads me to doubt that you have ever actually READ or HEARD Springsteen's lyrics. When has Springsteen ever done this? You remind me of Ronald Reagan, who made a fool out of himself by making a speech extolling Springsteen's praise of the American way of life in "Born in the USA." Reagan didn't even know it was the opposite: a scathing indictment of it, from the first line on: "Born down in a dead man's town/the first kick I took was when I hit the ground..." Before you make a fool of yourself by mouthing off like this again, I suggest that you actually READ Springsteen's lyrics, and also about his father's life and jobs and manic depression and alcohol abuse. BTW: Springsteen's dad drove charter buses for a company in San Mateo, CA that was owned by a friend of mine. Not a lot of glamor, as Bruce will tell you.”

Report Violation

102. Anonymous said... on Feb 7, 2013 at 08:33PM

“John Sharkey -
Sorry there's so little joy in your life. Why not try to make it better instead of dragging others down to your level? People love Bruce for his songs, his concerts and for what he stands for. If you don't like it....don't listen.”

Report Violation

103. Caramba said... on Feb 24, 2013 at 08:13AM

“Fact is, Springsteen's songs have the musical content of a nursery rhyme. Exceptionally simplistic, always in 4 time, very limited chord structure and melodically weak. Simple and repetitive product, just what the music industry wants. Nothing to make people think differently and without variety of content (unlike the Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Bowie etc etc) Boy band content dressed up in a lumberjack shirt and jeans.
Since this product was introduced as the 'savior of rock and roll' (laughs) -cum- all American Elvis substitute in the Seventies, it has barely moved on musically. Then as now the product has been strictly contrived to retain the adherence of those who refuse to escape it's narrow confines.
It saddens me that good people can be so feeble minded as to claim some sort of cultural credibility for this unoriginal doggerel, when there are so many other artists around deserving of praise for their creativity and real integrity , not an integrity created ad men.”

Report Violation

104. aHeckle said... on Sep 4, 2013 at 04:33PM

“More Bruce bashing here: http://goo.gl/nPvnby”

Report Violation

105. Anonymous said... on Sep 11, 2013 at 07:11PM

“Great piece. I am a democrat, lifelong resident of Monmouth County, same as Bruce, have worked in a factory, am actually a Springsteen fan. I will go far as to say that his professional output from Greetings until Born in The USA were all perfect records (with the exception of the 2nd disc of the River- terrible) All of his output since has been dogshit. A few details/stories I have picked up over the years that have stuck with me which emphasize the point that Bruce is a phony. Fact: he has never worked a real job in his life. Never. Not in a factory, car wash, -nothing. As a kid he was a lazy draft dodger who refused to get a real job, just wanted to hang around, play his guitar and meet girls. Fact. I heard a story from an ex roadie that said Bruce insisted in his concert riders that his band was served fried chicken and hamburgers to maintain his 'everyman' image. bossman flipped a table over when a local caterer served cordon blue, screaming "What if the press hears about this?"”

Report Violation

106. Anonymous said... on Jan 13, 2014 at 02:20PM

“Hello, factory worker here. I've been a pipeline welder, a machinist, and I currently work in an aluminum mill (USW represented). I think you're upset that he's not one of us. I don't think that matters. We need songs that represent us, and there's not many out there that weren't written pre-1950s. Not everyone is a Joe Hill, a Pete Seeger, or a Utah Phillips. And that's okay. In a society where so much of who we are and what we do is demeaned by classist systems and indoctrinated in structured K-12 classrooms we should claim what we want as ours. So often we're marginalized, forgotten, and trodden upon by media. If a man who isn't a true working class guy sings about our struggles and our lives then I support it. Because it's something and maybe that douchebag hipster will be inspired to forsake the gentrification, come to understand us, and write more blue collar songs that anthem our lives.”

Report Violation

107. Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin said... on May 22, 2014 at 11:05AM

“Man, winding up Springsteen fans is easier than winding up Tool fans (that other group of pretentious tossers utterly convinced that their favourite group of musicians is a combination of the Beatles, MLK and Gandhi).

I happen to think Springsteen sucks. His kind of chest-thumping, meat-and-potatoes alleged-rock n' roll is the sort of pandering mush I've always despised. Good to see I'm not alone.

And to his extremely thin-skinned fans, settle down. He's just a singer. A singer with a goddamn stupid soul patch and worse fashion sense than your dad.”

Report Violation

108. Anonymous said... on Jun 14, 2014 at 07:28AM

“Ever since I was a kid I was a HUGE bruce springsteen fan. I met him in real life and he was such a jerk. I thought he'd be down to earth and blue collard like the media portrays him, but no he is self righteous a$$hole. I never bought another cd ever again. I felt duped and stupid for "idolizing" him all those years. I don't take music as serious now lol.

Report Violation

109. Anonymous said... on Sep 30, 2014 at 09:22PM

“The weapon his supporters have relied upon since Born To Run was their insistence that he represented the working class. So if you criticized his music you were automatically tagged an elitist reactionary. Once that got set in stone, he could slap together whatever crap he wanted and the people who got caught up in the myth would support it. Thanks for posting this, it's a good piece, Whoever would have thought (given the media's monochromatic coverage of boss man) that so many people were fed up with the dude.”

Report Violation

110. Gobsmacked said... on Oct 29, 2014 at 09:13AM

“Quote "the Springsteen tours remains the DEFINITIVE concert experience!"

Holy flipping Moly, really?? Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Metallica, Pink Floyd...

Music divides people and music brings them together. Does Bruce have real tallent or not? To some the answer is a resounding "YES". Why? Because how he sounds and what he sings about fulfills their need - it is of their time and their current experiences.

You may as well ask, WHAT is the greatest Cheese? (Wensleydale, of course). A great working-mans cheese. Speaks to and of the people.

I personally can't abide BS and his dirgy formulaic "wall of sound" approach. "Born in the USA", to me, is Godawful, bland and grates my ears... Sing title of song to riff created by 3 year old. Repeat 200 times. Fade to oblivion...

To others, I'm wrong.
I'm cool with that.

Think about this, be incredibly grateful that we all live in a part of the world that allows us to have opinions - our OWN opinions - and lets us share them freely....

Report Violation

111. Anonymous said... on Jul 5, 2015 at 04:06PM

“I grew up loving Bruce and his Music. I was such a huge fun. I met him in real life and he was such a self pretentious jerk. I never bought or listened to another song again. I feel stupid for wasting years of my life listening to his music and dreaming about a better life. He's a multi-millionaire he doesn't give a crap about the real struggles people go through especially veterans. He lost a true fan. I honestly lost my love for music in general when I realized what a douche bag he really was. So don't take music so serious. Live your life to the fullest....don't live in the lyrics LoL...Lesson Learned!”

Report Violation

112. David R said... on Jul 8, 2015 at 04:03PM

“I too grew up listening to Bruce's music, and still believe the darkness tour concert in Austin, Texas in 1978 was one of the highlights of my life. But ... I agree his music these days is dreadful. He obviously quit composing songs on the piano, choosing throw-away music on his electric guitar instead. He's also long ago abandoned his innocent east coast voice in favor of a faux woody Guthrie accent that sounds much closer to Yosemite Sam. All good things must end, but this good thing ended far too early.”

Report Violation

113. Anonymous said... on Jul 22, 2015 at 07:33AM

“Faux, bozo, really, this from a loser who writes for a piece of shit local publication! Really, who has written anything relevant in the past 30 years? Maybe you want to keep seeing Dave Grohl's face when the discussion of music comes up, that's your choice. And, why does he have to have worked to write about the shitty jobs out there now and in the past? This would mean that Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Hall and Oates are all phony's for not living everything they write about. Maybe you should just get over yourself and find a real job!”

Report Violation

114. Anonymous said... on Oct 4, 2015 at 08:05AM

“''All you critics, sit alone, you're no better than me, for what you've shown..'' - Neil Young...I'm sure nobody would find this article more amusing than Bruce himself...his music would be great if he sang about rainbows and lollipops...I'd like to see Mr. Sharkey cover one of Springsteen's songs, I love a good laugh myself.”

Report Violation

115. Anonymous said... on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:04AM

“Great article, John. Always found it interesting that he projects the belief that he's for the common man, but doesn't seem to really mind being referred to as 'The Boss'. There's a lot of 'politician' in him.”


(HTML and URLs prohibited)