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Little Silvio

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With The Sopranos in mind, I was thinking about the last Springsteen/E Street Band tour in ’99-’00, and thinking to myself, “there is no way that guy in the scarves and bandanas playing a mean guitar and jumping around onstage with Bruce and the boys is “Silvio,” the scowling, jowly mobster. But he is – must be a pretty damn good actor. I interviewed Steven Van Zandt in 1998:

Steven Van Zandt is an important artist (Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul), songwriter and political activist (the anti-apartheid project “Sun City”), who is also guitarist and de facto leader of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, as well as co-producer of Springsteen’s great albums The River and Born In the U.S.A., which between them have sold almost 20 million copies. Van Zandt has also written songs for and/or produced Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Ronnie Spector, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Lords of the New Church, Lone Justice, Darlene Love, and Meatloaf.

Steven Van Zandt was born November 22, 1950 in Boston, but grew up in South
Jersey. “The first record I remember buying was Little Anthony and the Imperials’ ‘Tears On My Pillow.’ My emotional involvement increased a bit when I was 11 or 12 with ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Isley Brothers, ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’ by Curtis Lee, and ‘Sherry’ by the Four Seasons. I didn’t have too many records, but I was passionate about the ones I had. I had to re-buy ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Sherry’ because I wore them out,” Van Zandt writes in his manifesto, found on his website.

“I had my first epiphany some time during the 77th playing of ‘Pretty Little Angel
Eyes.’ It was an overwhelming, deeply spiritual, exciting yet calming warm flood
of emotion that I didn’t understand but I knew connected me in some permanent
way to music. It was either an epiphany or puberty kicking in – I’ll never know –
but it was intense.

“I had my second epiphany June 13, 1964. The Rolling Stones played the Hollywood Palace show on TV and that was it for me. They may have been from another planet like the Beatles but somehow they were accessible, and relatable. They were ugly, aloof, sloppy, crazy, casual, confident, and totally out of place. They were perfect. It even made sense to me that Dean Martin, who I was and am a big fan of, made fun of them and put them down. I had no problem then and have no trouble now reconciling these two contradictory species that coexist in me.”

The very next night Van Zandt went to his first rock show at a Sea Bright beach club and saw the Mods, one of the big local bands. “In my mind the Mods were the living embodiment of the Stones fantasy I had just seen on TV. The timely juxtaposition was awesome. Here were local guys actually doing it. My attraction to bands was essentially two things. First, the camaraderie, the family, the gang, the team, the group of friends hanging out together appealed to me. Secondly, it allowed those with a limited amount of talent but a lot of determination, such as myself, to participate.

“In 1965 Bob Dylan took the folk and blues traditions, and the integral consciousness of existing reality, and went electric. His profound impact and influence on the Beatles – the archetypal pop band, the Rolling Stones – the archetypal rock band, and with the road paved by the Byrds – the archetypal sound of the new consciousness, changed everything forever. The release of Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ was symbolically, if not literally, the birth of the art form of rock.

“Rock music is a lifestyle. It is art. It is cynicism. It is singers who are great singers who do not have great voices. It is totally dependent on live performance. It has lyrics that are personally expressive and deeply emotional. It demands attention. It is usually written or cowritten by the singer. It is judged by its influence, credibility and respect. It is bands. The classic rock artist’s image is dour, serious, frustrated, confused, controversial, political, spiritual, isolated, and a threat to society’s status quo.”

Van Zandt set about to make real his vision of rock. He was friends with Bruce Springsteen and played in Springsteen’s Steel Mill in ’69-’70, and in the Bruce Springsteen Band in ’71. Van Zandt went his own way when Springsteen was signed to Columbia in ’72 and joined with another local singer, Southside Johnny Lyons, to form a ’60s-style, horn-driven rock and soul band: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

The band stumbled upon a club in Asbury Park, The Stone Pony, that was about to close, and persuaded the owner to let them do their thing: sweaty covers of ’50s and ’60s soul, blues and R&B classics, interspersed with atavistic originals provided by Van Zandt and Springsteen. “The Stone Pony didn’t close; in fact, it expanded. Between Bruce’s thing and our thing, it became a scene all of a sudden. Then Bruce asked me to join his band for a seven-week tour in ’75 – I ended up staying seven years.”

Southside and the Jukes finally got a record contract in ’76; although Van Zandt was no longer in the band, he had written many of the band’s songs and arranged most of the others, so he was the logical choice to produce the band’s first album, I Don’t Want To Go Home.

“Production is made up of four things: composition, arrangement, performance, sound,” he says. “I had been a performer for quite a while. I was always an arranger. I had been writing a little bit, but the sound was something I had to learn about. It took a while. Having grown up in the ’60s, I didn’t think ’70s music sounded very good: everything was close-miced and stale and dead, without the live excitement of the ’60s records. I wanted to bring things back to what I grew up with. I have basically tried to do that ever since: natural, organic, as live as possible.”

Van Zandt succeeded wildly – I Don’t Want To Go Home is one of the great albums of the ’70s. Lyons’ voice is an amazing, soulful instrument that inhabits great song after great song: Van Zandt wrote the tuneful, swinging, horns-and-strings title track, and the hilarious, jaunty, funky duet between Lyons and the great Lee Dorsey, “How Come You Treat Me So Bad.”

Springsteen contributed the simmering, understated “The Fever,” generating Lyons’ most passionate, nuanced performance, and “You Mean So Much To Me” – another great duet – this one with ex-Ronnette Ronnie Spector. The inspired covers include Solomon Burke’s “Got To Get You Off My Mind,” and an amazing version of Sam and Dave’s “Broke Down Piece Of Man,” featuring Lyons trading lines with an inspired Van Zandt.

The first time around that he played with the E Street Band, Van Zandt also wrote for, and produced the very fine second and third Southside albums: This Time It’s For Real and Hearts Of Stone. Critiques Van Zandt: “They were all very different, and all very differently flawed. I would learn one thing and screw up another. The first one was based on the live show, and my rhythm guitar was a big part of that sound. I basically eliminated it from the record because I wasn’t really in the band anymore, but I took out one of the main elements of the sound and I’ve regretted that ever since.”

Throughout the ’70s Van Zandt, one of Springsteen’s oldest friends, became a more and more integral part of the E Street Band’s live show and Springsteen’s recordings. He arranged the horns for “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” on Born To Run in ’75. He played guitar, and was given “production assistance” credit for ’78’s Darkness On the Edge Of Town, but Van Zandt came to the fore as player and coproducer (with Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin) on ’80’s The River.

A phenomenal two-record set that confirmed Springsteen’s greatness as an artist and proved the E Street Band (Springsteen – vocals and guitar, Van Zandt – harmony vocals, guitar, Clarence Clemons – sax, Danny Federici – organ, Garry Tallent – bass, Max Weinberg – drums, Roy Bittan – piano) to be one of the finest rock ‘n’ roll units of all time, The River has the scope and particularity of a great novel and just plain rocks.

Side Two of the original vinyl is not only one of the great rock album sides, it in fact recapitulates important developments in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. On “Hungry Heart” Van Zandt finds the holy grail of the perfect drum sound: Mighty Max Weinberg’s (who is also bandleader for the Conan O’Brien Show) snare thwaps like a slap in the face as Springsteen gleefully sings in his upper register one of his strangest songs: a song that exults in the sheer exuberance of following one’s heart, regardless of consequences. Amoral exuberance is what the original rock ‘n’ roll explosion was all about.

“Out In the Street” is in the classic tradition of work-hard-for-the-man, party-harder-for-yourself of songs from “Rip It Up” to “Working For the Weekend.”

“Crush On You’ continues the amoral exuberance with humor and style: while his voice nearly blows out his mic, Springsteen’s roaming eye and gyrating pelvis celebrate the instant, almost impersonal, rush of a crush.

Springsteen’s exuberant spirit is frustrated on “You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch),” as delights from women to lamps are dangled in front of him – all just out of reach – invoking such anthems to frustration as “Summertime Blues” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The ambivalence of longing is beautifully, touchingly addressed on the rolling ballad “I Wanna Marry You.”

In the course of the side, Springsteen has gone from generalized lust and jean-splitting energy to a specific longing for one woman – a young, single, working mother of two. Two amazing couplets stand out as the singer confesses his firmly grounded, sober love:

“To say I’ll make your dreams come true would be wrong,
But maybe darlin’ I could help them along,” and,

“There’s something happy and there’s something sad,
‘Bout wanting somebody oh so bad.”

Finally, the heedless exuberance of the original rock ‘n’ roll revolution is turned on its head as Consequences – as awesome and inexorable as death – raise their ugly heads on the lovely, dreadful “The River.”

A young man from the symbolic and literal darkness of a valley escapes to frolic in verdant fields and to swim in a cleansing, soothing river with his girlfriend, who becomes pregnant as a result. The price paid for their brief glimpses of freedom is the bondage of marriage and a construction job for the singer on his 19th birthday. There are few things sadder than youth’s vision of limitless possibilities narrowed to grim responsibility –

“Now I just act like I don’t remember, Mary acts like she don’t care” –

a responsibility that laughs at the very exuberance that rock ‘n’ roll celebrates – “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?” Springsteen doesn’t have the answer, but he has found a disturbing and profound question.

Van Zandt cowrote and coproduced (with Springsteen) Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ remarkable comeback albums Dedication (including the hit single “This Little Girl”) in ’81, and On the Line (with “Out Of Work”) in ’82.

He formed Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul and released the splendid Men Without Women in ’82, Voice Of America in ’84, Freedom No Compromise in ’87 and Revolution in ’89 (he regrets producing himself – “I have no patience and have basically put out demos” – but as always, he’s too hard on himself). As a result of his travels and “political awakening,” Van Zandt assembled, wrote and produced (with Arthur Baker) the exceptionally successful anti-apartheid anthem “Sun City” in ’85.

After 30 years in music, this man of conscience and action is now trying something new: beginning January of ’99 he is acting the role of Silvio Dante in HBO’s acclaimed dramatic series, The Sopranos, about a present-day New Jersey Mafia family.

And as a result he has become more famous than ever and a serious actor. The HBO Sopranos site brings us up to date:

    In July 2000 he concluded a 15-month world tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band which broke all box office records internationally. His fifth solo album, the critically acclaimed Born Again Savage, was released in 1999 on his own label, Renegade Nation.

    Last year Van Zandt contributed the song “Affection” to the second “Sopranos” soundtrack CD, Peppers & Eggs, from his unreleased album, “Nobody Loves and Leaves Alive,” performed by his 90’s garage band, The Lost Boys.

    In spring 2001, Van Zandt joined forces with Jon Weiss of Cavestomp! to present a series of live garage rock concerts at a downtown New York Club, the Village Underground. By the end of the year the series had showcased some 50 new bands along with such legends as Barry & The Remains, The Troggs, The Pretty Things, and Dave Davies of the Kinks. In addition, he was the catalyst for establishing the first garage rock section ever to be a part of a major music retail change – all 40 stores of The Wiz in the New York tri-state area. His passion and support of the genre also initiated a national search for new, unsigned talent sponsored by The Wiz, featuring 20 unsigned bands.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • Eric,

    Great profile–growing up in New Jersey, Springsteen and the E-Streeters were inescapable.

    I took copies of The Wild, The Innocent, and The E-Street Shuffle and Born to Run with me to play on the plane last week on my most recent trip to New York. There’s something really timeless about Bruce’s best music from the 1970s. I don’t know if it’s material I want to hear all the time, but it’s certainly nice to come back to. And as a songwriter, Bruce was pretty astonishing in the 1970s.

    One thing that Miami Steve apparently did, that I actually didn’t like, was to take Springsteen’s penchent for long, complex song structures, and shorten the material down to more conventional verse/chorus rock songs. Bruce in his heyday probably wasn’t the most harmonically sophisticated rocker, but he certainly could do some amazing stuff with structure.


  • They played part of an interview with him on FreshAir today. The full interview is online.

  • Eric Olsen

    Ed, Thanks. I agree that the first 3 records are much more unconventional and that is my very favorite Bruce. If icould only pick on to ever hear again, it would be Wild, Innocent, E Street Shuffle. His sound hardened also, became more brittle, less supple, but the band changed during that period too, with Sancious leaving and Max coming in on drums to pound everything into oblivion. His sound went from a sort of alt-soul to rock for good or ill.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I don’t get this guy vanZandt. We know he’s bald, so why keep wearing that stupid looking bandanna that makes him look like some gypsy fortune teller? At least on the Sopranos he’s wearing that Johnny Pompadour piece, which doesn’t look too bad because that’s what we would expect from an wiseguy from Joisey.

  • I say when you’re associated with both one of the most successful musical artists and television series of all time, you can put whatever the hell you want on your head.

    In any event, I find Joey Pants’ cap look to be more distracting for some reason.

    Nice interview, EO!

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “I say when you’re associated with both one of the most successful musical artists and television series of all time, you can put whatever the hell you want on your head.”

    why should all of that supplant good common sense and even fashion sense, for that matter?? It’s only stupid fans and sycophants that grant these people the license to make these horrible faux pas. Obviously, vanZandt is surrounded by too many yes-men. It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes scenario. I’ve seen him in formal dress clothes wearing that stupid rag and he looks like some low rent mook from Brooklyn who wears sneakers with a tux. All that money and he still can’t look right. Someone has to say this, certainly his fans won’t!

  • With all respect, who appointed you Fashion Czar? Bro is rich and famous — if he wants to wear a “rag” or a poodle on his head, what the hell do I care?

  • Eric Olsen

    all I can say is he is a damn good actor because he couldn’t look or behave much more differently than when he is Little Steven and when he is Silvio

  • Eric Olsen

    and thanks EB

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “all I can say is he is a damn good actor because he couldn’t look or behave much more differently than when he is Little Steven and when he is Silvio”

    EO, you need to take an acting course or two, because the criteria you cite is not what defines a “damn good actor.” A “damn good actor” doesn’t project one persona.

  • How about just:

    “He’s a damn good actor”

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Eric Berlin:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but are these not fora to share opinions, criticisms, praises, and the like? A comment like “who appointed you fashion czar” is ridiculous in the context of what a blog represents.

    I gather you are overly impressed by those who are “rich and famous.” You probably think people like vanZandt and his dopey friend Bruce are near god-like and are above reproach. That’s your flaw. You might also you think when someone is “rich and famous,” they are automatically immune to criticism, is that right?

  • Yes, I was sharing my opinion about your opinion.

    I’m not overly impressed by the rich and famous — I do think we scrutinize them overly much, such as what they wear, etc.

  • And thank you for pointing out my flaw.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Mr Olsen:

    I suppose in all your expert blogging it possibly never occured to you that your judgement of vanZandt’s acting misses the whole point of his character’s function on the Sopranos. Silvio is supposed to sound like a caricature of every mob hood from every Hollywood film from Little Caesar to Goodfellas. There is a reason why his Silvio Dante serves as nothing more than someone to feed lines during expository scenes. Note that no subplots ever revolve around Sil or his own life. Once during season 1 with the pervert soccer coach but that was very peripheral. There reason? The guy doesn’t have the acting chops to pull it off like Michael Imperioli or James Gandolfini. David Chase is very smart that way. I’m sure vanZandt realizes his function as well. All thisis not the sign of a “damn good actor.” Saying so is an insult to those on the show that are.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Eric Berlin:

    I look at celebs this way… if they don’t want to be criticized for what they say or do or wear, then they shouldn’t appear in public and invite our scrutiny.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I went to university with people from New Jersey and many of them bestowed Bruce Springstein with this near god-like status. I never understood this level of adulation, but then, I don’t understand adulation for celebrities, especially those that dance, sing, or play make-believe on screen. What I never got about Bruce Springstein is how he talked. What was the deal with that faux Okie accent? People from New Jersey don’t talk that way. I’ve been through Monmouth county many times where Freehold lies. No one from Monmouth county or Freehold I’d ever met talked with a faux Okie accent. From that point, I considered Bruce Springstein a phony and fraud. Then when I got a stomach load of his recent ridiculous political observations, it futher cemented my animosity toward him personally. A guy living in a mansion in Rumson has as about as much connection to the working man as any typical politician. To me it’s all a pose to appear socially relevant. Some of his music is very good, some of it banal, but how many songs can you write around the same themes? Cars are metaphors for girls … the working man gets screwed by authority … I get it already! And how is it that a guy who is a so-called worker’s advocate feels right in allowing himself to be called The Boss? I know, it’s an old band monicker, but it’s rather contradictory and curiously misplaced.

  • I’m actually not a huge Springsteen fan either, Mark.

    From your comments, it seems as though you have a personal dislike against Bruch and Van Zandt.

    Can’t they both just be good at what they do? Sil is a very effective character on one of the great shows ever to grace television. The Boss is loved by millions worldwide.

    This appears to bother you on some fundamental level, no?

  • Eric Olsen

    apparently I was unclear: I said his two personas are almost diametrically opposed, and since both ARE personas and there is also a Steven Van Zandt in there who is a third character, I assess his acting abilities rather highly, especially for a non-career actor.

    I will now edit myself

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    eric berlin:

    I have far less of a problem with vanZ than I do with Bruce Springstein. You may be curious as to why I spell his name that way. The truth is, that’s the real spelling of his name. He doesn’t want to be associated with his Jewish roots. Just because someone is loved by millions doesn’t move me to follow the crowd.

    VanZ’s sartorial choices are goofy. If he weren’t a celeb, a nobody, and you’d see him in his tux with that stupid bandanna, you’d think the same thing. Be honest.

    I agree that the Sopranos is a very fine show.

  • godoggo

    You can write an infinite number and variety of great songs on any topic if you have the skills.


    Always feels nice to find out a rock star is one of my people. Even Springsteen. No, really, I like his early stuff OK.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Springstein now thinks he’s the Second Coming of John Steinbeck, or is it Steenbeck? No wait, a Steenbeck is a film editing machine. Oh well …!

  • Eric Olsen

    “Springsteen” is from a Catholic background, has always been “Springsteen”

    and I agree the accent is odd – he attributes it to a neighbor from the deep South he spent a lot of time with

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Eric: your claim is incorrect:

    “has always been “Springsteen””

    I have seen several advert posters for his bands back in the 60s and his name is clearly spelled “Springstein”

    “”Springsteen” is from a Catholic background,”

    Hmm, did it ever occur to you that perhaps his background could be mixed, or that he doesn’t want his Jewish roots to be known for some reason?

    Since you’re the Bruce aficianado, how about obtaining a xerox of his birth certificate?

    “he attributes it to a neighbor from the deep South he spent a lot of time with”

    And you really believe that story? A person doesn’t adapt a lifelong non-indigenous accent via contact with one single person they were neighbors with as a kid. C’mon, Eric, your blind fan appreciation is really showing. It’s like when “Bob Dylan” used to tell people he was an orphan from the South and rode the rails with hobos when he was a teenager. And as we know, Robert Zimmerman grew up in a typical middle class household in Hibbing, MN.

    Let’s be honest, Bruce has always fancied himself as some romantic reincarnation of some itinerant literary figure miles apart from his humble origins in Freehold NJ. From what I’ve heard about him from people that knew him for the old days, he was a guy not too comfortable with who he truly was. So the spelling change and the fake voice would be consistent behavior from a person in denial of their true roots. Now he thinks he’s Tom Joad. It’s all very strange.

  • Eric Olsen

    the accent appears in some songs – he doesn’t have it when he speaks, which I have heard him do at length on several occasions

    I would be happy to view any vidence at all that he was ever “Springstein.”

    “the first child of Adele and Douglas Springsteen … Their surname is Dutch (not Jewish, as is commonly supposed), but Douglas Springsteen’s ancestry is mostly Irish: his wife is Italian – he rmaiden name was Zirilli.”

  • godoggo

    My aunt Charlotte was born near Pittsburgh and moved to LA as a teen. She speaks with a very heavy Southern accent. I had figured it was because she’d married a Creole, but my Dad claims she’d already spoken that way.

    I know Zimmerman spoke of running away and being found very far from home numerous times in his recent bio. Did he say he rode the rails?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    eric, some paid writer’s possibly revisionist history of bruce’s background proves nothing. Do you without question believe everything you read about celebrities’ lives? For example, practically every celeb in Hollywood lies about their real age.

    “Their surname is Dutch (not Jewish, as is commonly supposed),”

    Holland has a sizeable Jewish population so it wouldn’t be out of the question. It sounds like there is a conscious effort from Bruce’s camp to avoid any association with a possible Jewish heritage. The last line in parens almost makes it sound like it’s important to make the distinction.

    When people have to go out of their way to deny such an association, it should raise a red flag.

    I’ve told you what I’ve seen. I can’t possibly go back to 1979 and retrieve the friend’s book or magazine where these posters were reprinted. I’d sooner trust my own experience than what some PR flak writes about his/her client.

  • Eric Olsen

    if it were true it would be big news and all over the place – as I said, I would be happy to change my mind when presented with any evidence that Bruce, or his parents for that matter, changed the spelling of their name

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    godoggo post 26–

    a western PA accent can sound VERY southern. I used to know people that went to Dickinson College near Chambersburg, and you’d swear the locals sounded like they were from the hills of Tennessee. As soon as you get up into the Appalachian hills of PA, MD, and of course, WV, it gets “real hillbilly.”

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “if it were true it would be big news and all over the place”

    why? that implies that some stigma is attached to possibly being Jewish after years of not being identified as such.

  • Eric Olsen

    It would be an issue precisely because the family name has always been reported as Springsteen and his background Catholic – it isn’tinherently an issue at all, but it would be one because of what he and his biographers have always said about his background.

    There have been books and books and books written about Springsteen, and more profiles than can be counted, and I have NEVER seen anything other than what I said

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Book after book was written on the Rolling Stones for many years before it was ever suggested that Jagger had homosexual affairs and Brian Jones was murdered.

    The fact is, you can’t trust celeb bios.

  • who let the trolls out?!!!! who…who…WHO…WHO!!!!!

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Did he say he rode the rails?”

    Dylan was one of the biggest bullshitters about his life, especially during his early career. He too adopted a fake Okie accent to fool people into thinking he wasn’t an ordinary middle class Jewish kid from Minnesota. The Anthony Scaduto bio on Dylan has a quote in there circa 1962/63 about his teenage year activities and running with hobos on trains. Really funny stuff, but in a way, rather sad that he felt ashamed about his upbringing. Why couldn’t he have just said, “my father owned a hardware store and my life was rather uneventful until I discovered rock and roll” ?

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Wrong about the spelling change.

    Here’s a medical document of Bruce’s birth — not really a birth certificate. There are plenty of posters around from the 60s (try google image) that have it spelled steen, none that have it spelled stein

    Could you explain why you’d be so vehement about this point? Could you cite an instance of any “conscious effort from Bruce’s camp to avoid any association with a possible Jewish heritage?”

    Also, Bruce doesn’t live in Rumson.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks CC, I was positive about this myself

  • Excellent work, CC

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Wrong about the spelling change.”

    Did you read what I wrote? I said I once saw a reprint of a old club flyer from a Jersey club that had it spelled BRUCE SPRINGSTEIN.I know what I read. I even remember talking about it with friends afterward. I’m not some drug casualty with a spent memory. I never forget anything.

    I know the whole Long Branch/Sea Bright/Sandy Hook area like the back of my hand and over the bridge from Sea Bright is Rumson, don’t tell me differently. This where he lived at least in the mid to late 80s. It was common knowledge in the area that he lived there. Do you think you’re the only person that knows that area? I was surfing out at Ft. Hancock by the old concrete pillboxes back in the 60s when you had to be family of military personnel to go out there, before it became a state park.

    Some of you are acting like a bunch of adolescent fanboys with your carefully crafted image of your beloved pop icon and you can’t bear to contemplate even for a second that your image may be compromised on some level.

    Since I’m not in love with Brrruuuuuuce as you are, I can see him for what he may likely truly be. I’ve always thought he was a phony, ever since I heard him speak in that ridiculous Okie drawl. Here’s a news flash, he ALWAYS talks that way. I just watched that 1987 Chuck Berry documentary with Keith Richards recently and he’s talking that way in there, too. I’ve heard enough of his live albums and his in-between song patter is in the same voice. He sounds as much like a guy from north Jersey as jackie chan. The story that I’ve been told by one of you fanboys about his imitating neighbor as a kid is just laughable.

    And cut me a break on that birth certificate! Even blown up in photoshop you can’t read that document from the doctor’s chicken scratch! You can’t tell if that’s two e’s or an ei for that matter. It’s impossible to tell.

  • You’re like that last hold out juror in 12 Angry Men

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I never saw the advantage of “going along to get along”

  • godoggo

    This is a little bit embarrassing, but what the hell. When I was 17, a lot people thought I was from New York, because I’d spent so much time singing along to my Richard Hell and Lou Reed records, I’d started talking that way. It actually took a concious effort to get rid of the fake accent.

    Anyways, I was just thinking that the reason a lot of singers affect various accents is because your pronunciation affects your vocal timbre. This becomes an issue when singers are influenced by artist from other cultures. And it can affect the way you talk if you spend a lot of time singing. I’ve noticed that a lot of opera singers talk kind of funny, over-emphasizing their vowels.

    Of course, it’s also not uncommon to affect an accent in order to project an image. Jagger’s ersatz Cockney comes to mind.

    Just some thoughts. I’m not a Springsteen fan anyway, as I said.

    Know what I mean?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    yes, but at least jagger was affecting an accent from just the other side of town not from the other side of the country. Jagger was also trying to adopt a lower class appeal to abet his rogue image. Cockney is about as low class as you can get in England besides being a Scot. Dylan was doing the same thing in America with his fake Okie drawl. Maybe Bruce just wanted to be like Dylan. Who knows? What’s ironic is that Jakob Dylan wants to sound like Bruce.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    I’m not really much of a fan, actually, but being the age I am (late 30s) and from the place I am (Monmouth Cty, NJ), I’m pretty familiar with Bruce.
    Lots of folks know the town Bruce lives in now. It’s in the more farmy part, further from the shore. He did live in Rumson twenty years ago; you’re right about that.

    But, sorry, his name was just never spelled that way. This seems to upset you, but it’s true. This “stein” stuff has gone around and around as a kind of urban legend.

  • It’s actually surprising, the strange accents that can pop out of the rural pockets of the Northeast.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    CC: like I said, I know what I read. Although not upsetting, it’s just funny that some fans here are reacting to the possbility that he might have a Jewish heritage as if he were gay or something. That’s why I pursued it. I want to try and expose potentially latent prejudices in people and find out what they are truly made of. It’s what I do.

  • Eric Olsen

    let’s see if I understand this: Mark’s recollection of a reprint of “an old club flyer” — which could have simply been a misspelling on the club’s part — is all it takes to overwhelm ALL other evidence to the contrary, of which there is literally thousands and thousands of pages from any number of sources, NONE of which contrdict each other.

    Yep, that’s a brain I want on my side in a fight.

  • What’s even more mind-boggling is that he construes factual evidence to the contrary as proof of anti-Semitism.

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, that’s an interesting angle as well:

    “His name has always been Springsteen, and his family background is Catholic.”


  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Eric: you’re just showing an unwillingness to acknowledge that the Springstein history mill may have been misleading is legions of adoring fans all these years, and you, the gullible supplicant, rails agains the heretical idea that I suggest.

    Like I said, how many years of bios on the Rolling Stones were written since the 60s that didn’t even hint at Jagger’s bisexuality or the fact that Brian Jones was most likely murdered by an acquaintance under his employ?

    How many years was it reported to FANS that Rock Hudson was heterosexual?

    Are you getting the point yet, Eric?

    Do you really think that the Great Mr. Springstein would permit his very important name to be misspelled on a club’s poster and not have it corrected? The idea that he wouldn’t is perposterous. He’s been most likely fooling all of you suckers for years and you don’t have the intelligence to see through his possible deception.

    This is why I am not a fan of any entertainment celebrity. This is why I enjoy ridiculing people that are. To submit to a process of adoring complete strangers is like a form of voluntary slavery. You submit to a groupthink and act collectively to defend the sanctity of your beloved pop icon to the bitter end. The more you protest, the more I press on, all the while enjoying the sight of your preconceptions being threatened.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “It’s actually surprising, the strange accents that can pop out of the rural pockets of the Northeast.”

    Proof, Eric? Examples? Please, clarify for us.

  • Eric Olsen

    last coments on this:

    you don’t know much about th grassroots club biz if you think they never spell bands/artist’s names incorrectly!! And you wer talking about the ’60s right? Bruce was just another hacker.

    The central point is no one would give a rat’s foreskin if Springsteen was Jewish – he would have had no reason to hide it, to make up some elaborate story; and if he had, it would have been found out. THAT is the point.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Denial is not just a river in Africa, Eric.

  • nugget

    HAHAH! capital.

  • godoggo

    I got three Kinks in my back the last time I went to the Oasis.

  • Eric Olsen

    Tipping isn’t just a provincial capital in China

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    At the fine school that I graduated from, we pronounced it (phonetically) TYE-PING, with a long “i” sound in the first syllable and equal emphasis on both syllables, not with the short “i” sound of “tipping” and the emphasis on the first syllable.

    The more accurate way to construct that little witticism would have been “Typing is a provincial capital in China”

  • godoggo

    I don’t know so much about the mainland, since I learned my Chinese (initially) in Taiwan (and for some reason I actually enjoy studying, and I live in a Chinese area, and sometimes teach beginning English, so it’s very fluent 15 years down the line), so I googled Chinese provincial capitals and didn’t find anything like “tipping,” although there was apparently an emporer named “Tiping” (don’t know the characters, so don’t know the tones, and I haven’t even gotten around to installing Chinese fonts on my latest sickly old computer), but anyway that would be pronounced maybe tea-ping or tipping, depending on the accent (there are 11 major Chinese languages and thousands of dialects, so there’s a huge diversity in pronunciation).

    And another joke dies.

  • godoggo

    Ooh, ooh!. I just found a book with all the provinces and captials with characters. Nothing like tipping. Ha, I say! Ha!

    OK, I really have things I should be doing.

  • Ah, so it’s tipping Chinese cows we’re about now, it it? Watch out, Eric – you’ll have PETA in here next.

    That’s “Pretentious Egos Typing Absurdities” in Mark’s case…

  • Proof, Eric? Examples? Please, clarify for us.

    I’d need to pull some dude and get an audio clip: East Hampton, New York; Nashua, New Hampshire; Utica, New York; Orono, Maine…

    And on and on.

  • mark the sane and sensible

    “That’s “Pretentious Egos Typing Absurdities” in Mark’s case…”

    Wow, you editors have a rather smug view of YOUR own self-importance, don’t you?

  • Eric Olsen

    Mark, you have failed to provide ANY evidence, convince anyone, or even shed the slightest shadow of doubt on Springsteen’s name or background, and yet you continue to insist you are correct on the matter based upon nothing, apparently, beyond your own sense of infallibility.

    Who is smug and self-important?

  • Wow, get a sense of humor, dude! Based on your Plethora of Endless Tautological Arguments, you’re going to need one…

  • “Springstein” looks more like a German name to me.

  • bhw

    Springsteen lives in Colts Neck, not Rumson. He lived in Rumson with his first wife in the 80s.

    He still goes to Jersey Freeze to get a bite to eat from time to time. He gives back to the local community at large and in particular has been vocal in trying to help Asbury Park re-develop.

    He’s stayed just about as in-touch with “real” people as any multi-multi-millionaire celebrity can, especially in a region where everyone knows exactly who he is and where he lives.

    Mark, you need to just let that sour grapes thing go. Breathe, baby, breeeeeeathe. We’re all sorry that YOU didn’t make it big like Bruce did. It’s sad, but it’s truly time to move on. Most of us will never be multi-millionaires, even if we have more talent and better looks than Bruce. Life’s a bitch, ain’t it?

  • mark the sane and sensible

    “matter based upon nothing,”

    I see, so in your world of protecting the hallowed sanctity of a beloved pop icon, physical evidence in the form of a nightclub poster reprint in a Springstein fan mag means nothing. Nice going, Eric. You aren’t on bruce’s payroll, are you?

    This is why hero worship is for kids.

  • mark the sane and sensible

    “He lived in Rumson with his first wife in the 80s.”

    well no shit, I think that’s already been established.

    the only way Asbury Park is going to revive is when it stops sliding into the third world. The only way bruce’s millions can reverse that trend is if he pays white people to move back. Long Branch isn’t much different in that respect. When Ft. Monmouth closes it’s going to get worse around there. If it didn’t have the track it would die. completely.

  • I guess racism ain’t just for kids either.

  • mark the sane and sensible

    “you’re going to need one…”

    I guess my sense of humor isn’t as pedestrian as yours.

  • Mark, right now you sound about as sane and sensible as the guy who puts all his energies into promoting the Time Cube hypothesis.

  • mark the sane and sensible

    Victor: that person is correct on one count … a cube is an example of opposite perfection. But the rest is a humor piece. You can see that, right?

  • Nice dodge, Mark. Fact remains, one remembered club poster is not exactly a good example of evidence that can be independently verified and corroborated.

  • mark the sane and sensible


    I’ve been to all those locations in the NE and there was nothing unique about their accents compared to their surrounding region. They were, if anything, consistent. I also didn’t recall anyone talking in a contrived Okie accent, either.

  • mark the sane and sensible

    Are you questioning my memory,

  • Mark — Yes, you seem to be a master of acquiring “proof”…

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Excuse me, Eric, is your name Victor now? Try staying on one user name, otherwise, I’ll have to consider “Victor” your sockpuppet guise.

    Try googling the names SPRINGSTEIN and the name SPRINGSTEEN separately.

    Note how many references there are to the second surname that don’t have an association with Bruce. I’ll save you the trouble. Two or three refs out of OVER 2 MILLION hits for a Bruce “Springsteen.” Apparently, some Jewish emigres to America in the 17th century did the same thing as Bruce’s family, they anglicized their surname to avoid persecution. Note how common the first surname is in Europe. Over 60K references. Note how many Bruce SpringSTEIN references there are as well.

    Gee, I guess they aren’t the Stepford Fans like you that swallow any PR flak’s spin put out there!

  • While I’m flattered to be confused with Eric Berlin, it’s quite likely he was responding to one of your other statements, Mark, and not answering the stupid question you posed to me.

    But then, your assumption fits into your pattern of believing the least likely of all possible explanations for any given set of facts.

    The single, isolated incident of seeing one misspelled nightclub poster couldn’t possibly be a single, isolated incident. NO! It must be proof there’s a vast conspiracy to conceal “The Truth(tm) about Bruce Springsteam.”

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I’ve also offered as evidence Bruce’s other attempts at hiding his true roots by talking like some Tom Joad wannabe instead of a typical working class guy (that’s his carefully crafted image, isn’t it?) from north Jersey.

    All you have are some fan bios of dubious credibility written by people who have no access to real records, which I’ve already proven in an earlier post can be unreliable. Most of the star bios out there are repudiated by their subjects after publication. These are celebs were talking about, their whole worlds are inventions of PR flaks.

    Just admit your world would tumble like a house of cards if it were ever revealed that Bruce was really descended from Jews on his paternal side.

  • At best it might be mildly interesting if Bruce turned out to really have Jewish ancestry.

    I don’t care all that much, having never bought any of his records nor done anything else particularly fan-like with regard to Bruce.

    I’m just not going to accept the flimsy “evidence” you seem to think furnishes the unquestionable proof for your weird little conspiracy theory.

  • At the risk of being confused with Victor (which would be likewise flattering) I agree entirely with Comment #79.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “weird little conspiracy theory.’

    yes, we certainly can’t risk shattering the established myths about our beloved pop icons, can we?

    We can only judge or question the motives and backgrounds of people like George Bush or Pat Robertson, right?

  • If you have plausible evidence Bush is Jewish, by all means bring it up. Pat Robertson, secret Jew? Might be interesting.

    I sure hope it’s better than anything you’ve got on Bruce, though.

    If not I’ll be forced to call those stories weird little conspiracy theories too, even if they are directed against Bush or Robertson.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    I see you missed the point of the comment, Victor, it was to illustrate the decidely one-sided political groupthink on this website and that the only people really getting ripped a new one by bloggers are conservatives.

  • You missed the point of your own comment, Mark, which illustrated the fact that you have no substantial evidence whatsoever to support your claims, so now you’re resorting to irrelevant diversions in an effort to distract the unwary reader from your pathetic failure to back up your bluster.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “you have no substantial evidence whatsoever to support your claims,”

    And neither do you, except for accounts written by others you can’t verify.

    I needn’t mention the gullibility of people that believe everything they read or hear about someone they don’t know personally.

  • What belief did I state here? Where did I state it? In fact I never claimed to have any evidence to “prove” Bruce isn’t Jewish. I never even claimed Bruce has always spelled his last name “Springsteen.” In the absence of strong evidence I draw no conclusion either way.

    If you demand others accept your conclusions, Mark, you place the burden of proof squarely on yourself. Don’t try to dodge that burden by demanding everyone else come up with evidence to disprove your claims.

    That’s the way of the weasel.

  • godoggo

    “Results 1 – 10 of about 404,000 for SPRINGSTEEN -bruce”

    I glanced at the first few pages; about 50% related to the singer.

    I’m thinking something and giggling. None of you would think it’s funny, so I won’t type it, but…hee hee hee…

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “If you demand others accept your conclusions, Mark, you place the burden of proof squarely on yourself. Don’t try to dodge that burden by demanding everyone else come up with evidence to disprove your claims.”

    I’ve seen a photo of a NJ club poster featuring a musician named “Bruce Springstein.” I’ve scanned through 2+ million google hits for the surname “Springsteen” and all but two of them point to a guy named Bruce, a famous pop singer. One of the non-Bruce google hits for “Springsteen” was a story of a 17th century family that moved to NYC from Europe. If you know your history, European immigrants with Jewish names very often anglicized them to avoid persecution. There were no google hits for “Springsteen” related to anyone living in Europe presently. So the name is obviously an Americanized form of Springstein used to hide one’s true racial origin.

    I’ve scanned through 60+ thousand google hits for the surname “Springstein” and even a good many of them point to a guy named “Bruce” who is a famous pop singer.

    Your pals, like Eric, on the other hand, have nothing more than some fan bios where the information can’t be verified, but they believe anyway because books about celebs ALWAYS tell the truth, right?

  • Clearly you have convinced yourself the Google search results mean something highly significant, Mark. However, those results could have so many other completely valid interpretations, they effectively prove very little.

    It’s quite possible Springsteen could be a very rare spelling of the pop star’s last name. It could even have been unique to just his own family, and still date back generations, just like the 17th century family you found. That in itself would not be enough to prove anything about his ancestry. It certainly does not prove he changed his name.

    Google searches tend to produce inconclusive results with any word or name that has variant spellings. The vast majority of the people spelling his name Springstein on the Web surely do so only because they are mistaken about the way he wants it spelled, not because they want to make any kind of political point about his background.

    Most likely the club poster you saw was also simply a mistaken spelling.

    Status of claim: inconclusive.

  • Y’know, if I were to add a tagline to my name declaring that I were, say, Not-Crazy and Quite Reasonable, I likely wouldn’t be camping commentary forums on a site for thinkpieces/reviews by bloggers stating my opinions as the way things should be.

    I might instead realize that I have my opinions, other have theirs, and while we can all sit down and chuckle and discuss them (and maybe even argue!), I might not strut about acting as though I were the authority on everything.

    But eh. I’m only a simple primate, so what do I know?

  • D.C.

    Is this site for the college geeks who dress in all black and vote green?

  • If it is, I’d better exit… cat hair shows up something terrible on all black. I think I’d get kicked out.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “I might not strut about acting as though I were the authority on everything.”

    You might say the same thing to your “esteemed” bloggers who routinely bash the President, this country, and its policies, especially David Mark and Adam Ash, for example.

  • I’ll say this once for all the sane and sensible ones out there:

    No one cares if Bruce Springsteen / Stein / Shmekelgruber is Jewish or not.

    No one cares! No one! Not one!

    Now, can we move on?

  • Mark S.S.-

    I might indeed – and when I see posts in which they swing their e-peens about with such force as to sling mud in the faces of other posters, be certain that I will be the first to open my mouth and tell it like it is.

    I don’t care who you are, or what you support — if you’re acting like an asshole and I catch it, I’m likely to inform you, quite sweetly, that you’re an asshole.


  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “No one cares if Bruce Springsteen / Stein / Shmekelgruber is Jewish or not.”

    Methinks thou doth protest too much.

  • Where’s the hard edged “proof” for that assertion, Mark, since you seem to require a bloody shirt and collected shell casings for your inane and quixotic callings?

  • godoggo

    My sickly old computer crashed before I got a chance to post this last night (I am now looking to buy a SHINY BRAND NEW sickly old computer.


    “Results 1 – 10 of about 12,400 Dutch pages for springsteen -bruce. (0.31 seconds)”

    I2071: Jannetje VAN_BLERKUM (ABT MAY 1722 – )
    Family 1: Mettie Janse SPRINGSTEEN. DIVORCE: N; MARRIAGE: 16 JUL 1693, …
    Family 2: Elizabeth SPRINGSTEEN. DIVORCE: N; MARRIAGE: 23 SEP 1709, …
    http://www.ristenbatt.com/genealogy/html/d0013/g0001330.htm – 14k – Cached – Similar pages

    I4079: Maritie Janse VAN_BLERKUM (ABT JAN 1698 – )
    Mother: Mettie Janse SPRINGSTEEN Family 1: Adriaen Arie ACKERMAN. DIVORCE: N;
    MARRIAGE: 2 APR 1720, Hackensack,Bergen,Dutch Ref. Ch,NJ …
    http://www.ristenbatt.com/genealogy/html/d0013/g0001331.htm – 13k – Aug 27, 2005 – Cached – Similar pages
    [ More results from http://www.ristenbatt.com ]


    Learn to google advance search, dude.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    sorry to burst your bubble there, but I had already informed the board that I found at least 1 non-bruce reference.

  • godoggo

    Yeah, but not, you know, thousands and thousands and thousands.

  • godoggo

    In, you know, “Dutch.”

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    how is doing the sort with “Dutch” as a search parameter germane to this matter? It’s not. How is the search result relevant?

    Feeling really good to be joining the “Protect the Sanctity of St. Bruce” circle jerk, aren’t you?

  • Am I the only one laughing at how insane — truly, clearly, undilutedly insane — this conversation is?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    Am I the only one laughing at how insane it is to defend celebrities from attack?

  • No one is defending a celebrity from anything.

    You’re offering allegations for some kind of a bizarre coverup with NO PROOF other than a memory of an old poster.

    And even if you had a tiny tad of real proof (which you really, really, really [really] don’t)…


    Thus, I quote and stand by myself in stating:

    Am I the only one laughing at how insane — truly, clearly, undilutedly insane — this conversation is?

    How many more times can we go around on this one? I’m guessing you have more stamina for this madness than I do, so I hearby sign off here.

  • nugget

    You’re not alone. Celebrities get what they want.

    They want peoples’ misplaced affections and unwarranted adorations as a therapeutic reminder that their own parents sucked and millions of fans are a validation of their worth. Not only do celebrities need to restate in gaudy fashion their intrinsic value to the masses, but furthermore they demand the public know of their anomalous stature. Everyone wants to be Neo.

    Celebrities manifest “the one” in themselves by plastering their personal symbolism (bios, their fake names, pictures) in magazines, ads, television shows, movies…you name it, as if the world MUST stop to recognize some fraudulant personal reckoning.

    Sorry for the digression. To stay on topic, people who are fixated with celebrities add to the choas and buy in to the myths that the perpetrators contrive without hesitation.
    To put it bluntly, if BRUCE had not marketed himself as a CELEBRITY, (not a musician or songwriter), he would be your average joe impressing the local high schoolers at Springstein’s Music Inc.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible


    You and the rest of the St. Bruce Defense Society thought enough to care, otherwise, you wouldn’t have continued to respond, right?

    or do you typically post responses to blogs where you don’t care about the topic?

  • I care about silly untruths floating out there unexamined on a website that I care about.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “I care about silly untruths floating out there unexamined on a website that I care about.”

    I note, berlin, that you don’t offer the same level of scrutiny toward the blogs that routinely bash our President and our nation’s foreign policy which actually abound in what you term as “silly untruths.”

  • Likewise for you and your “rightist” friends, Mark.

    And by the way, the illustrious libertarian and former Senate candidate Mr. Al Barger recently pointed me out as an example of a reasonable and eminently… sensible person of Democratic leanings.

    What does that have to do with your out-and-out obsession with Bruce’s religious heritage?

  • godoggo

    I never, never get caught in blog debates, because they’re normally kind of unpleasant. But this one is fun. On account of it’s insane.

    Anyways, the point is that if you’d done the search and looked at the results, you’d see that there are lots of people with that name in the Netherlands, contrary to what you said somewhere up there.

    In retrospect, a better search parameter might have been “site:.nl”, which would have restricted it to sites in Holland, rather than Dutch language sites. Give it a whirl, if your so inclined.

    I also ejoyed the “Scientology” debate. That was a good one.

  • Oh, great! Now it’ll be Bruce Scientolostein!

  • godoggo

    I will ignore that snotty remark, Victor.

    Anyways, to clarify, copy and paste the following into google:

    springsteen -bruce site:.nl

  • It wasn’t directed against you, godoggo. In fact I appreciate your sane and sensible empirical approach to this investigation, even though the topic itself is insane and insensible.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “What does that have to do with your out-and-out obsession with Bruce’s religious heritage?”

    As I’ve said before, like most celebrities, I think he’s a fake, a phony, and a fraud, with his working man overtures and that stupid Tom Joad voice that doesn’t sound like anything from New Jersey. I also thought how he treated his first wife was really awful, too, being married and then cheating on her with that big nosed skank in his band. What a creep.

  • godoggo

    And incidentally, “Victor Plenty,” that’s a fabricated name if I ever heard one. What’s your story, Hmmmmmmm????????????

  • I’m no celebrity. Nobody cares about my story.

  • Eric Olsen

    once again, I will try to cut through to the essence of the argument as presented by Mark: Bruce treated his first wife poorly, he sometimes sings with a country-music accent (or wait, do you think all country music singers are from the South?), therefore he must be Jewish?

  • Eric Olsen

    back to the original, for more interesting and germane topic, Little Steven spoke to the R&R program director’s conference in July.

  • Hey,

    What a fierce debate we have going here.

    You can find a great interview with Little Steven about the fight to save CBGB here:


  • And now, for another episode of Much Ado About Nothing…

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    And now for another episode of The Emperor Wears No Clothes

  • Jersey Native

    Way back up near the top of the page, EO said that Steven grew up in South Jersey. Middletown AIN’t South Jersey, sweets – Monmouth County is Central Jersey, at best.

    Mark the Muddled and Pretentious claims that Bruce should sound like he’s from north Jersey – Mark, [Deleted. Mark’s long gone but we are still here, maintaining the no personal attacks policy… Comments Editor.], I’ve got news for you, people from Monnouth Co don’t sound like people from “North Jersey” (tho’ they do tend to be fans of those lame-assed Jets, unlike real South Jerseyans who are Eagles fans) — but then again, my mother [God rest her soul], who was from Jersey City, didn’t sound like she was from North Jersey, either. My father, a native of Red Bank, also does not sound like he is from North Jersey. I – a native of Gloucester County [actual south Jersey) – also do not sound like I am from north Jersey. You, Mark the Paranoid and Deranged, DO sound like a COMPLETE and UTTER [Deleted by Comments Editor]

    Further, Mark, you poor excuse for an intellect, you are WRONG and EVERYONE ELSE HERE is RIGHT. You claim “memory” of a picture from a THIRD PARTY SOURCE that make a reference to without providing the actual documentation and them have the unmitigated gall to to demand concrete evidence to refute your unsubstanitated claim! ROFLMMFAO!!!

    Case dismissed, with prejudice, for failure to state a claim upon wich relief can be granted

  • Eric Olsen

    a bit ex post facto, Jersey Native, but I appreciate the facts and the point of view. We had to part ways with Mark as he became increasingly abusive and psychotic. This thread was tame by comparison

  • The following story is circulating on the Internet. No sources are given except for http://www.contactmusic.com

    Does anyone know if these quotes are true?? —

    American rocker/actor/DJ STEVE VAN ZANDT blames legend BOB DYLAN for ruining rock music.

    The 55-year-old E STREET BAND guitarist, whose radio show LITTLE STEVENS UNDERGROUND GARAGE plays rock ‘n’ roll to over 2 million people in the US, insists that Dylan’s politically and socially charged music killed the fun rock of previous years.

    He says, “Yes, I do actually (blame Bob Dylan). And I tell him any chance I can.

    “Look, the truth is that of course I can see the value of the Bob Dylan thing, but we try to stay on balance on the fun part.

    “I want to play music from a time when rock ‘n’ roll was fun and we danced to it.”
    06/12/2005 09:29 I found the story here

  • R. Zimmerman

    Wow, that’s funny. Anyone who would get bent out of shape by that quote — which makes perfect sense in the context of the interview, by the way — is probably still ticked off about John Lennon insisting the Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

    This forum belongs in the Internet Troll Hall of Fame, by the way. The guy with his panties in a was over Springsteen being Jewish is just priceless. I’ve got ten bucks that says he still lives at home — any takers?

    If I advertise a specimen jar with the foreskin from Springsteen’s briss for sale on eBay, how much do you think I could get for it? 🙂

  • R. Zimmerman

    Oh, and van Zandt took to wearing a head scarf because he was thrown through the windshield in an auto accident, and his hair never grew back properly due to the scarring on his scalp:

    But by all means, keep ridiculing him for it. Ignorance and malice love to keep one another company.