BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN GETS THE BEERS IN!
The amazing story of our trip to Asbury Park, November 2004
Most years, Bruce Springsteen turns up unanounced at the annual Light Of Day concerts held in Asbury Park, NJ or the surrounding area. November 6th 2004 was no exception, and the 35 people who joined our trip to the shows were delighted to be in the world famous Stone Pony when Bruce hit the stage at 1.30am to join Light Of Day regulars, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers for a sixty minute set:
From Small Things Big Things One (Day Come)
Code Of Silence
Talking To The King
Never Be Enough Time
This Hard Land
Light Of Day
Great Balls Of Fire
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
That in itself was a fabulous gig to attend, but the trip was made even more memorable when we accidentally bumped into Bruce himself the day before!
Long time Badlands customer Alun Jones-Evans takes up the story:
When you go to a bar for some food, drink and good company you don't really expect anything to happen that out of the ordinary, but it certainly did for Badlands on tour in Asbury Park.
We all went into Harry's Roadhouse bar for lunch and a few beers. We were having a good time chilling out and getting in the mood for the first night of the Light of Day concerts on Friday 5th November 2004.
At about 4.15pm there were a few of us left in the bar, many of our party having already left to return to the hotel. The door opened and someone in a motorcycle helmet poked his head in to have a look around. The bar was empty except for nine of the Badlands party and a few locals. The guy came in, took his motorcycle helmet off, and, well to say we were a little surprised is a huge understatement - Bruce had just walked into Harry's Roadhouse.
Bruce walked up to the bar, talking to the staff and on the way he recognised Steven, saying 'I know this guy - what y'all doing here?' When we told him that we had come over for the Light of Day shows he immediately said to the barman 'get all these guys a drink'. He shook our hands and went over to sit at the bar, chatting to the staff there. We all felt pretty pleased with our drinks from Bruce and the chance to meet and have a few words with him (some of us still have the glasses).
After about 15 minutes or so he came over to the table where Steven, Karl and myself were sitting and joined us. He asked us again about why we were here and how many of us had come. Then we asked him about some of his favourite shows from The Rising tour - Milan, the 2nd night at Gothenberg, and the last night at Shea Stadium. He told us how much he'd enjoyed the Vote for Change tour, playing with REM, Neil Young etc. and that he particularly enjoyed the Washington show on that tour - 'playin' with all those great musicians'. We told him that most of us were at all those shows he had mentioned and he genuinely seemed surprised saying ' Wow, you guys get around.'
We then asked him about the election result. He said he felt he had done everything he could, but 'there comes a time when you just have to move on'. He said how much he enjoyed playing with John Fogerty - 'I spoke to him earlier today'.
He also talked about how different the audiences are depending on where he plays, the fact that the Milan and other European audiences go wild and that some US audiences are a little reserved. We discussed the fact that he doesn't get much radio play for his songs any more, either in the US or the UK. Then we told him about the various acts that tour the UK and Europe from the Jersey Shore, largely on the back of his success - he seemed to be genuinely happy about that.
Finally we asked whether the Badlands crowd could have a photo with him, and he said 'Yeah, why not, before I go'. And sure enough we got the photo. Then he signed autographs for us all, shook everybody's hand and generally made us feel 'pretty darn good'.
On refection everyone had been calm, just a small group sitting and chatting, and he seemed to appreciate that - I'm sure that's why he stayed talking to us for so long. We left the bar around the same time as Bruce - he roared off on his motorbike, and we left dazed!
He made an excellent trip very special for a few of us - and gave us loads to to chat about all weekend - we still don't quite believe it.
Driving down Kingsley that evening seemed just that bit more special.
(one of the lucky ones)