Wed. Jan 29th, 2020

Bruce Springsteen, ‘born in Freehold’

At the entrance of Freehold, a poster informs that the traveler arrives at a English town .

But this "English people" of New Jersey, just over an hour south of NY, "Is a precise microcosm of America", according Kevin Coyne, the local historian.

Settlement settlement settlement, the scene of the greatest battle in the war of independence and civil war, an example of agricultural prosperity, the growth of the manufacturing industry and its fall, the process of expansion of the suburbs, conflicts over racial tensions and exponent of the arrival of immigrants, especially Latinos.

All that and, nevertheless, Freehold has reached the entity of global reference thanks to one of the oldest surnames that appears in its papers.

Great things often arise from small places.


“The raw material of this town is the raw material of their compositions,” says Kevin Coyne

This is stated in the exhibition with which the Monmouth County Historical Association de Freehold celebrates, until September 2020, the 70th birthday of the neighbor who has put them in the world atlas. It is titled "Springsteen, his hometown."

Coyne tells the story that happened to a good friend. He was traveling through Italy and the waiter at a restaurant in Rome asked where he was from.

–New Jersey.

-From Atlantic City or Freehold?

The historian finds it a bit strange. "This place we live in has become commonplace around the world," he says. "Bruce springsteen He has made Freehold the axis of his creation, which is always reflected in his work, ”he insists. “The people here listen to their songs and consider them documentaries. What he tells is very rooted in this site, but he treasures great empathy and the characters of his themes reach a wide audience because their stories are universal, ”Coyne remarks.


Freehold "is an essential and permanent part of who I am," writes Springsteen in his autobiography

“My people are an essential and permanent part of who I am,” writes Bruce Springsteen in his autobiography. Born to run (2016), identical title to that of his third album (and song) released in 1975, which launched him to international glory and saved his contract with his record label.

That's what this deployment is about. How the origin feeds the creativity of the artist, who continues to reside in the area. "The raw material of this town is the raw material of its compositions," said Coyne, author of books and journalism professor at the Columbia University.

It is not an exhibition to use, that is, it is not the Hall of Fame style in which the honoree is celebrated for being a celebrity . No. Here we seek more pedagogy than the display of glamor through a tour of more than 150 objects. Some belong to the organizing entity, others come from the Bruce Springsteen archives and Center for American Music of the Monmouth University and there are their own Boss .

Assures Bernadette Rogoff, director of collections of the association, that Springsteen toured the two floors of the installation on the opening day and what interested him most was the upper floor, specifically the unit dedicated to his ancestors.

“We talk about their ancestors and their family tree. There are Springsteen in America since 1652. I didn't know that one of his predecessors fought in the war of independence, ”Rogoff recalls pointing out different family landmarks. John springsteen (1759-1844) enlisted at fifteen after being detained with his father by the British and being imprisoned on a ship for two weeks.


The saga originated from Joost Casperse Springsteen, a Dutchman who arrived in America in 1652

The route had opened it Joost Casperse Springsteen (1638-1695), a Dutchman who landed in New amsterdamat the tip of Manhattan, in the middle of the 17th century. Until today, when the son of Adele Zerilli Y Douglas Springsteen, which runs Dutch, Irish and Italian blood, is one more in the soundtrack of millions of families throughout the

In his childhood Bruce appears his father, the tormented Douglas, who died in 1998, with whom he maintained a tense relationship that improved in maturity, and the elegant Adele – the livelihood with his work as a secretary while raising his child and his two girls – the mother who always trusted her boy's talent. He bought the first guitar – he asked for a loan of $ 60 – "the damn guitar" as his father described it.

“What I admire most is the devotion and persistence of learning to play and write songs,” says Rogoff as the main lesson he has learned organizing this exhibition. "Bruce could have ended up on the same bar stool as his father and we would never have heard of him," he says.

There is the teenager, the high school student who, inspired Elvis presley in the television show of Ed Sullivan in the 50s, he joined his first band, The castiles, in 1965, with
the one who did bowling in Freehold.

The exhibition clarifies misconceptions. If the town had changed – industry closures, racial conflicts – the Springsteen family too. The parents, with Pamela, the youngest daughter, they moved to California. The other daughter, Virginia, got pregnant and got married. Bruce felt liberated and settled in Asbury parkon the coast of sweater.


Bruce resides in the Freehold environment, which he thanked for not erecting a statue

But the famous Stone pony It was not the club where he formed. Although it is one of the establishments where he played at the beginning and still exists, he arrived there in 1974 with several recordings made. His decking was actually found in the Upstage Club, already demolished, where he met the core of the E Street Band.

From the footprints of the pioneer Springsteen to the footprints of the boots that the Boss wore in the eighties on the tour of Tunnel of love . That is the transit from one plant to the other. The progress of his career is analyzed below and the meaning of his most misunderstood song is clarified. Born in the USA . Because of its refrain it is considered a hymn of patriotic exaltation, a circumstance that has eclipsed its critical sense towards the Vietnam War and, above all, the regret for the treatment of veterans. Along with this clarification is the medal (purple heart) that posthumously received Bart Haynes, the first Freehold soldier who died in that war. Before he had hung the drumsticks with which he played drums in The Castiles.

On leaving, Kevin Coyne, who lived in the same block as Bruce, ten years older than him, waits in his car. It guides the first two places – disappeared – in which the distinguished neighbor, the Hullaballoo and the Left Foot, acted for the three houses in which he spent his existence, for stages of his songs, for the restaurants he still frequents.

He returned to his origins, says the historian, "so that his children grew up with his family and not in the celebrity bubble." Coyne explains that Bruce, on the streets of Freehold, is one more. The neighbors do not haunt him. “Someone proposed to erect a statue – he emphasizes – and the people opposed. Bruce thanked him. I didn't want to be a statue. ”

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