1975-02-20 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA

Scheduled: 20:00 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

One show, double bill, with Springsteen & The E Street Band co-headlining with Richie Havens (who opened). This was an official school event (sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Program Council) but held off-campus in the nearby Syria Mosque. Havens and his entourage were late arriving into Pittsburgh from the previous night's gig, so the show's start was delayed for over an hour. Rich Engler was the promoter for the show, and in his book Behind the Stage Door: A Promoter's Life Behind The Scenes, he writes: "I had been hearing about this act, Bruce Springsteen from Asbury Park, N.J. who was supposed to be the next big thing. John Kostick, a rep from CBS Records, played me an advance copy of "Born To Run," and it was obvious that it was going to be a huge hit. I booked a show with Bruce at the Syria Mosque in early 1975, and in no time we had a sellout. The concert was fabulous; everything I had heard about Bruce as a performer was true. He commanded the stage and drove the fans into a frenzy. They were singing along to even the most obscure Springsteen songs, and it was obvious a star was being born. Every now and then, an act comes along that just has it all. Bruce was one of those. John Kostick asked if Cindy and I would like to join him and Bruce for a bite to eat after the concert. They were headed to Cleveland for another show. I called Carmassi's, an Italian restaurant we went to on occasion, to make sure it was going to be open late. The owner, Sonny Carmassi, assured me we could dine there. When the four of us arrived, the door was locked. I knocked, Sonny came out, looked at us, and pulled me inside the restaurant. "Listen Rich, I can let the three of you in but not that other guy. He's not dressed properly." Bruce was wearing a wife beater, jeans, and sandals. "What do you mean? Do you know who that is? That's Bruce Springsteen!" "Who's Bruce Springsteen? I don't care who he is, he can't come in the restaurant dressed like that." After much pleading, Sonny let us in. I told him that after we ate he should frame Bruce's place setting, put it on the wall and people would come in just to look at it. Sonny didn't believe that Bruce would be a superstar, however, we were able to have dinner. The waiter came and took our orders. Bruce had the most unusual order…corn on the cob for dinner and then later, apple pie. Shortly after that, Bruce's picture was on the cover of Newsweek and Time magazines. I called Sonny to be sure he kept the place setting, but he hadn't. He never realized how big a star had dined in his restaurant. We still laugh about it today."

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