Article 2019-04-27 Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ

Bruce Springsteen surprises fans at Asbury Park Music and Film Festival

Hello, Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen made a surprise appearance at the Bruce Springsteen Archives event Saturday, April 27 at the Paramount Theatre, part of the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. He and filmmaker Thom Zimny took questions from Christopher Phillips of Backstreets after a showing of rare footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band.

“Half of this stuff l’ve never seen before,” Springsteen said.

Early footage of the band is rare. The reason is partly due to Springsteen’s aversion to being filmed during the band’s early days.

“A magician should not look too closely at his magic trick ,” said Springsteen, who wore a sweatshirt with the number five on it .

The footage spanned 1974 — when the line up included Vini Lopez and David Sancious — to 2012, when Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off the Wrecking Ball tour at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

The Boss climbed up to the balcony during a performance of Wilson Pickett’s “634-5789” at the show.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Springsteen said.

Wife and bandmate Patti Scialfa was filmed looking up with a combination of horror and amazement. Did anyone know Springsteen was going to climb up there, Phillips asked

“I don’t think anyone knew because nobody was following me up there,” said Springsteen to laughter. “I was lucky they had some pipes up there so I could get down.”

A scintillating David Sancious piano intro was a highlight of a 1974 performance of “New York City Serenade” and a solo acoustic rendition of “The Promised Land” at the St. Rose of Lima School in Freehold in 1996 presented a solo Boss.

Unlike “Springsteen on Broadway,” he didn’t tell too many stories from the St. Rose stage that night, he said.

“Just going back to St. Rose was dramatic enough,” said Springsteen, who attended the school.

He called his performance of “My City of Ruins” with the Seeger Sessions Band in 2006 at the New Orleans Jazz Fest one of his Top 5 concert experiences. It took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“Rock 'n' roll music is meant to push up against something,” said Springsteen.

In this case, the destruction of a hurricane.

Springsteen added that he wants to “get the Seeger Sessions Band back together.” Phillips noted that ‘My City of Ruins” was first performed in Convention Hall in Asbury Park in the early aughts, when the current city revival was beginning.

“Now I get to walk down the boardwalk like the Ghost of Christmas past but I like it,” Springsteen said. “I’m very happy for the city.”

The rare footage included his wife, Patti Scialfa, singing “Tell Him” with Cats on a Smooth Surface at the city’s Stone Pony in the ‘80s.

It was the night they met, Zimny said, a night referred to in the hit “Springsteen on Broadway.”

City guitarist Bobby Bandiera, who would go on to play with the Asbury Jukes and Bon Jovi and was once rumored to be Steven Van Zandt’s replacement in the E Street Band, is in the shot.

By Chris Phillips via Asbury Park Press.
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