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Posted on Dec 5, 2016 in Featured Author

Bruce Springsteen Fans Recount Their Favorite Memories During Appearance in Kennesaw, GA

Bruce Springsteen greets his fans at Books A Million on South Clark Street on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Bruce Springsteen greets his fans at Books A Million on South Clark Street on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Bruce Springsteen receives a kiss from one of his fans at Books A Million on South Clark Street on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

It was a cool afternoon, but the brisk air hadn’t been enough to keep the crowd away from Kennesaw, GA. The crowd was wrapped around the exterior of the building. People were excited and there was an electric charge in the crowded parking lot.

Observers would probably expect a rowdy and raucous crew with more visible excitement to meet “The Boss” himself. Instead, there was calm. The mature audience was patient both inside and outside the store, respectful in their exuberance to see the man, the artist, the musician who had connected and resonated with fans for so long. A few 30-somethings and children were present in line, though they were clearly in the minority.

These were true Springsteen fans. Many had known him since the beginning. They had felt the tug of the music, so well-known for relating to the common man, pulling them towards obsession. They had experienced the concerts, they could sing all the words. No one could dispute their fandom.

The even ran from noon until 2 p.m. By the end, around 1200 Springsteen fans had met their idol.

The true sign of emotion came afterwards. People emerged shaking, smiling, and checking their phones to review photos. It was a moment many had waited a lifetime for, a memory that could never be topped.

Emily Ventrello, 16, wore a Bruce Springsteen T-shirt for the occasion. After meeting the singer, she admires his signature on her new book. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

We were able to speak to some of them both before and after they met the Boss. Here were some of our favorite reactions.

Michele B. (Nashville, TN)
I’ve been a fan since the 1980s. He came to Nashville and performed about two or three years ago. Before he left, he stopped and signed things for the fans who were waiting. It was an opportunity to see an American icon who really was born in the USA.

Victor (Nashville, TN)
We drove down from Nashville to meet Bruce. I’m from Sweden, and everyone knows who Bruce Springsteen is there. He’s regarded as a king. My first time seeing him was in Pittsburgh in 2000 for the E Street Band Reunion.

Josh G.
I discovered Bruce when I was 12 years old. It was during the Born in the USA tour. You know, I like him because there’s just no pretense with Springsteen. He sings to the common man.

Jason E.
I first saw him in the late 90s. The E Street Band Reunion tour was like a second renaissance for the band.

Brooke R.
I first heard Springsteen back in the 80s. I love Thunder Road. We played it during my wedding, and I even took dance lessons for it. I’ve seen him in concert about, maybe, 12 times over the years. We were front row at Baltimore Arena in 2010, and it was awesome.

Alan P.
My first Springsteen album was Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ. That was back in ’72. We saw him live in Atlanta and Louisville last year. You know, I’ve read the book, and his appreciation for his fans really comes across in the stories he shared.

Dennis
I grew up with older uncles who listened to Springsteen. They got me hooked in the 1970s. I used to have this bootleg cassette of a live concert at the Agora Theater in Cleveland. It was great. We saw him live at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. It was a long concert, and we were close to the stage. Springsteen gave it his all.

Glynis and Regina
We’re Jersey girls. My second time seeing Springsteen was at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. It was crazy! (Glynis)

I’ve seen him 22 times. By far the best venue was the Philips Arena for the Reunion tour. (Regina)

Audrey (Philadelphia, PA)
Why Bruce? He is the epitome of good. He’s never lost his roots, and he practices what he preaches. He’s never used drugs, but likes a good beer. He writes about the everyday man. His songs are epic stories. Bruce has maintained his true character throughout the years.

I haven’t read the book yet. I’m waiting on the audio version so I can let Bruce read it to me.

Andrew B.
I’m actually here for my dad, Alan. He lives in Pennsylvania, and he’s seen Springsteen more than 60 times. His first concert in 1974 at the Garage in Philadelphia. I’m planning to give dad the autographed copy as a Christmas present.

Eric
I’ve seen Springsteen in concert 9 or 10 times. My last concert was at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Back when I was in college, when Napster first came out, I downloaded like 200 bootleg songs which I still listen to.

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“Writing about yourself is a funny business… But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.
Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.

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