For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen’s Legendary Fans


Front Cover of For You - The Book


Bruce Springsteen represents a great deal to his fans, not only as a world-renowned artist, but as a giving and caring person, someone who stands out by helping and donating to many charitable organizations over the years. Today I am asking for your help to raise money for the Montreal General Hospital. We are collecting funds to benefit two MGH departments, the Emergency/Trauma, and the Colorectal Department.

You can play an essential role in efforts for 2013 by donating to this worthy cause. Suggested donation, $10 CDN or $15 CDN. All monies collected will be donated to the Montreal General Hospital.

Give today and Help Us Make a Difference.


Back Cover of For You - The Book“If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be ‘beautiful.’ This book is without a doubt for ‘real fans.’ I have quite a collection of books about Bruce but this one is different to the rest by the fact that it’s brim full from front to back with stories from fans. It has given fans the opportunity to tell their stories of themselves and Bruce. The stories are short, long, happy, sad, joyous, excited, funny and, above all, heartfelt. Every one excited to share their story or little piece of Bruce with everyone else. The book is beautifully produced and presented and takes you through Bruce’s musical life in the form of stunning photos throughout.”

Rumble Doll

“Je l’ai reçu et je peux vous assurer que la qualité du bouquin est vraiment à la hauteur de mes attentes. Près de 500 photos réalisées par plus de 70 photographes différents et s’étalant sur une période allant de 1971 à mars 2007 contribuent à ranger ‘For You‘ dans la catégorie des poids lourds en terme d’images.”

Un livre recommandé par:

“What’s most striking about For You is its almost palpable passion. You’ve got the fans, who write with an almost religious fervor about seeing, hearing and occasionally touching the New Jersey native, from his emergence in the 1970s right up through his Seeger Sessions tour in 2006.”
Ross Raihala
Pioneer Press Twin Cities, Minnesota


“We have seen several new Bruce books in the last few years, including another long-awaited book by official Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh and a lavish book about the E Street Band. I bought them all, because as a librarian by profession, I see it as my holy duty. But if you are going to buy just one of the current Bruce books, I won’t hesitate to recommend getting For You. For You is a much-needed fresh breath in the Bruce bibliography and essential to any serious fan.”
Karsten S. Andersen


“If you are any kind of a Springsteen fan, you need this book! The first story brought me to tears it was so moving and so well written. I am not a big reader, but I sat there in my den last night with the TV on and must have spent almost 2 hours just reading the stories and looking over the great photos from the early years, and thinking back to my younger days.

Steven Delmar
Edison New Jersey

“For You is one of the most important books ever to trace the career of Bruce Springsteen. Compiled by Lawrence Kirsch, the book features the words and photos of Springsteen fans from all over the world. The majority of the photos have never been published before, and are nothing short of amazing.”

Tom Cunningham
The Bruce Brunch
105.7 The Hawk

“Bruce Springsteen fans have submitted their memories and photos for inclusion in a new book, For You, by Lawrence Kirsch. The stories chronicle Springsteen’s career from its conception, and incorporate images from all eras (including shots of Springsteen with the E Street Band, Bono, Neil Young and more).”

Rolling Stone: Rock and Roll Daily

“In reading For You, at first it’s hard to believe that one performer could possibly have touched this many people this deeply – lifted them from depression, kept them from suicide, helped them through divorce or the death of a parent, or worse, a child. But story after story reveals just how much Springsteen’s music and his almost superhuman presence on the concert stage have penetrated people’s lives and, in as much as it is possible for music to do so, made them whole.

In fact, there’s a running theme of these reminiscences, one that is sure to warm any Bruce fan’s heart: that you are not crazy. Not crazy for seeing dozens or even hundreds of concerts; not crazy for feeling that Springsteen’s songs and lyrics have actually helped carry you through some of life’s toughest moments; not crazy to think that this man whom you’ve never met has and continues to fill some kind of void in your life.”

Peter Chianca
Excerpt from Blogness on the Edge of Town


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He’s the Boss, and He Keeps His Promises

Andrew Tate
March 17, 2013

Well they’re still racing out at the trestles / But that blood it never burned in her veins. / Now I hear she’s got a house up in Fairview / And a style she’s trying to maintain. / Well if she wants to see me / You can tell her that I’m easily found. / Tell her there’s a spot out ‘neath Abram’s Bridge / And tell her there’s a darkness on the edge of town.

Lost loves never want to see you again, of course, but even as a callow youth with heart intact it was clear that was actually the point of Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 masterpiece Darkness on the Edge of Town. Thankfully, it’s a lot harder to fall out with the Boss.

In the early 1980s – a time when Duran Duran inexplicably held sway and Bob Dylan had retreated into born-again preaching – I first stumbled across Springsteen’s working-class anthems on a battered vinyl record stuffed at the back of a crate.

It is now legend that the album that became Darkness on the Edge of Town was originally a different set of recordings that Springsteen only released in 2010 under the title The Promise. Fresh from the breakout success of Born to Run the man feted as ”the future of rock’n'roll” was labouring on his new album when he heard the punk explosion and realised that his work was already outdated.

”I culled my music to the toughest collection of songs I had, songs that still form the philosophical core of what we do today, swept the rest away and headed on,” Springsteen wrote in the liner notes for The Promise. ”At 27, that is what I’d hoped for, that I’d written something that would continue to fill me with purpose and meaning in the years to come, that would continue to mean something to me and to you … I owe the choices we made then and that young man their respect.”

Recognising when everything has changed and acting accordingly is a rare skill for young men. It’s all too clear that we blokes often stumble around trying to fix things way beyond the point of no return – be it a failing relationship or dead-end job. Springsteen populates his music with good men rising above adversity and bad men trying to put things right – a blessed relief in a world where spivs and high-flyers seem ascendant.

In Darkness, the protagonist’s ”Trestles” were the surfing spots on the coast of California, mine was (believe it or not) an old trestle railway bridge tucked into a hidden river valley. Just as there always seems to be a ”Mary”, so it is most have a quiet place where possibility can still trump reality.

When Springsteen came to the Melbourne Showgrounds in 1985, my younger self – complete with long-departed mop of blond hair – was immortalised as a smudge in The Age’s picture of the crowd. Bruce sang 30 songs that April night – Darkness was not one of them, but in a seemingly endless set-list he knocked off Twist and Shout as a finale.

The twists were only just beginning and life was never again so simple. Soon I was working a long way from home and within five years, aged just 23, became a father. That’s when you truly land yourself in a Springsteen song.

The man himself wasn’t immune from personal failings, and a short-lived marriage spawned 1987′s Tunnel of Love album. Like Dylan before him, the blood on the tracks were there for all to see, particularly in Cautious Man, a tale about a drifter trying to honour his marriage vows even as the road calls him back.

Melbourne has only called Bruce back twice since 1985, a three-night solo stand at the Palais Theatre in 1997 during the Ghost of Tom Joad tour, and one night of The Rising at Docklands in 2003. As it happened, those two concerts book-ended my own journey from small-town galoot to settled city father and (yikes!) grandfather. In 1997 I was on the run and camped out in a Dublin studio apartment behind Croke Park Stadium – where the best the locals could manage was three interminably long nights of country singer Garth Brooks. By 2003, I was back in Melbourne and whingeing about the acoustics to the sweet soul who would become my wife – Wendy.

So thanks is due to the evergreen Mr Springsteen. His latest album Wrecking Ball is as strong a statement on fairness and yearning as Darkness was 35 years ago. The Boss may now dine with presidents, but the promise has been kept …

Tonight I’ll be on that hill ’cause I can’t stop. / I’ll be on that hill with everything I’ve got. / Where lives are on the line, where dreams are found and lost. / I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost / For wanting things that can only be found / In the darkness on the edge of town.

The album ends with those words and Springsteen’s fading voice humming the chorus into infinity. We’ll probably never know why the girl with the house in Fairview turned so hard, but when the darkness turns to grey perhaps straining to hear the echo goes with the territory.

■ Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform at Rod Laver Arena on March 24, 26 and 27, and at Hanging Rock on March 30.

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain.
A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping During the Wrecking Ball Tour2013: The Light in Darkness

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Bruce Springsteen In Australia: ‘I’m Not Sure How Good I Am With My Money’

Bruce Springsteen Australia 2013

Bruce Springsteen Australia 2013


Bruce Springsteen is in Australia to support “Wrecking Ball.”

CANBERRA, Australia — Bruce Springsteen is playing a note of caution about his political influence over Australian economic policies.

Springsteen and his E Street Band opened their Wrecking Ball Tour to enthusiastic reviews in Brisbane, the hometown of Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan, who revealed in a speech last year that The Boss had long been his political inspiration.

Swan said the New Jersey-born working-class hero’s musical railings against inequality echoed his own public battle against Australian billionaire mining tycoons who oppose his tax reforms.

When told at a news conference Thursday that Swan had cited his musical idol as an influence on his center-left government’s economic policies, Springsteen urged caution.

“Really? You better watch out there,” Springsteen joked. “I’m not sure how good I am with my money.”

He added, “I hope it’s been a positive influence, that’s all I can say.”

Swan was named by banking magazine Euromoney as the world’s finance minister of the year for 2011 for helping steer Australia clear of recession during the global economic meltdown. He is attending the final two-week session of Parliament in Canberra before he releases his annual budget blueprint on May 14 and has revealed that the annual ritual involves him playing Springsteen’s hit single “Born to Run.”

Swan said Springsteen’s 1975 breakthrough album “Born to Run,” as well as subsequent albums “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A” and “Nebraska,” talked about the shifting foundations of the U.S. economy before the subject became topical.

“If I could distill the relevance of Bruce Springsteen’s music to Australia, it would be this: Don’t let what has happened to the American economy happen here,” Swan said.

Swan said Springsteen is also the favorite musician of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

He has concerts in Sydney, Melbourne and rural Victoria state before heading to Europe in late April.

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain.
A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping During the Wrecking Ball Tour2013: The Light in Darkness

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Still the Boss

Bernard Zuel


It’s a fair question as we prepare for an all but sold-out 10-date visit by Springsteen and his E Street Band, as part of a 133-show (and 2012′s second-highest grossing) world tour that has critics and fans of a certain age gushing.

Sure, he played at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Yes, he’s been quoted, misquoted, criticised and eulogised by politicians of all stripes, from Ronald Reagan to Wayne Swan. True, he was one of the biggest stars of the 1980s – the last time the music industry ruled the entertainment world. And he certainly has inspired imitation, from Bon Jovi to Arcade Fire, from Meatloaf to Moving Pictures, from Badly Drawn Boy to the Gaslight Anthem.

But he’s in his 60s, has only toured here three times in his near-50-year career and is the quintessential American artist. How could he possibly mean anything to us?

Well, here are the reasons why New Jersey’s second-most famous son is worth talking about (and you need a ticket).


Earlier this year, Springsteen was named the MusiCares Person of the Year for his efforts on gay rights, equal rights, migrant workers, support for labour, Barack Obama and just simply giving a toss about your fellow humans.

He also cares passionately about making music and what music can do for you, as a musician or a listener. As he explained in his keynote speech at the South by Southwest music conference last year, you can put that down to seeing Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 and thinking ”a white man could make magic”. ”You did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you,” he said. ”You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self.”

Transformation, the search for it or the failure of it, is at the core of his songs and may be why people and locations rooted so completely in the American life translate in nations, and languages, far from it.

As writer and fan David James Young puts it, in Springsteen songs, ”the names may have changed, and a few steps may have been taken back in order to take in the bigger picture; but the sentiments seem to have remained intact. Small-town stories of heroes, villains, could-a-been-champions, parents, friends and lovers … find themselves attempting to escape their community or dealing with the consequences of not getting out while they could.” In other words, stories from pretty much everywhere.

In his book 31 Songs, English author and occasional songwriter, Nick Hornby, talked about how the song Thunder Road ”somehow manages to speak to me” even though Hornby is not American, young, into cars or ignorant of the fact some see Springsteen as bombastic and histrionic.

”Sometimes songs and books and films and pictures express who you are, perfectly. And they don’t do this in words or images, necessarily; the connection is a lot less direct and more complicated than that,” Hornby writes. ”It’s a process something like falling in love. You don’t necessarily choose the best person, or the wisest, or the most beautiful; there’s something else going on.”


David Bowie gave It’s Hard To Be a Saint in the City a glam makeover while New York Afro-beat chaps Vampire Weekend made with the pretty for I’m Going Down. Outre ’80s pop glossies Frankie Goes to Hollywood assayed Born to Run faithfully while post-rock nerds Tortoise joined indie oddball Bonnie ”Prince” Billy to make Thunder Road prog rock-like.

Pop duo-turned-dancefloor group Everything but the Girl and jangly sensitive Scots Camera Obscura both covered Tougher than the Rest. Spectral pop act Bat for Lashes sang I’m On Fire spectrally and agit-rockers Rage against the Machine heavied The Ghost of Tom Joad into a quasi-metal crunch.

Emmylou Harris went country on Racing in the Streets and Mansion on the Hill and Johnny Cash did something similar with I’m On Fire and Johnny 99. Soul sister Bettye LaVette brought extra grit to Streets of Philadelphia, and Dion recorded a doo-wop version of If I Should Fall Behind, a song also recorded by the Go-Betweens’ Grant McLennan.


Blinded by the Light bombed in 1973 as the first single from Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park N.J., but became a No.1 song in 1976 for English band Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. Because the Night was a cast-off from the long sessions for what would become 1978′s Darkness on the Edge of Town; Patti Smith added a verse and some magic and the song became her biggest hit.

Fire was another song from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions that manager Jon Landau feared would be released as a non-representative single by the label because of its obvious hit potential. So obvious that the Pointer Sisters’ version went to No.2.

Having promised Donna Summer, but then keeping, Cover Me (which became a top 10 hit from 1984′s Born in the USA), Springsteen gave her Protection, earning her a Grammy nomination.


The man may be 63, but when he’s got the E Street Band he doesn’t play sitting down, he doesn’t play quietly and he doesn’t play short. Typical shows in the ’70s went for three hours or more. Typical shows on recent tours have been going for three hours or more. The Helsinki show of July 31, 2012, went for four hours and six minutes, the longest he’s ever done.

Guitarist Steve van Zandt, who won’t be on the Australian leg, told Rolling Stone a year ago that the band didn’t look at the clock or think about how long the show was going because they, and the audience, are being transported. ”You’re taken out of time during the show and brought to some other place, and then returned at the end of the journey, hopefully with positive energy that you then take into your regular life,” van Zandt said. All of which might be tiresome if he wasn’t the master of stadium rock shows, boasting a set-list of songs seemingly built to be sung by thousands.


Formed in 1972, the group was formally named the E Street Band in 1974 and, save for a decade’s hiatus from the mid-’80s, were the constant part of a Springsteen show. Sax player Clarence Clemons, organist Danny Federici and bassist Garry Tallent were founding members who remained by Springsteen’s side into the 21st century. The core of eight musicians behind him, which was established in 1995 when long-time foil/guitarist/consigliore van Zandt rejoined the band alongside his replacement Nils Lofgren, has been augmented at different times but never as much as now. On this current tour, there are 19 musicians on stage including brass, fiddle and backing vocalists alongside stalwarts Tallent, backing vocalist Patti Scialfa, drummer Max Weinberg and decade-old ”newbie” violinist Soozie Tyrell.

However, the E Street Band is not the same and will never be the same again. Federici died in 2008 (replaced by Charles Giordano), Clarence ”The Big Man” Clemons died in 2011 (replaced in part by his nephew Jake) and van Zandt will miss the Australian tour because of commitments with his radio show (replaced by Tom Morello).


Though the last Australian tour in 2003 was a disaster for the promoter, who overestimated and picked the wrong venues, and a fizzer for many fans in Sydney in particular who got lumbered with awful sound, Springsteen’s 2013 tour looks like a safe return. The two Brisbane shows have sold out, the first two Melbourne shows and first Sydney have, too, as have the two shows at Hanging Rock in country Victoria.

Of course, we’re small beer compared with the US and European legs of the tours. According to Billboard magazine, the 2007-2008 tour grossed more than $235 million from 104 shows; the 2002-2003 tour grossed more than $221 million from 120 shows. The current tour, which began in March last year and was Billboard’s second-highest grossing tour of 2012 (behind Madonna), has clocked up 90 shows before the 10 Australian concerts with another 33 to go before the final show in Rio de Janeiro in September.

Bruce Springsteen
When: March 18, 20 and 22, Allphones Arena, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain.
A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping: The Light in Darkness

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Family of Springsteen Band’s Clarence Clemons Pursuing Malpractice Claim Against Doctors

When Clarence Clemons, the Big Man of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, died in June 2011, the word was it from complications from a stroke. But now I’ve learned that the situation may not be so cut and dried. Clemons’s family quietly filed a malpractice suit against Clarence’s doctors in 2012. Last month the case was approved to go ahead to a jury trial.

William Clemons– Clarence’s brother and father of Jake Clemons, who now plays with the E Street Band– filed his case against the Palm Beach Cancer Center and three physicians. The allegation is that the medical team involved may have made a mistake by advising that Clarence off of blood thinners when he had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. By doing so, and not giving him intermediary blood thinners, they could have caused his stroke.

Victoria Clemons, Clarence’s widow, told Rolling Stone a month after her husband’s death: “Shortly before the stroke, Clarence lost sensation in his index finger and his thumb. He had carpal tunnel surgery performed. He was seriously concerned about the ability to play sax again.”

Over the years, Clarence, who was 71, suffered through a minor heart attack, spinal fusion surgery, retinal detachment and several joint replacements.

Even though the Clemons family wants a jury trial, which will be public, the case was sealed by a judge on May 25, 2012 in a Palm Beach court. Neither of the lawyers in the case has responded for comment. And the case has been so low key that even musicians Clarence played with didn’t know it had been filed.

But I’ve obtained the complaint which accuses Drs. Robert J. Jacobson, David W. Dodson and Keith Meyer– three specialists connected to the Palm Beach Cancer Center– of not administering Lovenox, a short term blood thinner, before or after the hand surgery. The hand surgeon is not a defendant– that surgery went fine. Clemons also did not have cancer in case you were wondering. But Victoria Clemons says that the day after the surgery she found Clarence “on the floor, beside the bed, confused and dysarthric [unable to speak properly].”

The allegations may explain at least in part what happened to the world renown sax player who was beloved by everyone. His death rocked the rock world and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band when it happened. William Clemons, according to sources, has not yet accepted his brother’s death. “They were best friends,” says a source.

Discover the limited edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 200 copies remain.
A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there – the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!
Click Here to Order Now and Save on Shipping: The Light in Darkness

Link to this post | Leave a comment