Category Archives: Bruce Springsteen

A ‘Super’ Time to Choose a State Song

When Super Bowl XLIII gets underway in Tampa on Sunday, neither of the NFL teams that play their home games in New Jersey will be on the field. But one New Jerseyan who has performed for large crowds at Giants Stadium will be there at Raymond James Stadium when the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers square off to determine this season’s NFL champion.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will provide the halftime entertainment, joining the ranks of Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and other superstars who have performed at the 42 previous Super Bowls. While this provides a great opportunity for Springsteen to appear before a capacity crowd of 72,500 and a television audience of up to 100 million viewers, it also represents a plus for New Jersey because of the unique and important role that the Garden State plays in his music and his lyrics. Continue reading

Fifty-seven channels (and nothing on)

The nation’s floundering economy, the war in Iraq, and the need to improve our healthcare system are at the top of the long list of challenges that New Jersey’s next U.S. Senator will confront in Washington, D.C. But you would never know that from reading the state’s daily newspapers over the past few weeks.

Ever since The Record reported that the Lautenberg campaign was planning a fundraiser in which donors who paid $1,500 would receive tickets (which were obtained at face value, or $108 each) to see Bruce Springsteen perform at Giants Stadium, this is the topic that has dominated the coverage of Senate race.

A search of the Access World News database shows between July 20, when The Record’s Charlie Stile broke the story, and today, 13 articles mentioning Democratic incumbent Frank Lautenberg and/or his GOP opponent Dick Zimmer appeared in New Jersey dailies and the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times. All but three of them were about the Springsteen tickets.

The three that dealt with other topics all appeared in The Press of Atlantic City. One was a story about an open house Zimmer conducted in Egg Harbor Township and one was a short advance that ran prior to the event. The third story focused on off-shore drilling, but it dealt mostly with Congressional candidates and pundits. Brief prepared statements from Lautenberg and Zimmer appeared at the end of the piece.

Journalists covering New Jersey were not alone in their interest in the campaign’s use of Springsteen tickets. Among the news outlets that the story found its way into were the Houston Chronicle, the Olympian (in Washington State) and the Washington Times.

Back in New Jersey as the coverage continued, The Record reported that New Jersey Democrats had conducted this type of fundraiser in the past. Apparently, they were not alone. In his 2005 re-election campaign, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger offered donors a chance to attend a private pre-concert reception and sit in prime seats for a Rolling Stones’ concert at Boston’s Fenway Park in exchange for contributions of $10,000.

In this case, the tickets came not from a government agency, but from Ameriquest, a mortgage lender and the lead sponsor of the Stones’ 2005 tour. Ameriquest, based in California, donated the tickets to Schwarzenegger’s campaign, raising eyebrows back home where the company was under legal scrutiny for its business practices in the sub-prime lending market. In addition to the concert tickets, Ameriquest contributed $1.5 million to the Schwarzenegger campaign.

Springsteen Returns to NJ

With Bruce Springsteen coming to town, we posted a series of papers about “The Boss” and his impact on NJ on the Hall Institute website today. Links to the papers – as well as a few extras — are below:

All the News, Except for New Jersey

In a posting on her column, Debbie Holtz laments the recent decision by The New York Times to eliminate editorials and op-ed articles from its Sunday New Jersey and the Region section. I share her sentiments and hope that this decision is not a harbinger of things to come in terms of the newspaper’s commitment to covering the Garden State. On a personal level, I’ve had the opportunity to see some of my op-eds published in this section of The Times. Most were penned for others while I was working in PR. But I also wrote two under my own name early in my career – a piece on gifted and talented education in Montclair and another urging the State of New Jersey to adopt Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” as its official state anthem.