Spring­steen launches book tour in N.J.

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Dan Gel­ston

FREE­HOLD, N.J. >> The Boss was back in his home­town.

Bruce Spring­steen’s lat­est tour opened Tues­day, and the rocker who usu­ally lets his songs do the talk­ing yielded to fans to take a turn and share their sto­ries of what he meant to them.

They sim­ply wanted to say thank you.

“I want to just tell him he’s been my ther­apy for 40 years,” said Joan For­man, of New Jersey.

Fans from all over the world lined up hours be­fore Spring­steen’s ap­pear­ance at a Barnes & No­ble in Free­hold to pro­mote his new au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, “Born to Run.”

In the book, Spring­steen re­mem­bers his child­hood in New Jersey, his rise to su­per­star­dom and per­sonal strug­gles that in­spired songs such as “Born to Run” and “Thun­der Road.”

Spring­steen dressed in all black, from shirt and leather jacket to jeans and shoes and didn’t say a word on his way to a small plat­form where he was flanked by two ban­ners that fea­tured a pic­ture of the book’s cover.

Spring­steen’s fans waited hours to share how his mu­sic helped them fight can­cer, how they fell in love lis­ten­ing to his songs, how his lyrics are the sound­track of their lives.

“I love his mu­sic and his shows. They give me more joy than any­thing,” 25-yearold Erin Brown said. “His mu­sic col­lec­tion is what ties things in life to­gether rather than re­li­gion for me.”

Brown wore a home­made shirt with a heart on the back and was in tears when she ap­proached Spring­steen.

“Come here, sweet­heart,” he told her.

“Hi, Bruce. I love you. You’re the best,” she said.

They snapped some photos and Brown hugged Spring­steen. Brown sent the snap­shots from her mo­bile phone to friends, and one replied they looked like a cou­ple: “Which I love,” she sighed.

Brown drove eight hours overnight from Cameron, North Carolina, to the book­store off Spring­steen’s famed High­way 9 — which seemed like a small drive down the boule­vard com­pared to oth­ers who flew long dis­tance from Europe.

Phil Beard, of Liver­pool, Eng­land, ar­ranged a trip around Spring­steen’s ap­pear­ance. Beard said he’s been to 63 Spring­steen con­certs on two con­ti­nents over 40 years and hoped to con­vince him to play a gig in Liver­pool. Beard’s wed­ding an­niver­sary is the same date as Spring­steen’s birth­day, Sept. 23.

“It’s a co­in­ci­dence. That’s what we say, any­way,” Beard said, laugh­ing.

One woman posted in a Spring­steen fan page on Face­book that she booked a flight from Mu­nich to Lon­don to New York, planned to meet The Boss, then fly right back from Newark, New Jersey to Paris.

MEL EVANS — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bruce Spring­steen greets a fan at the launch of his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy “Born to Run” at the Barnes & No­ble store in his home­town of Free­hold, N.J.

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