Calling all Springsteen fans, the Boss has a new exhibit, Bruce Springsteen Live! Bruce may have taken a brief hiatus from his three-hour shows, but guests can see guitars, posters, tour memorabilia, costumes and much more from the rock and roll icon and the E Street Band now on display at the Grammy Museum Experience, located in Newark, New Jersey.
If you had the chance to view Springsteen: His Home Town at the Monmouth County Historical Association, a number of the objects will look familiar! The main reason why I enjoyed Springsteen Live! is that it implemented technology into the galleries, crafting a more music-friendly and immersive experience. Side rooms play interviews with Bruce and members of the E Street Band, where you can learn about pre-show rituals straight from the Boss, Little Steven, Max Weinberg, and others. Guests can watch rare concert footage or take a crash course drum lesson from the legendary Weinberg and perform Born in the U.S.A.
My favorite artifact from this exhibition was a humorous letter Springsteen penned to his “Landlordess” regarding a late rent payment. At the end, he signs the note with a “P.S.S. I’m practicing my autograph whadaya think?” This piece may get overlooked in the display case because it stands inches away from the Born to Run iconic Fender that graced the album cover of its era. However, I found it quite charming, because it humanizes the rockstar.
If I had to be critical of one aspect of this exhibit, it would be the exhibit labels. In my opinion, the majority of the labels did not provide enough context or convey the significance of objects. The one display that sticks out in my mind is an open scrapbook in a display case. Unless you read the small print credit line on the exhibit label, you would not know that Springsteen’s mother made this unique artifact. Furthermore, it does not mention how she collected newspaper clippings, magazine covers, letters, and postcards that documented her son’s rise to fame. Without providing a few sentences of context on the exhibit label, the significance of that work as a documentary source is lost. Springsteen fans may have already amassed enough knowledge to recognize the piece on first sight, but others museum visitors may need a little more information.
I can guarantee that fans of all ages will enjoy Bruce Springsteen Live! From viewing Clarence’s Clemon’s saxophone, to a poster advertising $2 tickets for a concert, and Bruce’s Broadway outfit there’s something for everyone.
So hopefully, someday girl, I don’t know when, you’ll get to that place where I really want you to go. Even if you have to bust out of class to get away from those fools, just do it before March 20th when the exhibit closes.
For more information, please visit the Grammy Museum’s website.