Bruce Springsteen’s Bringing Me To Broadway!

What can you say about Bruce Springsteen that hasn’t already been said? Not much, that’s for damn sure. The guy, after all, is an icon. An idol. And for good reasons: he’s talented as hell, smart as a whip, down to earth, and has been working his tail off in the music biz for over 50 years. Shit, his work ethic is unparalleled. And it hasn’t waned. He’s 71 years old, for crying out loud, yet has more energy than just about any teenager.

A scene from Springsteen On Broadway (photo by Rob DeMartin)

His latest project? He’s about to revive Springsteen On Broadway. An intimate one-man performance in which Bruce sings some of his songs and tells stories about his life, the show originally ran from October 2017 to December 2018 and was a huge success. When it reopens on June 26 at the St. James Theater, it will be the first Broadway production to be staged since COVID shut down New York’s theaters 15 months ago. Bruce is leading the charge to help the city return to its glory days!

Dig this: I personally know Springsteen a little bit. That’s because, unbelievably and from out of the f*cking blue, he showed up at my door in mid-2017, offering to make me — a nonentity in possession of zero musical talent — a member of his mighty E Street Band. “You’re shitting us, right, Neil?” I hear a chorus of doubters ask. Yo, ye of little faith, would I lie? You can read all about it by clicking here.

Alas, a band member I never became. I would have if the group had gone on tour, but tour it didn’t. Springsteen On Broadway and coronavirus saw to that. As a result, I was certain that Bruce had forgotten all about me.

Wrong! When my phone rang one evening early this month, none other than The Boss was on the other end.

“My man! Bruce here. It’s been a long, long while since we talked.”

“Bruce? Hey, it’s great to hear from you. How have you been?”

“Good, man. Real good. I’m always busy, you know. Wrote four songs this morning, for instance. They flowed out of me like a sweet mountain stream. Then I practiced the guitar for an hour. After that I was on the phone all afternoon with the director and stage crew of the Broadway show I’m bringing back in a few weeks. How about you? What have you done today?”

My throat seized up for a second. What had I, a stumbler through life, done? Well, as is often the case, taking a superb dump was the only thing that had invigorated me at all. Some might be afraid to reveal such an intimate detail to others, but I count myself as one of the brave. Bruce wasn’t the least bit fazed by what I told him.

“Neil, I know where you’re coming from. Once in a while I go through uninspired spells too. Listen, I feel bad that you haven’t gotten a chance to perform with my band. I want to make it up to you. What I have to offer would get you off your unmotivated ass, other than when you’re taking dumps, of course, and put you smack in the middle of the spotlight.”

“Does this have something to do with Springsteen On Broadway?” I asked.

“Indeed it does. Neil, I want to tweak the show a bit. Mostly it’ll remain the same — heartfelt, quietly powerful — but I’m going to add an interlude where I tell a couple of drummer jokes. The audience will love the change of pace. Here’s the deal: You’ll wander onto the stage right after I finish singing Thunder Road. I’ll introduce you and announce that you’re my straight man. Then I’ll say, ‘Neil, what do you call a drummer who breaks up with his girlfriend?’ You’ll shrug your shoulders to indicate that you don’t know. ‘Homeless!’ I’ll yell. Next I’ll ask you, ‘What’s the difference between a drummer and a savings bond?’ You’ll shrug again. I’ll bellow, ‘Only one of them matures and earns money!'”

“The crowd, I’m positive, will be roaring with laughter,” he continued, “and as they do you’ll bow and make your exit. Sound good?”

What? That’s it? Bruce, how about giving me at least a couple of lines of dialogue? I mean, I’ve never been on stage before, but I know I could handle that.”

“Baby steps, brother. Baby steps. For now, this is the best I can do,” Bruce replied. “And it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You never know where this kind of exposure might take you. Are you on board?”

Only a fool would have answered no.

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments. By the way, in 2018 a performance of Springsteen On Broadway was filmed for Netflix. If you have Netflix, do yourself a favor and watch the show if you haven’t yet. Springsteen thinks and feels deeply. He’s something else.)

110 thoughts on “Bruce Springsteen’s Bringing Me To Broadway!

  1. Listening Through The Lens June 24, 2021 / 1:29 am

    I love your you and Bruce stories. So exciting to have a superstar in your corner.who appreciates your musical potential so much. It might surprise you to know that I have a Bruce connection as well (sort of). My wife wants to marry him.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Paddy Tobin June 24, 2021 / 3:35 am

    I’m left bewildered and wondering if….

    Liked by 2 people

      • Paddy Tobin June 24, 2021 / 1:15 pm

        Further research here in Ireland has unearthed a possible explanation. You may be familiar with The Blarney Stone – a stone set into the wall of Blarney Castle in Cork which has the reputation that those who kiss it – and the queue in their thousands to do so – will have the gift of eloquence, the gift of the gab, as we would say. Well, I had a certain recollection, a story from a chap I know who works there about a visitor they had some years back. He recalled this Yank who had visited, a certain Neil Scheinin from Philadelphia, who not only kissed the stone but took a bite out of it! The teeth marks and a small brass plaque commemorate the occasion and, well, his blogs bear out the efficacy of The Blarney Stone!

        Liked by 4 people

  3. George June 24, 2021 / 3:53 am

    Brilliant! Very excited to see your Broadway debut. I’m just a bit worried that it’s not long on stage and if it happens to coincide with you taking an inspired dump, you might miss your queue.

    P.S. could you get me a gig as a scriptwriter? How about:

    Bruce: “What’s the difference between a drum clinic and a kindergarten?”

    Neil: (shrugs and shakes his head)

    Bruce: “Kindergartens are supervised by adults”.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Paula B June 24, 2021 / 5:06 am

    As a drummer and a rabid Springsteen fan, I enjoyed this blog immensely. For decades my biggest fantasy has been that Max suddenly gets a horrible attack of food poisoning onstage and I am called out of the audience to take over on drums.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres June 24, 2021 / 6:58 am

    One of the most iconic Springsteen songs is forever wrapped up in my mind with one of my own most significant life experiences. It also provided me with a mantra that’s never failed me: “Windows down; volume up.” Loved this piece, and now I’m listening to Springsteen at 6 a.m.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Robert Parker June 24, 2021 / 7:31 am

    Bruce Juice! Made from roots rock, energy, thoughtfulness, and poetry. Just the energizing shot we need, cheers Neil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 24, 2021 / 11:48 am

      Like all musicians, he started out in small venues, playing them for years. His popularity grew and grew, and eventually he became a superstar.

      Like

  7. sloppy buddhist June 24, 2021 / 8:26 am

    Like he says “Talk about a dream, try to make it real.”…enjoy Neil and now I’m going to listen too! 🎶🎵☺️👌smiles hedy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 24, 2021 / 11:50 am

      I think that most of his dreams have come true. He’s a good guy and deserves the success he’s had.

      Like

  8. tylerus June 24, 2021 / 8:34 am

    A great, enjoyable post, as always (even for a non fan – t’is true, alas – of The Boss).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. SandyL June 24, 2021 / 8:47 am

    Inspired! I painted my first house to Springteen’s music. I still have the CD, which tells you how long àgo that was.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie Graves June 24, 2021 / 9:00 am

    Tee-hee! And then there is this: “Shit, his work ethic is unparalleled.” So true!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Debra June 24, 2021 / 10:11 am

    Not hiring you for the E Street Band was the Boss’ loss. :-}

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui Murray June 24, 2021 / 10:47 am

    Wait! I though Biden’s team had called, asking for your assistance. What about the future of the country?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rosaliene Bacchus June 24, 2021 / 1:07 pm

    I agree, Neil, Springsteen is something else 🙂 Enjoy the show. I’ll watch it when it comes to Netflix.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. JT Twissel June 24, 2021 / 4:07 pm

    I’ve never met an almost famous drummer before! I feel like a celebrity! I’ll send you my autograph!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. roughwighting June 24, 2021 / 5:32 pm

    I would spend the ticket to go to Springsteen on Broadway just to see what a funny straight man you are. But wait. I see examples of it all the time — here. On your blog. Ta dum! Drum roll. Funny, and I understand the fantasy. Mine is with Paul. Paul McCartney, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. cincinnatibabyhead June 24, 2021 / 5:35 pm

    ‘Who’s that down at the end of the alley? He’s been gone so long. Here he comes here he comes Neils back in town!” Then CB blows his face off on the devils horn and the worlds back in formation.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The Coastal Crone June 24, 2021 / 5:47 pm

    OK, I’m impressed with your stories of this icon. Glad he is doing his part to bring back Broadway!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. workinacresnothours June 24, 2021 / 7:04 pm

    WOW just WOW. He’s such a legend of a dude, so great you’ll be a supporting act. Take lots of photos to share will be great to read of your moment on stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. johnlmalone June 25, 2021 / 7:28 am

    what a marvellous tall story, Neil; as the saying is, if you’re going to tell them tall, make them BIG 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 25, 2021 / 9:41 am

      One thing for sure is that Bruce and the E Street band need to get back on the road. It probably will happen next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. JOYCE HAMILTON June 25, 2021 / 11:25 am

    Thanks good to know his show is on Netflix

    Liked by 1 person

  21. andrewcferguson June 25, 2021 / 5:08 pm

    Hang in there, Neil. I could see this developing into a whole routine that takes over the middle segment of the show – next it’ll be bass player jokes, then lead guitarist jokes… but when it gets to lead singer jokes, he’ll have to be the straight guy and you’ll be shooting out the lead singer zingers!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. viewfromoverthehill June 25, 2021 / 11:36 pm

    Get off your sofa Neil: Dress up and get out there. You’d be a star in no time!! But try not to show the old guy up — it IS his show after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 26, 2021 / 7:18 am

      Hi Muriel. Bruce’s show begins tonight. I’ve read that other Broadway shows will open in September. May they all be big successes!

      Like

  23. stargazer June 26, 2021 / 10:06 am

    I’ve seen him live quite a few years ago. Didn’t know he was still going strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. talebender June 26, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    Q: Neil, what do you call a drummer and blogger who declines an invitation to appear on stage with the Boss?
    A: [answer deleted by Censor Board].

    Thank goodness you aren’t a [noun deleted by Censor Board]!

    Great piece!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. alhenry June 26, 2021 / 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up, Neil. We’ll all be looking for you in the new show! And, seriously, thanks for the note about the 2018 perf on Netflix. Bruce is still THE BOSS. And “Born to Run” IMO still ranks in the Top 10 great songs of all times. “Tramps like us…”

    Liked by 1 person

  26. annieasksyou June 27, 2021 / 12:19 am

    Oh, I get it: this is one of those Russian nesting dolls blog posts, where we click one after the other and then another and follow you all the way to Vladivostok—with the E Street Band along for the fun of it. And fun it was. Big Springsteen fan here—had really hoped to see him on Broadway last time. I did see him in my home, though—through the wonders of TV. Don’t mess this one up, Neil. Springsteen fantasies don’t come along that often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 27, 2021 / 7:08 am

      Morning, Annie. I saw Bruce and band in a Greenwich Village club in 1974, before he and they got famous. They opened with the Spanish Johnny song. It was an incredible show, as good as any I’ve ever seen.

      Like

  27. Cindy June 27, 2021 / 12:55 am

    Neil, just tell Bruce that your wife’s name is Sandy, like the girl in his great song 4th of July, Asbury Park, and I’m sure he’ll give you a much bigger role in his show—and maybe even let you into the band!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ckennedy June 27, 2021 / 7:19 pm

    Those are great jokes! I can’t wait for live theater again. I’ll definitely have to catch Springsteen on Broadway if I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Alyson June 29, 2021 / 6:50 pm

    Remember your last encounter with Bruce well. Enjoy the show (great jokes by the way). Will have to watch the Netflix version as I’m across the pond, and unlikely to visit Broadway for some time. Roll on theatres all opening up again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 29, 2021 / 9:57 pm

      Right, pretty soon a bunch of other shows will be opening on Broadway and elsewhere in New York. They’ve been missed.

      Like

  30. ellie894 June 29, 2021 / 8:21 pm

    I can’t think of a single better way to get Broadway Rockin again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. JoAnn June 30, 2021 / 7:26 pm

    How cool! What a neat story! By the way, I fell for a news headline a few weeks ago. They said ‘big news about Bruce Springsteen’ and they made it seem kinda ominous so of course I thought ‘oh shit he has cancer or something.’ Then when the commercial was over they started talking about his Broadway show. What a bunch of assholes! Ha ha! Got me all worried for nothing 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger June 30, 2021 / 10:13 pm

      Hi. It was announced today that Springsteen will perform at a huge outdoor concert this summer in New York’s Central Park. Lots of big names will be on the bill. It’s to celebrate The Big Apple’s return to normalcy.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. selizabryangmailcom June 30, 2021 / 10:23 pm

    Biden’s team and Keith Richards, maybe. But buds with The Boss? I might have to put my foot down for that one, hahaha.People must be thrilled, though. I guess the show opened a few days ago. Have you heard how it’s going……….?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger July 1, 2021 / 7:10 am

      Hey, Stacey. I read that opening night went really well. Something of note is that in order to attend the show you have to provide proof that you are fully vaccinated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • selizabryangmailcom July 1, 2021 / 12:42 pm

        Makes sense. Good idea!

        Liked by 1 person

  33. D. Wallace Peach July 3, 2021 / 12:08 pm

    I grew up on Springsteen, an American icon. The show sounds great. I hope he reconsiders and gives you a walk on with a few lines. Lol. A fun post, Neil. I’ll have to watch the Netflix version. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. rkrontheroad July 3, 2021 / 7:06 pm

    I know you’re a big Springsteen fan… go do it! Be the straight man! 🙂 I didn’t realize his show was on Netflix. I’ll look for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger July 3, 2021 / 11:13 pm

      Greetings, Ruth. For a long time I resisted watching the show on Netflix. I’m glad I finally got around to it. It’s very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Gibberish July 6, 2021 / 4:48 pm

    Dude, you’re not just another blogger, you’re the dude who shrugs while Bruce cracks up jokes on stage!!! You’re on your way to being famous man !! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  36. gabychops July 8, 2021 / 8:54 am

    Just to add about the young man driving to New Delhi, he is very altruistic and runs in New Delhi a school for destitute children. They are fed, dressed, and educated to be able to have a normal life.

    In the pandemic, he was going out to feed people left on the roadside and to give them clothes. It makes me happy that all over the world there are decent people.

    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

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