“From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen,” the first major exhibition about the legendary rock and roller that was originally assembled for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, is now in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center until Sept 3, 2012.
Springsteen himself explains why there should be an exhibit of his work at the National Constitution Center in the opening quote of the exhibit - "I try to chart the distance between American ideals and American reality. That's how my music is laid out."
|The guitar he played from 1968-1971|
|The Stone Pony was one of the first clubs Springsteen played|
|The handwritten lyrics of Glory Days|
|The SteelMill was one of the predecessors to E Street. The name reflects his interest, even then, in the working class.|
|A sign to promote his concert for former Democratic Presidential Candidate George McGovern|
|A typical sign brought by fans to request songs|
|The 1960 corvette, still registered, that Springsteen bought with the proceeds of "Born to Run".|
|Somehow I can picture Springsteen calling his act Springsteen and his Band of Elves|
|The medal awarded him at the Kennedy Center Honors|
|Earlier sartorial choices indicate that Springsteen's taste has improved|
|Before the E Street band, the band was called the Castiles, after the soap.|
|The clothes he wore for the album cover of "Born in the USA".|
|Jim Henke, who originally put together the exhibit for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Frank Stefanko, who photographed the early album covers|
The exhibit underscores that our patriotic troubadour was a pack rat, but will thrill even the most casual of Springsteen’s fans. Visitors are greeted at the entrance by his 1960 Corvette, which he bought with the money from "Born to Run". It includes 150 items that range from the Fender Esquire guitar featured on the cover of the “Born to Run” album to his hand written lyrics (complete with a flourish on his T’s) of “Glory Days” to his original audition tapes for Columbia Records. Springsteen, who has won 20 Grammies, 2 Golden Globes, and one Oscar, was very involved in the selection of items such as his writing desk and the suit that he wore to the Obama nomination.
Philadelphia is the natural home for a Springsteen retrospective. Bolstered by the constant plugging of WYSP’s Ed Shockey and his sold out appearances at the local Main Point and Tower Theater, 50% of the sales for his sophomore album, “The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, came from the Philadelphia area.