Tuesday, January 27, 2009

XLIII Things Bruce Springsteen Has Done Bigger than the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen is an accomplished singer, writer and activist. This Sunday, keeping with their post-wardrobe malfunction tradition of reverting to elderly musicians as their main attraction during the Super Bowl halftime show, the NFL will wheel out the Boss as its featured act. Despite the immediate previous entertainers being legends Sir Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince and Tom Petty, Springsteen's appearance is being hyped as one of the most anticipated ever.

Yet, Springsteen's career has been littered with big moments that often go unnoticed, and deserve recognition in their own right.

Here are XLIII moments in Bruce's career that the HHR staff has deemed bigger or as big as the Super Bowl halftime show.

I. Thrice daily bowel movements.

II. Made the red bandanna-around-the-head acceptable for men to sport.

III. Made the V-neck an 'anytime of the year' shirt.

IV. Made the tux vest an 'anytime of the year' accessory.

V. Clarence's ass.

VI. Made it believable that it's normal for a guy from Freehold, NJ to have a southern twang.

VII. Helped mumbling become an accepted art form.

VIII. Took Mickey Rourke's phone call. Oh, wait. Rourke wrote him a letter. He answered his LETTER. Bruce supports snail mail!

IX. Gave Jon Bon Jovi someone to impersonate for the last 3 decades.

X. Tricked people into thinking that, despite not working a real job in 40 years, living in a gated mansion and rubbing elbows with the leader of the free world, he is the voice of the common man.

XI. Dug Asbury Park deeper into despair.

XII. Gave Jakob Dylan a successful father-figure to look up to.

XIII. Single-handedly kept Levis in business during tough economic times.

XIV. Brought the acting world Mr. Little Steven Van Zandt.

XV. Made it acceptable to cheat on a supermodel and marry a Jersey Girl who if she weren't a backup singer on the Jersey Shore would be a diner waitress.

XVI. Tricked the world into thinking Patti can sing and play.

XVII. Gave a whiny John Cusack sound advice in High Fidelity.

XVIII. Brought back the soul patch.

XIX. Undermined USA For Africa's plot to rid world hunger by ruining We Are the World (2:14 mark) and blaming his worse-than-usual vocals on "agida and indigestion."

XX. Testifies for the Church of Rock-n-Roll, thereby supplanting Jesus Christ as savior of the world for the likes of Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Mott the Hoople.

XXI. Defied fashionistas everywhere when he posed for his long-anticipated Born in the USA follow-up, Tunnel of Love, in a bolo tie.

XXII. Bet Southside Johnny Lyon a bottle of Ron Rico Rum that he could revitalize Manfred Man's career with a single lyric: "Revved up light a douche." Won.

XXIII. Showing no qualms about squashing competition whoever they may be, beat out puppies (Beathoven's 2nd), and thugs (Poetic Justice) alike to capture the 1993 Oscar for Best Song (Streets of Philadelphia).

XXIV. Speaking of squashing competition, successfully was enshrined in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame without the E Street Band, despite his wall-of-sound/Spector-esq styling being among his most prominent musical traits.

XXV. Created a more successful album called Nebraska than anyone actually from Nebraska.

XXVI. Became a folk legend and heir to Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan's mantle, which so infuriated John Mellencamp that the Indiana native has since sustained numerous well-publicized health conditions that still persist today.

XXVII. Tricked fans into thinking "Wild Billy's Circus Story" was about the carnival and not one big, gay freak fest:
"Behind the tent the hired hand tightens his legs on the sword swallower's blade"

"And the strong man Sampson lifts the midget little Tiny Tim way up on his shoulders, way up; And carries him on down the midway past the kids, past the sailors; To his dimly lit trailer."

"And the circus boss leans over, whispers into the little boy's ear "Hey son, you want to try the big top?"

XXVIII. Was so infatuated with C. Thomas Howell's portrayal of Ponyboy Curtis in 1983's The Outsiders, that he wrote a terrible song about it to include on a terrible album.

XXIX. Credited with "revitalizing" a Jersey Shore rock scene that proceeded to pump out rock "legends" John Eddie and Skid Row.

XXX. Influenced John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, without whom Eddie and the Cruisers would just be some low-budget cult classic and not the biggest hit of Tom Beringer's career. And, of course, without Eddie and the Cruisers, there would be no Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives.

XXXI. Reduces Chris "Mad Dog" Russo to a sniveling fanboy for someone other than Roger Federer, prompting callers to preface their remarks with a mocking, "IS THERE ANYBODY ALIVE OUT THERE?!"

XXXII. Only American singer to have a spaceship named in his homage. The "Thunder Road" was piloted by a young Ethan Hawke, an alive River Phoenix and a no-name Jason Presson in 1985's Explorers.

XXXIII. Stars in a video documentary that is handed out to prepubescent pitchers by Little League Baseball titled "How Not to Pitch."

XXXIV. Stars in a video documentary that is handed out to prepubescent students at grade school dances titled "How Not to Dance."

XXXV. Has a United States secular holiday named in his honor which is celebrated on October 16.

XXXVI. Got these guys (among others) laid:

XXXVII. Lends his name to several worthwhile charities, most notably "Crime Aid."

XXXVIII. Campaigning in 2004, asked Sen. John Kerry, "Why the long face?"

XXXIX. Has a banner commemorating his 45 Philadelphia sellouts hanging from the rafters at the Wachovia Center. Making that one more banner than the Sixers have had in the last 25 years.

XL. Was immortalized by Ben Stiller.

XLI. Was immortalized by Adam Sandler.

XLII. Was immortalized by Jim Hensen.

XLIII. Twice.

Follow us on Twitter
@HHReynolds or Click Here to get HHR in your inbox.


14 STIX said...

This was incredible. And now I know who to blame for the terrible facial hair sported by Scott Spezio, Rick Bucher and Vijay Singh.

Ethanator1088 said...

This is awesome. The Boss rocks! I am sure he will do great. I was watching Conan last night and Max is already there "Practicing". Yeah right. I am sure they will practice all week long. Look for Max in da clubs :-)

Scarecrow said...

Pretty humorous :)

I personally cannot stand Bruce Springsteen's music, although I love John Mellencamp's.

John has been compared to Bruce too many times, as if John should aspire to be as good as Bruce Springsteen. "Uh Huh" came out before "Born in the USA", and Bruce's "Tunnel of Love" album cover is almost identical to a Timothy White/Rock Stars poster I have of John Mellencamp's "Lonesome Jubilee", which also came out before "Tunnel of Love."

I think Bruce and John, while both can be considered Heartland Rock singing about the common man, are two entirely different artists and should not be compared to each other.

But thanks for the laugh :)

bradykp said...

bruce's show was amazing. i like john couger mellencamp also, but bruce has so much more in his music than jcm does. bruce is definitely his own artist, and if you see him in concert, you'd know that. he's pretty much dressed the same way his entire career, and he does a lot for a city that struggles to survive rampant corruption. but anyways - that halftime show is going to be tough to beat.