Speaking of "Born In The U.S.A.," one of the best things about Springsteen supporting Kerry is that this year the Republicans can't use his music out of context like they have used that song and others in the past. Of course, the campaign managers aren't the only ones guilty of this. I was driving through the Texas panhandle and listening to the radio the day Bush started the war with Iraq (incidentally, I had been caught in the middle of a political argument at breakfast). Seemingly out of nowhere (it didn't fit their "format"), the radio station started playing "Born In The U.S.A." It turned out to be a mix of that song with some ominous, threatening quotes from Bush directed at Saddam Hussein. It was the typical jingoistic, knee jerk, redneck stuff that some Americans pass off as "patriotism" these days. Omigod, these people have no clue, I thought. Imagine the irony of using a song about Vietnam (not to mention a bad economy) as the background for Bush talking about Iraq. How prophetic!
Springsteen... strode down the street to meet up with his wife, singer Patti Scialfa. The couple stopped in front of a house full of college students gathered on a second-floor deck. "Bruce, come up for a beer," said a sign hanging from the railing.
Springsteen and Scialfa walked up to the house and emerged on the upper deck, each taking a bottle of Capitol Amber, a local brew, and watching as Kerry paid homage to the man who made the working people of Asbury Park, N.J., famous. "He sings about real people. It's poetry, it's beautiful, about life and struggles and what's important," said Kerry, who plays classical guitar. "And the people he sings about are the people I think we ought to be fighting about and having representation in the White House that's worthy in this country." Still, said Kerry, as he acknowledged the obvious, "I may be running for president of the United States, but we all know who the real boss is! Right?"
As the crowd roared, Springsteen doubled over, laughing at the return tribute.
By the way, Springsteen isn't the only musician the Bush campaign will be excluding from their greatest hits album. In news that must make my mom happy, the writer of "Still The One" by the band Orleans asked them to stop using his song.