Seeing Springsteen in New Jersey

Robert Apple has been a Bruce Springsteen fan for most of his life. Back in the day, Apple cruised around suburban Cleveland, Ohio in his white Olds Cutlass blasting Springsteen official and un-official audio tapes. After seeing The Boss countless times over the years on Ohio's North Coast, Apple and longtime buddies Phil Baumal and Jeff Velick hit their own "Thunder Road" to see one of The Boss' July 2008 Giants Stadium shows in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Indeed it is a treat to see Springsteen anywhere, but when he comes to this legendary venue, the experience is beyond memorable. Anyone who attended one of Springsteen's six night shows on his Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1985 or a night during his 10-day stint on The Rising Tour stop in 2003 would agree.

"Since Danny Federici (keyboardist, E Street Band member)died we said we have to go to a Giants Stadium show," Apple recalls.

Apple, still living in the Cleveland area, Velick, a Chicagoan and Boca Raton resident Baumal, reunited in New York. The old high school friends spent time in the Big Apple before heading out to the show in Jersey.

"We had to go to Yankee Stadium before it would be blown up," Apple says half-jokingly.

The trio stayed at New York's W Hotel which is in Times Square, also known as the center of the universe. The hotel is located near the MTV Store, the Theatre District and many museums. Staying at this luxurious hotel made things a bit easier for Apple, Velick and Baumal since the concert night was a long one.

"The concert was delayed. There was a tie-up on the turnpike, so the show started late," Apple says. "That made things tough for me since I'm not that young."

After dealing with the New York Port Authority bus to get to Giants Stadium, the payoff was immense: Apple got to meet Springsteen biographer and Sirius Radio show host, Dave Marsh.

After meeting Marsh, the three made a beeline for their eighth row seats on the floor.

"The show was incredible," Apple says. "It was over three hours and they were taking requests."

After retiring to their room at 5 a.m., Apple says that the trip was well worth it. "I just realized one other thing," the "forty-something" Apple says. "I'm not that young anymore!"

Even though Springsteen's Magic Tour has concluded, you can still go to Jersey to get your Boss Fix. If you're in the area and have the time, check out the places Bruce wrote about including Atlantic City and Asbury Park. Asbury Park is not only the name of one of his albums, but it is also the home to The Stone Pony -- where Springsteen got his start.

Fast Fact:

Cleveland residents can take advantage of great airfares out of Akron-Canton airport. Robert Apple hopped on an AirTran flight for a $180.00 roundtrip price.


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