Springsteen Pal Drops by HOF to Talk Bruce

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Dave Marsh, veteran rock journalist (Creem, Rolling Stone) and semi-official First Friend of Bruce Springsteen, spoke at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night in conjunction with the Rock Hall’s new exhibit, From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen.

Marsh, a longtime friend of Springsteen manager Jon Landau and husband of Landau’s partner Barbara Carr, Marsh penned the 1979 Springsteen bio Born to Run, as well as the 1987 update, Glory Days; Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts, a 2003 update of both books; and Bruce Springsteen on Tour 1968-2005, published in 2006.

With Rock Hall vice president of educational programs Lauren Onkey trying to keep the discussion on track, Marsh told rambling stories about his personal interactions with Springsteen and made clear his partiality and insider status — something he didn’t initially do when Born to Run was published.

In response to a question from an audience member about the potential conflict as a journalist of being too close to an artist, he responded, “Why would I have a guilty conscience about liking people? I think it’s bullshit. Everyone knows my relationship with Bruce Springsteen.”

He talked about Springsteen’s upbringing (as well as his own) and the impact it might have had on his attitude toward his career, the interviews he’s done with Springsteen over the years, and Landau’s relationship with and impact on Springsteen.

Part of Marsh’s role as First Friend/Fan includes hosting the Sirius/XM satellite radio show, Live From E Street Nation, a weekly program that revolves around discussions of Springsteen and his music with fans and fellow enthusiasts.

Marsh will be taping this week’s installment at the Rock Hall from 10:30-noon tomorrow. His guests will include Onkey and Rock Hall chief curator Jim Henke, who organized the Springsteen exhibit. He’ll also talk on-air to Rock Hall visitors to get their impressions of the exhibit. —Anastasia Pantsios

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