Why Springsteen's Super Bowl Crotch Slide Went Awry

There was a long stretch of Bruce Springsteen's career where he was far less open with both his fans and the media than he is today. While the naysayers that have crept out of the woodwork in recent weeks (see: Stephen Metcalf, Jon Friedman) would probably say that's a good thing, we feel like he's been striking a pretty good balance between continuing to grow the relationship between himself and his fan base and maintaining enough mystery that people don't tire of him.

Take this week's exhilarating Super Bowl–focused entry over at BruceSpringsteen.net, for example, in which he candidly discusses everything from his initial concerns about the performance (both philosophical and technical) to the crotch slide that terrified audiences worldwide.

It's been a while since we've read something that put us right inside the mind of an artist in the way that this piece does, let alone one of this stature and one who is willing to admit that his last thought before taking the stage was "Lord Don't Let Me Screw the Pooch in Front of 100 Million People." He touches on the nerves that accompanied the lead-up to the event, and even confesses that he's worried that he will "find myself 'out' of myself and not in the moment." And he also talks about the incident that will be forever burned onto the brains of anyone who watched the halftime special that night:

Too much adrenalin [sic], a late drop, too much speed, here I come Mike -- BOOM! And I'm onto his camera, the lens implanted into my chest with one leg off the stage. I use his camera to push myself back up and … say it, say it, say it, say it -- BLAM! BORN TO RUN

But of course, the piece is only partially about doubt. It's mainly about the adrenaline rush, the thrill of performing, the camaraderie he shares with the other E-Streeters and their "ambition to play for everyone. We've achieved a lot but we haven't achieved that. Our audience remains tribal -- that is, predominantly white." Even with all that said, for them, the gig really boiled down to this:

But what it's really about is my band remains one of the mightiest in the land and I want you to know it, we want to show you -- because we can.

And that's exactly why we're going to make the trek to Tennessee in June, where we'll battle the oppressive environment of Bonnaroo for another chance to experience a moment with the Boss.

SUPER BOWL JOURNAL [BruceSpringsteen.net]

Previously on NYmag.com's Vulture...

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