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Popping Back : Fans Fume, Others Cheer Bruce Blast

March 22, 1987

In the Popping Off column in the March 15 Calendar, Kristine McKenna aired her negative views on the Bruce Springsteen phenomenon. Here's a sample of the heavy reader response, which ran roughly 60% to 40% against McKenna's opinion.

I must disagree with McKenna's assertion of Springsteen's "incredibly pedestrian thematic vocabulary."

Springsteen is perhaps the most carefully crafted act in the business today, and he is simply giving a demographically determined audience exactly what they want.

By giving an unsophisticated audience songs about girls, cars the highway, etc., ad nauseam, Springsteen and his handlers are creating the semblance of "blue-collar empathy" and the audience falls for it for lack of anywhere else to turn their ears.

Actually, Springsteen and the E Street Band is the perfect band for the Reagan '80s; all pretense and hype with masses of adoring followers being stroked, and excused from having to think.

In 25 or 50 years, when the history of '80s music is being written, Springsteen will be a musical footnote, but an entertainment industry milestone. More musical significance will be found in Van Halen, the Pretenders and Huey Lewis & the News.

Time to go. I gotta put on another Who album.

MICHAEL DAVIDSON

Studio City

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