Freehold is front and center in the hit music play “Springsteen on Broadway.”
Now, you can get an up close look at the “love-and-fear making, heartbreaking town of Freehold,” as Bruce Springsteen says in the play, in the “Springsteen: His Hometown” exhibit, set for next fall at the Monmouth County Historical Association Museum in Freehold.
The exhibit will be the largest drawn to date from the artifacts of The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University. The unveiling will coincide with the Boss’ 70th birthday (Sept. 23, 2019) as well as the centennial of Freehold Borough.
The items on display will include personal scrapbooks handmade by Springsteen’s mom, Adele Springsteen, to alternate album covers never before seen by the public. E Street Band drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez; early Springsteen manager Carl “Tinker” West; and “Born to Run” drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter are contributing oral histories for the exhibit.
Bruce Springsteen (right) with Tex's Vinyard's widow, Marion Vinyard and George Theiss (center) at the 2002 dedication of Tex Vinyard Park at the corner of Center and Jackson streets in Freehold. (Photo: Bob Bielk)
Melissa Ziobro, Monmouth University’s Specialist Professor of Public History, is the curator of the exhibit. Eileen Chapman, director of the Archives and Robert Santelli, founding director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, are serving as advisers.
“We are thrilled that two distinguished authorities in all things Springsteen have accepted Professor Ziobro’s request to contribute their expertise to the exhibit” said Monmouth County Historical Association Board of Trustee’s President Linda Bricker in a statement. “Our goal is to ensure that ‘Springsteen: His Hometown’ truly captures the essence of ‘the Boss’ in a unique and engaging way.”
The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music is the official archival repository for Springsteen’s written works, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts.
A preview of “Springsteen: His Hometown” is currently being staged in six display cases in the Guggenheim Memorial Library on the campus of Monmouth university. The exhibit was curated by students at the university, under the direction of Ziobro, and draws from artifacts at the Archives.
The library at 400 Cedar Ave., West Long Branch is open daily.
Springsteen makes many references to Freehold in “Springsteen on Broadway” and he performed “My Hometown” from the play on the recent Tony Awards broadcast on CBS.
“Here we lived in the shadow of the steeple,” Springsteen says, “where the holy rubber meets the road, all crookedly blessed in God’s mercy, in the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, race-rioting, freaking, soul shaking, redneck, love-and-fear making, heartbreaking town of Freehold, New Jersey.”
Sept 27, 2016 Freehold Book Signing. hmm, that guy looks familiar.
Chris Jordan: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @chrisfhjordan