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Mike Appel, former manager of Bruce Springsteen and a Dongan Hills resident, has written a musical,

Mike Appel, former manager of Bruce Springsteen and a Dongan Hills resident, has written a musical, "Stage Door Johnny," that he hopes to have produced on Broadway. (Steve Zaffarano/Staten Island Advance)

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – How do you talk to Mike Appel without talking about Bruce Springsteen?

It’s simple. You don’t.

But there’s more to Appel than his time as Springsteen’s first manager, the man who discovered the Boss and help launch him on a road that has taken Springsteen from the Jersey Shore bars to Broadway, and made him America’s rock laureate.

For starters, Appel wants to follow Springsteen onto the Great White Way. He’s written a musical called “Stage Door Johnny,” and is in serious discussions to get it mounted.

“No one should be a ‘stage door johnny’ in his or her own life,” Appel, 76, told the Advance recently. “No more waiting in the wings of your life like so many people actually do.”

Even hard-core Springsteen fans may not realize that Appel has been an Islander for decades. He used to live on Todt Hill, which Appel said reminded him of Old Brookville, L.I., where he grew up. These days, Appel’s in Dongan Hills.

And Appel said an Island Broadway icon, the late composer Galt MacDermot, who inspired him to write “Stage Door Johnny.”

“He told me there are no ‘sacred cows’ on Broadway,” said Appel, a songwriter in his own right who worked in Wes Farrell’s bubblegum factory penning songs for the Partridge Family, and later produced and wrote songs for heavy metal pioneers Sir Lord Baltimore.

For the musical, which has been in the works for more than 15 years, Appel started with his best songs and then wrote a story “that uses those songs in an organic and natural way.”

It’s not how Broadway shows are generally conceived, but Appel thinks his approach will give the show and its songs a chance to reach a mainstream audience.

He said, “I chose Broadway at this time in my life because there are virtually no outlets for songwriters of my generation to reach the baby boomer and classic rock audience other than Broadway.”

Appel said the show might even get millennials to dig into the classic rock of the past and use it as inspiration for their own work.

Bruce Springsteen and Mike Appel backstage on the last night of the Working On A Dream Tour. Springsteen dedicated the show to Appel in honor of it being the first time that Springsteen and The E Street Band played his first album,

Bruce Springsteen and Mike Appel backstage on the last night of the Working On A Dream Tour. Springsteen dedicated the show to Appel in honor of it being the first time that Springsteen and The E Street Band played his first album, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.," produced by Appel, in it’s entirety. The date was Nov. 22, 2009 in Buffalo N.Y. (Photo courtesy of James Appel)

The Springsteen-Appel story is part rock legend, part cautionary tale.

Appel was Springsteen’s manager, and produced Springsteen’s first three records: “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” “The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle” and the iconic “Born to Run.”

It's that last album, which Appel co-produced, that famously got Springsteen on the cover of Time and Newsweek simultaneously.

But the two had a business falling-out that birthed an epic court battle. The legal fight was settled, and the two have rebuilt their personal relationship. Springsteen invited Appel to one of the Broadway shows, and had him come backstage.

“It was an ignorant time,” Appel said of the split. “He didn’t know, and I didn’t know, about the lawyers and their jockeying for their own benefit. And I learned that.”

Appel said, “It was a sorry time. It was a disappointing time, but absolutely I had to go my own way sooner or later. Could I have stayed around for another album or two? Maybe. I don’t know whether that would have been easy. Remember, I have my own opinions on things, and Bruce trusts me. But he is the Boss, and he doesn’t have that moniker for no reason.”

From left, saxophone player Clarence Clemons, Mike Appel and Bruce Springsteen backstage at concert in Buffalo, N.Y., on Nov. 22, 2009. It was the last full concert that Clemons, a key band member and Springsteen's on-stage foil, would play with the E Street Band before his death in 2011. (Photo courtesy of James Appel)

From left, saxophone player Clarence Clemons, Mike Appel and Bruce Springsteen backstage at concert in Buffalo, N.Y., on Nov. 22, 2009. It was the last full concert that Clemons, a key band member and Springsteen's on-stage foil, would play with the E Street Band before his death in 2011. (Photo courtesy of James Appel)

The two stay in touch, and Appel will talk about the Springsteen connection on May 19 at 3 p.m. at Hamilton Park House, the home and performance space in New Brighton owned by couple Ray Heffernan and Maureen Campbell. Appel will be interviewed by Jonathan Pont of “Backstreets,” the magazine devoted to all things Springsteen.

“Bruce is in a class all by himself,” Appel said. “No one can compete with what he does, plain and simply. He is who he is and he’s simply the biggest there is.”

But Appel hopes that at least some of Springsteen’s Broadway mojo rubs off.

“No one should be a ‘stage door johnny’ in his or her own life,” Mike Appel, 76, told the Advance. “No more waiting in the wings of your life like so many people actually do.” (Steve Zaffarano/Staten Island Advance)

“No one should be a ‘stage door johnny’ in his or her own life,” Mike Appel, 76, told the Advance. “No more waiting in the wings of your life like so many people actually do.” (Steve Zaffarano/Staten Island Advance)

https://www.silive.com/news/20...lks-springsteen.html

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Oats

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with Mike Appel 1975

Mike calm down, don't worry about anything....you need $10 million, no problem, it's done old pal. I know you think only the highest thoughts about me, right?

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen3

      "Hi humans, my name is Landau, I am Bruce's dog and holder of his properties and bank accounts. As long as I am around, Appel isn't getting a dime, trust me. What's so funny? Oats, can you take me for a walk? Well the dogs on Main Street howl because they understand, If I could take one moment into my hands, Mister I ain't a dog, no I'm a man, and I believe in a Promised Land! ruff!"    

people would jump onstage and grab me by the head and scream, ‘tilly! bootlegs!'"

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Last edited by tillywilly
Oats posted:
Mike Appel, former manager of Bruce Springsteen and a Dongan Hills resident, has written a musical,

"For starters, Appel wants to follow Springsteen onto the Great White Way", and he's looking for investors. He says he knows somebody that he has had a financial relationship with for 50 years, and has already lent him money. I finally had to ask Appel, "Hey Mike, what's up with the shit-eating grin?" Mike started waving his arms and singing "Give My Regards to Broadway, remember me to Herald Square.....", and that was the end of our interview. Hopefully, Mike will not be singing and playing guitar. 

 

 

people would jump onstage and grab me by the head and scream, ‘tilly! bootlegs!'"

Hey John it's 2:40 am and I was having a little fun, but I read the article and saved it too. Now I can add it to my lawsuit clippings and documentation on Bruce recovering his songs from Appel. I am glad Bruce has made peace with him, but as a disinterested outside observer, I couldn't help but notice that Mike Appel has sociopathic tendencies, and although he may not be a criminal in the eyes of the law, he did something I could never do to a young, vulnerable person, all the while believing he was responsible for the picture I posted.  Thanks to Bruce's actions and the support of Jon Landau, Mike only got away with millions of dollars that eventually ran out, so he sold Bruce's songs back to Bruce to maintain his standard of income. 

people would jump onstage and grab me by the head and scream, ‘tilly! bootlegs!'"

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