As one is aware, Bruce Springsteen has, like many celebrities in 2016, threatened to leave the United States if Trump wins the election in 2020. Being a born-and-bred and current resident of New Jersey, a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey, and involved in, albeit a limited role, some state-level New Jersey political races, this “threat” is near and dear to me since Springsteen is New Jersey’s native son and, oddly, poet laureate. Seriously, his 1975 anthem- “Born to Run-” is the unofficial state song by legislative decree. Of course, the song talks about getting “out of a death trap while we’re young” where truer words about New Jersey could not have been spoken.
And this writer must confess that I once was a Springsteen fan compiling his artistic output in the form of those funny 33-rpm records at first, then tapes (for my Walkman), and finally CD’s. I had even made my own tapes of rare Springsteen songs (since lost in a move). And I believe I have seen the man and his band in concert five times- not a record: that belongs to R.E.M (7 times), with Pearl Jam and Neil Young tied at six. I will admit that one left a Springsteen concert as if they just experienced a religious tent revival. But, that was then and I would not put out a cent of hard-earned money to see him today.
Lost in the entire mix of the dust up of the Springsteen threat to move is the fact that Mr. Springsteen ceased to be artistically, musically and culturally relevant about five albums ago. Perhaps his last “decent” output was in 2001-2002 with the release of “The Rising.” That’s almost a generation ago!
At the end of the day, Bruce Springsteen is just like your average run-of-the-mill liberal who says and sings one thing, but lives a totally different life. It is called hypocrisy. It is like Joe Biden touting his “blue collar” roots while being a career politician and lawyer. Bruce Springsteen may have worked his youthful days in his “daddy’s garage” and spending the nights “chasing some mirage,” but a rock singer is about as “blue collar” as Joe Biden’s legal and political careers.
To Springsteen and people like Biden, Warren and even the ultimate liberal socialist, Bernie Sanders, it is socialism for thee, but not for me. The proof is in their net worths. With Springsteen, he takes advantage of every state tax loophole in New Jersey that would make a Donald Trump accountant proud. For example, he receives a huge state tax and local property tax abatement on his estate in Monmouth County, New Jersey because it is considered “green acres.” Those “green acres” is a few apple trees and some horses.
This is likely why he has chosen Australia over Canada, which seems to be the preferred destination of those “celebrities” promising to leave the country in 2016 if Trump won (none of them did) and again in 2020 (none of them will). In this case, Springsteen’s tax accountants likely found favorable tax laws in Australia so that he can retain more of his “hard-earned,” “blue collar” dollars.
So spare us the announcements and drama, Bruce. Fact: You are no longer really that relevant. Release yet another “Best Of…” album with some new song thrown in there. That is what formerly relevant musicians do to stay slightly relevant still when their career is winding down. Then have your accountants count the money and hide the profits in loopholes like every other hypocritical celebrity. Better yet, just stay on your gated estate, have your wife make a nice American apple pie from your trees, and brush your horses every day. You’ve made your millions; now shut up. Nobody, even your former fans and likely many of your current fans, really don’t care if you live in New Jersey, California, or Australia.