New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media




BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

A Different Take On Springsteen On Broadway

By Gary Wien

originally published: 10/13/2017

A Different Take On Springsteen On Broadway

Press reviews are pouring in for Springsteen on Broadway this week and, while the critics love the show, many fans are still upset at the ticket costs which started out at hundreds of dollars more expensive than his regular tour tickets.  Die-hard fans who often attended multiple shows on each tour are struggling with the idea of being able to see just one performance or none at all.  Rich Lynch, a writer/musician from New Jersey who now lives in Nashville, was so incensed by the comments he saw from Bruce fans that he actually wrote and recorded a "protest" song in their honor.

As a music fan, Lynch never imagined he would write a song about him that could be considered anything less than reverential, but then Bruce announced an 80-show run of dates on Broadway in New York City. As he noticed the amount of negative feedback on Springsteen-related websites and forums, he realized that he was not alone in feeling disappointed in the high ticket prices.

To be fair, Bruce Springsteen routinely sells out stadiums around the world.  He has rarely performed in a venue as small as the Walter Kerr Theatre (under 950 capacity).  In a way, this performance was always going to be special simply because of the intimate venue, but as details emerged about the show it became clear it wasn't simply another concert -- it was a night of stories, personal reflections, and music.  In other words, Springsteen had created a true Broadway show.  With that in mind, some believe the ticket prices should be judged against other hot tickets on Broadway (some which run into hundreds of dollars as well) instead of a regular concert.

"The idea for the song definitely came from seeing the widespread backlash and from talking to longtime fans," explained Lynch who said the highest ticket prices he's ever paid was $500 for a Broadway play. "At this point, if this was a political race, you'd find me on the side of the disillusioned party. I've definitely seen Bruce in concert over thirty times since the 80s and I've shook his hand on at least three occasions. I surely didn't wake up one morning and decide to deconstruct one of my lifelong heroes. But, when I found that ridiculous anagram I knew exactly what needed to be done."



The article continues after this ad

 


The anagram came from the title of the show itself. That discovery, along with the comments he read online, brought a burst of inspiration.

"Something was bothering me about the name of the production," Lynch recalled. "I'm a creative person and often I'll employ unusual methods to help inspire my songwriting."

Lynch said he printed out an image of the marquee that read "Springsteen On Broadway" and using a scissors and some tape he cut out each individual letter and started rearranging them until he found a perfect anagram containing the unlikely but strangely fitting phrase: "Ow, A Bad Singer's Pony Rent".

"Once I stopped laughing I realized there might be something here," Lynch continued. "I quickly crafted three verses dealing with the universal subjects of greed, lost integrity and the dangers of blind faith and then the chorus basically wrote itself. The demo was done within 48 hours."

Despite admitting that odds were long that he would have actually traveled from Nashville to New York City to see the show, Lynch crafted a good song.  He followed the concept of the Traveling Wilburys' cult classic, "Tweeter and the Monkey Man," and included several references to Springsteen in the lyrics to help illustrate the disillusionment expressed by many long-time fans.  

"The sheep lined up on Broadway / Because the boss let out the decree
The change was made when they found out / What was lying underneath the marquee
Now he’s a fallen star they say / no longer heaven sent
The streets of New York City are paved with gold and tarred with disillusionment"

Lynch enlisted the help of Jay Pounders (former frontman of the band Crossfire Choir) to produce the track with Nashville guitarist Nick Johnson lending a strong classic rock vibe.  The end result is a track that has been garnering good initial reviews. 

Does Lynch worry about backlash from the song?

"For me, I'm a songwriter and an observer of life as it goes on around me," Lynch explained. "This song isn't necessarily from my point of view but it does tell the side of disillusioned fans. "I found support for this song in a Philly.com opinion piece called ‘Profiteering On Broadway’ that was published in September when the show was announced.  In the article the author described how the people most likely sitting in the front row would be the Banker’s Hill types that Bruce had once railed against on his late career Wrecking Ball album."

Lynch says he last saw Springsteen perform live on November 22, 2009 in Buffalo, NY - the last time Clarence Clemons performed with the band. He seems content with that memory as the final chapter for him.  The prices for the Broadway shows have priced him and many others out of the run.  If you are among them, you might feel like putting on Lynch's song and joining the protest.

For more on Lynch's music visit www.richlynchband.com



Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.


For more by this author, click here




More Articles You Might Like

Celine Dion To Perform At Prudential Center On March 7, 2020
Celine Dion To Perform At Prudential Center On March 7, 2020
Prudential Center Adds Second Show For Celine Dion
Prudential Center Adds Second Show For Celine Dion
Three of the Most Acclaimed Instrumentalists: Zakir Hussain, Jayanthi Kumaresh, and Kala Ramnath to Perform at NJPAC
Three of the Most Acclaimed Instrumentalists: Zakir Hussain, Jayanthi Kumaresh, and Kala Ramnath to Perform at NJPAC
"Springsteen: His Hometown" Exhibit To Run At Monmouth County Historical Association
"Springsteen: His Hometown" Exhibit To Run At Monmouth County Historical Association
Portugal's Mariza To Celebrate 20 Years of Song At NJPAC
Portugal's Mariza To Celebrate 20 Years of Song At NJPAC
The Newton Theatre Presents Keb' Mo's Jingle Bell Jamboree
The Newton Theatre Presents Keb' Mo's Jingle Bell Jamboree


Event calendar
Saturday, Dec 14, 2019


MUSIC


Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Motor City Revue @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

NEW POLITICS, PLAIN WHITE T'S & THE MOWGLI'S @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

HOLIDAY DOO WOP VOL. II @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm


Jackie Evancho @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

DUEL OF THE DECADES: 90'S VS. Y2K @ The Wellmont Theater, Montclair - 7:00pm

GANDINI JUGGLING AND ALEXANDER WHITLEY AMERICAN PREMIERE SPRING @ Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair - 8:00pm

Morris Choral Society Presents "Baroque Jewels and Songs of the Season" @ Morristown United Methodist Church , Morristown - 8:00pm

Imperial Brass Sounds of the season @ Grace Episcopal Church (Nyack, NY), Nyack - 3:00pm

Princeton Symphony Orchestra: Holiday POPS! @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 3:00pm and 6:00pm

The Hot Sardines @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Broadway for the Holidays: A Musical Revue @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm

Quiet Storm @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm






THEATRE


It's A Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre @ The Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents THE GREAT TREE AND OTHER TALES BY ZONA GALE @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

It's A Wonderful Life @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Free to Be...You and Me @ Players Guild of Leonia at the Civil War Drill Hall Theatre, Leonia - 3:00pm and 7:00pm

Broadway for the Holidays: A Musical Revue @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm

Madeline’s Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

COMEDY


Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 7:00pm


DANCE


NEW JERSEY BALLET'S NUTCRACKER WITH NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 6:00pm

NUTCRACKER - AMERICAN REPERTORY BALLET @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

The Nutcracker, National Ballet Theater of Odessa @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


The Nutcracker @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 1:00pm and 4:00pm


FILM


Polar Express Pajama Party @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 6:30pm

View all events

















 


















New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.