Norwegian Good – Buzzard & the Boss: Blow Up
It’s fair to say that the one recording artist most closely associated with WMMS is Bruce Springsteen. It’s also fair to say his WMMS Tenth Anniversary concert at the Agora solidified that fact. Nearly thirty-one years later, that show remains one of the most traded concert bootlegs and Bit Torrents.
Surprisingly, the Boss only paid one visit to WMMS, which took place on April 6, 1976, the day before he and the E Street Band played the Allen Theater.
Customarily, when artists visited WMMS for interviews one of three photographers: Anastasia Pantsios, Janet Macoska, or Bob Ferrell would shoot the event for the trade papers and posterity. For reasons long forgotten, though I believe it had to do with the on-again, off-again interview plans, we did not have a photographer present when Bruce and Miami Steve Van Zandt arrived at our original habitat for inhumanity – a windowless bunker-style building attached to 5000 Euclid Avenue.
Luckily, there was Dan Keefe, who was interning at WMMS in programming and promotion. Dan loved photography, had a great eye for killer shots and had camera. Dan ended up taking one of the best-known WMMS photos from that era (it also appears in The Buzzard book). Today, he’s an innovative videographer with WKYC-TV/Cleveland.
On Monday, June 9, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played to 22,000 at the Bergenhus Festning – Koengen in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. Someone in the audience took this photo, which shows a giant blow-up of a portion of that WMMS photo from 1976. We never expected that photo to resurface as a backdrop for a Springsteen concert. Not having seen this tour, I can’t tell you whether this was a one-time use or if the photo collage backdrop is being used by Bruce and the band for their current tour. Whatever the case, someone just happened the capture this shot at the right moment.
The original photo left to right – Back row: Miami Steve Van Zandt, Charlie Kendall (mornings and music director), John Gorman, Jeff Kinzbach (then production director), Steve Lushbaugh (10 PM- 2 AM and assistant production director), Matt the Cat, Denny Sanders. Front row: Kid Leo, Bruce Springsteen, Shelly Stile, and Dan Garfinkel.
Click photos to enlarge (two sizes)
I recommend the From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland.