Skip to comments.'Boss' riles Republican fan base: Springsteen and company's MN tour is anti-Bush benefit
Posted on 08/05/2004 5:45:49 AM PDT by rhema
Tim Sigler is more than a mere fan of Bruce Springsteen. A dozen times a month, he poses as his hero by leading Lucky Town, a cover band devoted to the Boss' music.But when R.E.M. and John Fogerty join Springsteen on the "Vote for Change" tour which rolls into Xcel Energy Center on Oct. 5 Sigler won't be in the audience.
"Normally, I'd pay a lot of money and travel a great distance to see him," said the St. Paul resident. "I would love nothing more than to go to this concert."
So what's stopping him? Politics.
Springsteen's St. Paul concert which was announced Wednesday will benefit America Coming Together, a partisan group that hopes to, as its Web site says, "derail the right-wing Republican agenda by defeating George W. Bush and electing Democrats up and down the ticket."
"I'm a heavy pro-lifer guy, and that dictates a lot of my political views," said Sigler. "I tend to vote Republican. I feel like I would be doing a disservice to pay for this show."
The tour will present 34 concerts featuring at least 16 acts in 28 cities during the first week of October, all in swing states and all devoted to driving Bush out of office. The sheer scale of the tour tops all other politically driven concerts to date, which tend to take place on a single night in a single city. Bands are donating their time; proceeds after expenses will go to America Coming Together.
Many of Springsteen's Republican fans have taken to the Internet to echo Sigler's concerns about financially supporting a group opposed to their own beliefs. They've also endlessly debated Springsteen quotes like this one he gave to the Associated Press: "We're trying to put forward a group of progressive ideals and change the administration in the White House."
While Springsteen has often shared his political views in concert, he's rarely spoken so specifically about a candidate, said Jackie Heintz, a 40-year-old Democrat from St. Paul.
"He's more direct than he's ever been," said Heintz, who has seen Springsteen live more than 200 times. "He's supporting John Kerry. He's saying we need a change. The diehard and longtime fans shouldn't be surprised, but there will be some fans who will never buy a ticket again."
During a telephone conference call with reporters, R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills addressed the potential loss of fans for his own band: "That's a very definite possibility, but I think the election is far more important than my career."
Dave Wilkie, a 55-year-old Republican from St. Paul, said he's undecided about seeing the concert. He plans to keep an eye on news reports to get a sense of the show's balance between music and politics before deciding whether to buy a ticket.
"I might still go for the entertainment value, and (his views) aren't going to affect my enjoyment of his music," said Wilkie. "But I would not view my attendance as support for his cause."
Sigler won't pay for a ticket, but he said he's not opposed to seeing the show for free because he's prepared for the discourse.
"At least with this concert, if you buy a ticket, you know what you're going to get," he said. "You're not only paying to be entertained, you're paying to hear a political discussion."
Heintz, meanwhile, has the solution for all those conflicted Republican Springsteen fans: Stay home.
"I want to see Democrats there supporting John Kerry and supporting Bruce Springsteen's music," she said. "I hope (ticket takers) check party affiliations at the door."
Shut up and sing.
Isn't he the guy who sounds like he listened to Dylan's Blonde on Blonde?
What a pretentious A$$!
I have NEVER liked Bruthey or its "music".
I always thought he was a pretentious blowhard.
Now I'm convinced.
Where are the conservative 'rockers' and their tour? I can't believe there aren't enough con-rockers to do their own tour. Let's find them & get them out there.
Let these girlie-men have Kerry. They're dinosaurs anyway, and haven't had an original idea in 20 years. The only way that they can sing falsetto anymore is to cinch their girdles a notch tighter.
When I was about 15 years old, I allowed my views and ideas to be shaped by the music I listened to. At some point I grew up and realized that just because you can play a guitar doesn't mean that you have a world view that I should take on as my own.
I really wonder what sort of person goes to a concert or even a movie and it shape their political views.
I often ponder why these 'stars' think that they can ruin people's enjoyment of a concert they have paid good money for with political rants. People go to a concert for the music not the politics.
Yeah - but can they sing?
And just why should the do that? The concert is overtly political!
It's been a good eight, ten years since you've actually had to concern yourself with one of those, Mikey... :)
Yet when sales fo their albums and concert tickets plummet, he will whine it is McCarthyism all over again.
I grew up in Jersey and have always been a big Bruce fan, as people from Jersey are apt to do. I've got his greatest hits CD and Born to Run and all that, but I'll never spend another dollar buying his stuff again.
I've enjoyed Springsteen since about 1976 when I started listening to him while in college. He was a great alternative to disco and his lyrics are generally pretty good. HOWEVER, he does need to shut up and just sing!
So does this mean that the concert is "free"? Or will Soros be paying people to attend?
It may not be that they kept their mouths shut - it may be that they did not say anything so unacceptable.
We also once understood that these peoples' competence was entertainment and we did not consider them to be deep thinkers, paragons of virtue and, for that matter, even "artists."
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