It’s happened to us all. No matter how hard we try, the infectious of reggae music is a hard thing to avoid. Even the most ardent aggressor against the laid back jams has found their toes tapping every so often. Bruce Springsteen, it would seem, is also a big fan.
In 1987, while performing with reggae artist Jah Love, The Boss would delight his fans with a cover of two Bob Marley and The Wailers tracks ‘One Love’ and ‘People Get Ready’.
After Bruce Springsteen had become a mega-star following the release of ‘Born In The U.S.A’ he knew he had a hard act to follow. He, therefore, spent a few years wailing in relative, and one imagines enjoyable, obscurity as he beavered away on his confessional album Tunnel of Love. But that doesn’t mean The Boss stopped performing.
The singer instead used bars around his native New Jersey as both proving grounds for new material and a place to blow off a bit of steam and have some fun. On July 29th at the Key Largo club in Belmar, New Jersey, if you had bought tickets to see reggae act Jah Love, you were in for a treat. Not only was the bouncing joy of Jah Love ready to bring the house down but they welcomed a special guest too, Mr Bruce Springsteen.
There he sang reggae versions of his songs ‘Born In The U.S.A’ and ‘My Hometown’ to mass furore. While sadly, not recordings of the iconic track ‘Born…’ has resurfaced online below you can find the reggae version of ‘My Hometown’ from that night in 1987. Springsteen clearly had fun as he joined the band once more the following night at the Green Parrot in Neptune, NJ.
Still, no video of the event has surfaced online, mobile phones were just science-fiction in 87, but somehow the soundboard recording was leaked online. It meant that previous recordings had been the subject of many hushed whispers between only diehard Boss fans. Now with the advent of YouTube many of these recordings are slipping out into the ether.
Springsteen was clearly thirsty for some live music that week as he also took part in Marshall Crenshaw’s show as well as gathering the E Street Band together for another big night. Later in the month, he would join the Fairlanes, Little Steven, Levon Helm’s All-Stars, Cats on a Smooth Surface, the Cherubs and once again, Jah Love on stage.
The Boss has always been fond of throwing a party with his performances and on the cover of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ below, Springsteen is having more fun than ever. He was unleashed from the weight of ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ and allowed to enjoy himself again. Listen to Bruce Springsteen go reggae below:
Source: Rolling Stone