The heartwarming story of Bruce Springsteen and a Boston busker
At a time when live music is nothing but a distant dream amid strict social distancing measures, we’re dipping into the Far Out archives to revisit one of the countless stories surrounding The Boss.
Springsteen, whose career and music has always triumphed the lesser-represented aspects of society through his much-revered brand of lyrical storytelling, appears in many circles as a working-class hero. Springsteen, a down to earth kind of guy who is happy to be with his people, will always fight for what he believes to be the right thing. This story of Bruce Springsteen and a Boston busker is no different.
Let’s picture the scene. David Gonzalez, a seasoned Boston busker was performing at his usual spot on the historical streets of the city, spotted The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, out of the corner of his eye. It would be a treat for any musician to see someone as well-regarded in the industry as Springsteen but David, it turns out, was a big fan of the singer and seized his opportunity.
Springsteen was in back town in 2011 to help move his son into school. Having been off the road for a couple of years, it’s fair to say he wasn’t looking to be a rock star upon this particular weekend and would be excused for going about his private business. However, this is The Boss so he spoke with Gonzalez after making eye contact with the busker.
Springsteen stopped to chat with the busker and, as it turns out, the budding musician had a specific Springsteen story to share. Gonzale had, at the age of fifteen, decided to go and see Bruce at a concert with his best friend. They had a couple of small issues. Firstly, the thirty-two-hour trip they would have to make from their native Argentina to see him and a little matter of paying for it all.
Refusing to be stopped by such trivial matters Gonzalez, and his friend sold all their worldly possessions to fund their trip and embarked on their epic journey. Sadly, with some miscommunication and mismanagement, the pair ended up missing the show. However, Bruce was clearly touched by the story and decided to share a few precious moments with the street performer.
He picked up Gonzlez’s guitar, with permission of course, and performed an original composition of Gonzalez’s song—but The Boss wasn’t done there. He paid Gonzalez $20 for the experience and the busker gave Springsteen a signed CD to go home with, likely leaving the street singer a very happy man.
Yet again, The Boss wasn’t quite done yet. He returned just 30-minutes later to give Gonzalez a sizeable packet of money to repay him for his loyalty over the years and “the trip he never made”. This is just another story from a library of tales of which all put Bruce Springsteen as the central hero, a champion of the working class and an all-round top bloke.
Watch the Gonzalez speaking to the news below as well as a short clip of Bruce busking.