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Forum Post: Springsteen speaks out strongly for Occupy Wall Street

Posted 9 years ago on Feb. 18, 2012, 8:36 p.m. EST by Odin (583)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I know that Bruce Springsteen is just a rock and roll star, but having grown up on the Jersey Shore and having seen him sing and play his guitar for over forty years, his strong support for the OWS movement meant a lot to me.

Springsteen said, "Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push-back at all saying this was outrageous--a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community." He went on to say, "I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream....What was done to our country was wrong and unpatriotic and un-American and nobody has been held to account."

Springsteen didn't say anything we all didn't already know, and as far as celebrities go, his endorsement of OWS does not mean near as much to me as Joan Baez's support...as she is one sweet, very courageous lady. Nevertheless, it was good to get his support.



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[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 9 years ago

Nice to see you active, Zenny.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Zen, you have a way with words that I envy. Springsteen also grew up in a blue collar family in the shadows of a big 3-M plant in Freehold, NJ, and tried to save the jobs of 450 workers there when the plant was scheduled to shut down. His song, My Home Town was not about some imaginary town, it was about HIS home town. He has also donated more than one million dollars to feed the nation's unemployed laborers.

[-] -1 points by jaxxen (-19) 9 years ago


Enriching himself at the trough of free market capitalism while simultaneously decrying it (Michael Moore is yet another rich Leftist imbecile).

He may be musically talented,but after that is where his ignorant and impeachable authority on anything ends,kinda like Johnny Cougar Mellondump.

Go find out what Gene Simmons thinks about your Messiah,he feels pretty bad about the blunder of voting for Barry in 2008.

I'm sure you do to,right?

[-] 4 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 9 years ago

Bruce Springsteen is a brave man for saying the words you quoted and I respect and appreciate him for saying them. We're trying to get people to wake up and insist on open government, and I hope we soon reach the tipping point where celebrities are proud of the fact that they "endorsed" the movement in the early days.


[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

...and those that do give us that support should be remembered.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Bruce may need to get hip to : "You May Already Be an FBI Terror Suspect: 85 Things Not to Do", by Allan MacDonell : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30579.htm but f**k the feds and so by the man himself : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkEU3JjNARs ;-)

[-] -3 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

springsteen is a political nitwit.

[-] 2 points by tbuontempo (194) from Jersey City, NJ 9 years ago

Is this all you can say?

How about explaining why you think this?

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

did you read the interview? he said that obama saved the auto industry. taxpayer money ( 68 billion to two companies that had a market value of 8 billion) did that and gm doesnt pay taxes.

[-] 3 points by tbuontempo (194) from Jersey City, NJ 9 years ago

I am not trying to be a pain in the ass: I really, seriously, need you to explain more of what you are trying to say.

One, Obama did save GM. I did not agree with the bailouts, but without them, for good or bad, GM would have gone under. Now if you, like me, disagree with the bailouts, that does not make Bruce a "political nitwit." It means that we have a disagreement on bailing out GM, but his facts are correct. Just ask all the investors on Wall Street who made a fortune on the IPO for the New GM, and who are loving their new form of capitalism where the tax payer covers all their bad bets so they can make millions more without paying taxes.

Two, GM does not pay taxes. I have am uncle who use to sit on the board of a mining corporation. A big one, I am not going to mention the name here. He once said to me, paraphrasing, "if any fortune 500 company pays one dime of taxes, the entire accounting department should be fired."

My Uncle Jim's point, the law are set up so big companies do not have to pay taxes. In his opinion, workers and small business should pay all the taxes. People such as himself, who live on investment income, should have to pay ZERO income taxes. Big corporations should pay ZERO income taxes. As a matter of fact, he thinks big business should get a TAX WRITE OFF, for all hourly and salaried workers.

Bruce is worth 200 million dollars: so when he says GM does not pay pay taxes, he is one, reading the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, the Independent of London or Investor's Business Daily, all of which have reported this fact, or two, maybe he is talking to his neighbors in Rumson, NJ, where Bruce has a mansion, and is a community with one of the highest income brackets in the WORLD, many investment bankers on Wall Street have a home there, who are telling him this at the local ice cream shop.

So once again, it does not make him a "political nitwit." Just well informed.

To repeat, I need you to explain what you are talking about.

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

gm would not have gone under, they would have stayed in business while filing chapter 11. bruce is just parroting the dem/ lib line. He also that artists have a responsibility to be the canary in the coal mine. really? does that mean that whatever they say is true? or is it an opinon? anyone that brings al franken on stage with him ( shea stadium , i was there) is a dim bulb.

[-] 2 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 9 years ago

LOL! You remind me of junior high school!

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

in what way? i've been to numerous springsteen concerts in nj, ny, and pa. i've seen him sing at the stone pony. his music and lyrics go from great to boring. and any time patty sings , it signals a bathroom break. he's a self important political nitwit.

[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

That's one of the reasons Springsteen's refered to as "the boss!" :-)

[-] -2 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

called the "boss " only by sycophants.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

Fan = Sycophant then?

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

most, not all are. they believe he can do or say no wrong.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

WOW, that describes Mr P fans to a T.

Don't tell them that though, it pisses 'em off.

[-] 2 points by fairforall (279) 9 years ago

Springsteen has a NW over $200m.

Joan only has $14m.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I have no problem with talented people who earn their money. If they get rich, that's OK as long as they have done it respectfully.

[-] 1 points by fairforall (279) 9 years ago

respectfully......and on the backs of the working man.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

If you don't like his music, then you simply don't buy his cd's or tickets to his concerts...that's all.

[-] 1 points by fairforall (279) 9 years ago

if he can end up with $200m just for singing, then he took from people more than he should have or didn't give enough back. joan should be his example - she only kept $18m.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

His career has spanned more than forty years. He has an international following. Even now, he can still pack a stadium.

[-] 1 points by fairforall (279) 9 years ago

so, he kept $200m. that is the measure that most ows's measure a person.

sar·chasm ('sär-"ka-z&m) : The giant gulf (chasm) between what is said and the person who doesn't get it.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Just from reading the posts here from the other people who have defended Springsteen...you can see that making money...even a lot of money is not the measure that most people use to determine... It's how you make that money. You don't really think Springsteen is in the same league as people like Jamie Dimon and Robert Rubin, do you? Finally..you do realize that the 99% vs !% thing is a matter of convenience..right?...and it is only the .1% or maybe even the .01% and the politicians they own that is the problem. It is that elite nefarious group that seem to have a platinum citizenship.... where they can run rough-shod over people's lives with impugnity that has caught our wrath and deservedly so.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Who are you to say what he should do with his money...or how much he should give away , or charge for tickets or whatever? He didn't swindle people, as far as I know. He is not one of the bankers or politicians who set up a corrupt system. He just was talented, played his ass off, and people were willing to pay the price to hear his music. There is nothing wrong with that.

[-] 1 points by fairforall (279) 9 years ago

was everyone associated with his success paid a fair wage , provided full health benefits, etc? If you can say yes, then I agree he wasn't part of the corrupt system. We are just measuring Mr. Springsteen by the same yardstick that is used to measure any CEO using OWS criteria.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

OK, thanks to Thunder's great research and his post, we all know that he has done a lot of good things with his money. I suspect that there are many other good things that he has done that we will never know about. We also know through his song lyrics that he has not forgotten his roots. We can probably say that he is loyal, due to his long relationship with the E Street Band.

Could you do some of the other research needed now? I am sure that if you look far enough..that you can find something that Springsteen has done that is not up to par. Would you also go through your own life with a fine tooth comb and do the same thing, and let us know.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 9 years ago

and nobody has been held to account. and nobody has been held to account. and nobody has been held to account.

We the people must hold them to account!

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

"Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea?" We're working on it.

[-] 1 points by BearDickinson (125) from Ewing, VA 9 years ago

i hear ya, but what has he done for OWS besides lip serivice ? sorry, but to me, he is a 1% er.....................


[-] 0 points by skylar (-441) 9 years ago

then you must hate obama

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

He probably hasn't done near enough, but then neither have a lot of other people who support OWS from their couches or behind their laptops. And yes, I would hope that he will do a lot more in the next few months when things begin to heat up, and I will be disappointed if he doesn't. Like i implied though, Springsteen is no Joan Baez...who is a person that I have a lot of respect for...and who I also had the pleasure of meeting at Foley Square.

[-] -1 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

Why? Just because he makes a lot of money?

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 9 years ago

We have stop seeking political direction from mediocre musicians with stale riffs and a principal talent for maintaining prepetual 5 - day old facial stubble.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

Last week we trying to figure out what would keep our messege out there and create a path forward for OWS. We get an endorsement from an entertainment icon, which generates positive media attention for this movement and that's discounted, demeaned even opposed here? That makes no sense to me.

The last time I checked there was no entrance exam for joining OWS- no application or review process for gaining admission. Springsteen's voice regarding "political direction" of Occupy is as valid as yours or mine.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

No one said anything about seeking political direction from Springsteen. Because his voice is heard louder than most individuals... it is simply good to know that..perhaps because he grew up in a blue collar family that he hasn't forgotten his roots, still knows right from wrong..and still remembers the struggles most of us have. Would it mean more to you if he shaved every day, and took singing lessons?

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 9 years ago

The fact that his voice is heard louder than others is exactly the point.


[-] -1 points by tomahawk99 (-26) 9 years ago

Another talented entertainer who opens his mouth about politics and ends up sounding like a moron.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I don't believe he sounded like a moron. You don't have to have a degree in economics or political science to figure out things are screwed up.

[-] -1 points by tomahawk99 (-26) 9 years ago

ok maybe i was being overly critical, but as a rule i don't like when someone who is famous for reasons other then politics taking advantage of their position to tell us what they think politically.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Ok...I can leave it at that. I think a lot of other people in OWS feel the same way as they want this to remain a people-driven movement, which it is. Thanks for the civil discourse.

[-] -1 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 9 years ago

Let's see his tax returns and full financial disclosure.

Net worth of 200million? If he ain't in the club (benefiting from elitist tax code and legislation) he sure can afford to pay people who are to hang around and keep him a breast, or two.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

I think that if, in the process of making so much money, you lose your compassion for others then you've lost everything. He could've "sold out" a long time ago and never looked back. Springsteen is a wealthy man, but he didn't get that money off of the sweat of the brows of others. It came from talent and the sweat of his own brow. If you can't see the difference in that, then I think you've determined that you live in a world where only tyranny exists and the depths of cynicism and fear are your best defense against it.

Not all who have monetary wealth are bad people. There are a few good people who are "rich."

[-] -1 points by PretendHitGirI (13) 9 years ago

But, I don't really care, nor am I stupid. Now please try again with rational and logical objections to my requests.

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

""it came from the talent and the sweat of his own brow",..............how about the sweat of the people that paid plenty for tickets and cd's?

[-] 2 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

Apparently enough people thought listening and seeing Springsteen's performances are worth the price of his albums and concert tickets. He has endured and made some contempoary music that seems to resonate with his audience.

The first time I saw Bruce and E Street Band was in a small college gymnasium in 1976. The ticket cost $5. The band played for 3 hours, nonstop no less. The stage was set up at one end of the gym and so while the bleachers faced center on both sides, we all had to turn our heads in order to see the performance - for 3 hours. They worked so hard, had so much energy and performed songs in an honest and gritty way about life and love. True and honest prose and poetry. Bruce, as usual worked his butt off, as did the whole band.

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

many people no longer have the price of a ticket, they have important bills to pay.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

That's true, sadly. Let's hope that Mr. Springsteen might put on a benefit concert in support of Occupy in order to keep and increase the focus on the movement and the plight of so many.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

Are you serious? You talk like he is in the business of selling bread and milk. If people thought he charged too much for tickets or cd's they would not but them. Simple as that. Apparently people think it is worth it though. Who are you to tell people how to spend their money?

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

i dont tell people how to spend their money. i no longer buy the tickets and the bruce cd's that i have , i threw away a while ago, including the bootleg ones

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

And that is how it should work. Bruce was no longer worth the price for you. But there are still millions who have no problem paying the $125 for a ticket and I don't think you can fault Bruce or his fans for that.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

It seems to bother a lot of people that other people have done well in life. I know the town where he grew up, and compared to the surrounding towns..it's quite dumpy. He never forgot his roots throughout his career. He should be given credit for that.

I remember a lesson that my dad taught me at an early age. That was, never be jealous of someone that has more than you..because he probably worked hard for it. That is not always true of course, and that is one of the reasons we are all here, but in Springsteen's case, I believe it was.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 9 years ago

I think Bruce has worked hard to remain true to his roots. His first wife - fashion model Julianne Phillips - it seemed to me, had a negative effect on Springsteen. He got away from his gritty image, had his hair and teeth done, was clean-shaven and made some slick videos. His songs were different. Then, I think he took a step back and kind of caught himself. He and Phillips divorced and he returned to become more of what he truely is. Anyway, that was my take on that period of his life.

Concerning Springsteen's personal history regarding his political activism, this from the Wikipedia article cited in this post:

Politics and activism

Springsteen's music has often contained political themes reflecting his responses to the events occurring around him. A number of these songs contributed to Springsteen’s stardom; many songs cannot be explained without including Springsteen’s political views. The following are a chronological order of the political and activist causes Springsteen has publicly campaigned for:

September 19-23, 1979: Springsteen and the E Street Band joined the Musicians United for Safe Energy anti-nuclear power collective at Madison Square Garden.

August 20, 1981: A Night For The Vietnam Veterans for the Vietnam Veterans’ Association as an appeal to help “heal the physical and psychological wounds inflicted on the soldiers who fought the nation’s most unpopular war”.[79][80]

1984: Turned down several million dollars offered by the Chrysler Corporation to use the song Born in The U.S.A. in a car commercial.

1985: Featured on the "We Are the World" song and album

1988: Headlined the worldwide Human Rights Now! tour for Amnesty International.

2004: "No Surrender" became the main campaign theme song for John Kerry's unsuccessful presidential campaign; in the last days of the campaign, he performed acoustic versions of the song and some of his other old songs at Kerry rallies.

April, 2008 Springsteen announced his endorsement supporting Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.[81] Throughout the year, he showed his support by attending several rallies and performing in support of Obama’s campaign.

2009: Springsteen contributed to the soundtrack of The People Speak by playing guitar and harmonica.

January, 2009: Springsteen was the musical opener for the Obama Inaugural Celebration.

May 3, 2009: Springsteen made an appearance at The Clearwater Concert.

October 29 & 30, 2009: Springsteen made an appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th anniversary benefit concert.[82]

January 22, 2010: Springsteen made an appearance at Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.[83]

Springsteen has additionally been associated with various local food banks, particularly with the New Jersey Food bank for many years. During concerts, he usually breaks the routine to announce his support and later matches the total collection during the concert with his own money. During his Charlotte, North Carolina concert on November 3, 2009, he started with a $10,000 donation for the local food bank to start the collections process – which he again matched later.

He has made substantial financial contributions to various workers' unions both in America and in Europe.

Springsteen is a strong supporter of gay rights, particularly marriage equality. In 2009, he urged lawmakers to legalize gay marriage, later posting on his website "I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same-sex couples


[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Nice work Thunder. Maybe that will quiet his critics on here.

[-] -2 points by WooHoo (15) 9 years ago

And after he finished his statement he had his butler close the solid gold door to his zillion dollar 50 room home and went back inside to write a song about injustice that he will sing and play and sell on a 40 million dollar tour while taking occasional calls from his accountant on how much the download and CD has realized.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Don't want to be redundant...see my other posts. You seem to have a problem with anyone who has achieved success and all that goes with it. I don't.

[-] -2 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

ows people only hate succesful republicans.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Not the successful. JUST THE CORRUPT.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

Come now...you know that is not true. How many OWS members know if Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, or Jamie Dimon are republicans or democrats? Do you think we have any love for Obama for his close relationship with all these people, or for signing the NDAA? This isn't about partisan politics for me or most of us here...it is about right and wrong PERIOD!

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

how many ows people vote republican?

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I couldn't answer that, but yes I suspect that not many OWS people have voted republican. When Zuccotti Park was occupied ....even though this is not supposed to be about partisan politics...I saw many more Ron Paul signs from supportive visitors than any of other canidates combined! Why? Because of his strong belief in civil liberties and that we should get out of the business of starting up wars and policing the world. I have voted for more repubs than dems in my state-wide elections mainly because I live in NJ...a state that is probably the most corrupt in the nation. It really doesn't matter much though as both parties throughout the country have been corrupted by big money...whether it is tax-payer money which goes out to political patronage jobs or corporate money which goes out for a whole slew of nasty things. Once again...this is about right and wrong for me...not left and right or any other paradigm.

[-] -1 points by B76RT (-357) 9 years ago

I know about nj, i live there.

[-] -2 points by FreeDiscussion4 (70) 9 years ago

OOOooooooooo, Bruce Springsteen,,,,,,ooooooooooo. I always thought he was highly over rated. When you went and saw him in concert,, did he charge "CORPORATE RATES" for the tickets or did he let all the poor people in for free?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 9 years ago

I am not one of his fanatical fans...and I am too old to hold anyone in complete awe, but I do enjoy some of his music. Did you work for minimum wage for all of your life, or did you get what you thought you were worth, or UNION RATES?? See Zen's post above.