Forty years ago this week I got a phone call at my office at the legendary Crawdaddy, where I served as #2 editor, that would change my life, for several years, anyway. It was from a fast-talking dude named Mike Appel, inviting me to catch his top (and only) act in a press event/concert upstate the following day, December 7, 1972, in...Sing Sing Prison. The act was a total unknown whose debut album had not yet been released, by the name of Bruce Springsteen. Forty years later, the kid's latest album was just named by our then-competitor, Rolling Stone, as album of the year.
Anyway, with editor Peter Knobler, I helped create the very first magazine piece about Brucie (and 8,000 words, at that) for Crawdaddy, where I worked for most of the 1970s. Many other pieces--and dozens of attending club dates--would follow and Bruce would become a good friend for a number of years. Here's a brief summary and (below) a little video about the day I met Bruce in December 1972--in Sing Sing--which also includes excerpts from his very early live performances, including the acoustic "Growin' Up" that helped get him his Columbia contract via John Hammond.