Flashback: Bruce Springsteen Surprises U2 Fans in 1987 and I was there.

How Dave and I scored tickets to U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour will forever be a mystery to me. It had something to do with Dave’s loud-mouthed friend, Joe L., driving to Philly, and a wedding present. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Dave and I, one month into our marriage, were at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia on September 25, 1987.

I was a concert goer in the mid and late 80’s and was privileged to see some great classic rock acts such as Genesis, Todd Rundgren, and Bruce Springsteen. My favorite among favorite moments was when Springsteen joined Bono to sing Stand by Me.

In 2013, Rolling Stone magazine described the encounter.

U2 was nearly done with their set at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium on September 25th, 1987 when a roadie brought out another microphone stand. “Anybody else want to play my guitar?” Bono asked the crowd. “Would Bruce Springsteen like to play my guitar?” As Bono literally bowed down before Springsteen, the crowd went insane. “I guess you guys know him,” Bono said. “Is he a local boy or something?” They proceeded to play “Stand By Me”

The crowd went insane. I went insane! You see, I was a fan of U2 but I loved Bruce Springsteen. Rumors at the time had been flying among local Springsteen fans that he may show up at one of the U2 concerts in Philadelphia. Earlier in the month when U2 played at The Spectrum, friends who attended confirmed that The Boss hadn’t surfaced. You can imagine my bragging rights as I reported when he did.

Are you or have you been a concert goer? What concerts have been your favorites? If you could see any musician, living or deceased, who would it be? 

A special shout-out to Van at vanbytheriver who triggered this fond memory while I visited her comments. Photo via HITFIX.

I hope your week is off to a memorable start ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc

37 thoughts on “Flashback: Bruce Springsteen Surprises U2 Fans in 1987 and I was there.

  1. Loved U2 & concerts back in the day…my girlfriend & bought black trench coats, and did a paint splatter on the backs with the black “U2” taped off to show thru the splatter..they were cool, very cool, we were cool & wore them everywhere! I digress…

    My favorite concerts:
    Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
    Gypsy Kings
    Eric Clapton
    Phil Collins

    If I could see any performer, I’d like to see the Divine Miss M.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Impressive list, momma c! Oh my splattered trench coats 😀 I have to ask, why Bette Midler? Did you know she’s playing Sunday, May 24, 2015 at Talking Stick Resort Arena?


      • Have just loved her since I was a little girl. Her class, her sass, her beauty, and I think she is extremely talented, and LOVE her hands! I’m also fond of her as an actress, favorite movie, “Stella” Yes! I do know she’s coming, I hope to go. I bought the CD, for which the concert is themed. It’s decent.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love music, but I don’t tend to go to a lot of concerts. But a performer I always wished I would’ve been able to see was Michael Jackson. I bet his shows were amazing. Yes, he was a weird guy, but he was so talented. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am a concert-goer, Angie McFly. It started as a passion, turned into my job, and remains a passion still. I’ve seen Springsteen more than 40 times now, more times off-the-reviewer job than on. My favorite off-the-job moment came at Saratoga Performing Arts Center during the ‘Born in the USA’ tour when we went early to get a good standing spot to see the stage from the lawn. It was pouring rain with thousands of Boss fans like wet dogs on the lawn when he and the E Street Band came out on the stage for sound check. The played Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” And the rain stopped. Bruce is God was the word of we fans on the lawn. Later that night, when the band broke out a special slow version of ‘No Surrender,’ strangers were holding hands and singing together as one. I still get goosies thinking about it. On-the-clock, it was seeing his solo show during the ‘Ghost of Tom Joad’ tour with front row center review tickets. I could see the sweat beads flying off his head. I’ll never forget that, either.

    I saw U2 off the clock at Albany’s Times Union Arena in 2001, ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ tour. I think that stands as my favorite non-Springsteen show, still. Amazing.

    My other favorite memories include Dylan talking up the crowd at the New York State Fair grandstand, and in another show, actually walking along the front of the stage and shaking hands at the close of his show at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse, both shows being beautiful clear enunciators for him. Stevie Wonder at Turning Stone Resort and Casino Event Center, joyful and strong and happy. Elton John and Billy Joel at the Carrier Dome, trading pianos and making the most of bad acoustics and classic songs. Garth Brooks in his prime at the Dome when they closed it off to half-the-joint and it was kind of intimate. Martina McBride at the fair grandstand, her voice soaring to the stars. George Strait’s farewell tour in Buffalo, the cowboy riding away proudly. Neil Diamond last month in D.C., cool still at 74!

    You got me going, Angie McFly. I can’t help it. What a lucky man I am on the live music front. I know I’ve been to more than 1,000 shows, from the biggest names to the best local bands.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I just love living vicariously through you and your music encounters, Mark! One of my biggest concert regrets is not seeing a new upstart in Scranton at the CYC, some piano player called…Billy Joel…because I’m sure I was doing something more important that night?! Joel broke out big within months and the guy who I had turned down for the date never let me forget it! And there was the Bob Seger concert I missed, something about my parents not wanting me to go to New Jersey with complete strangers – whatup? Of your list, I would love to see Sir Elton John 😀 And a dream come true would be to sing Sweet Caroline along with Diamond at Fenway ~~~~ swoon!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, what you missed with Billy, Angie McFly. I saw him a half-dozen times here in Syracuse, plus a neat “Conversation with …” in an opera house in Geneva … then there was my phone conversation with him. Yeah, Billy Joel is in my top three faves, seeing he comes from Long Island, too. Singing with Neil in the arena was good enough for me. I can’t even dream of Fenway. I give that one to you. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Seriously one of my life regrets! Foolish girl! Billy Joel makes your top 3, that’s impressive. I still think back to his rise and am truly impressed that a piano man made it, and made it big, at that time. He was/is a great storyteller.


  4. Peter Frampton was my first concert back in probably 1978 or so. So I guess that would be my favorite because the whole experience was so fresh. But my dream would have been to see Crosby, Stills, Nash, and even Young. Maybe someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Frampton! I just google searched and saw him at the Catholic Youth Center (CYC), Scranton on July 7, 1979. And guess what, Barbara? My future husband was there. Imagine…did we pass by with a mysterious glance toward each other? 😉 Frampton Comes Alive was my first “real album”. Speaking of my husband, he’s the CSNY fan 😀 Definitely someday!


  5. In May, 1997, Luther Allison came to venue about 2 hours drive away. I almost didn’t go, because I didn’t think I could get any of my 20-something friends to go see a bluesman they’d never heard of. I finally got a few people to go and it was awesome. He played for 3+ hours without pause, a ball of energy. I was so happy I’d gone. In August, 1997, Luther Allison died from cancer he didn’t even know he had in May. I was so glad I’d taken my one chance to see him play.

    What concert would I have liked to see? So many, but maybe seeing Glenn Miller lead his own orchestra would be pretty high on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Scott! Cherry Red Wine. What a great, bittersweet story. And Glenn Miller, Big Band, Chattanooga Choo Choo, that would be awesome ~~~ I’m dancing 😀


  6. This was fun…but left me feeling “concert-deprived” !! There have been some over the years…but the one regret….the one that got away for me was Woodstock. It was the summer before freshman year, my wealthier friends were going. I was broke, working in a sewing factory, saving every $. sigh….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I can’t imagine what that just have been like, Angie. I’d say savor the experience and the memory, but you’ve been doing that a long time as it is. Chills just thinking about it, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was beside myself when I found the clip on YouTube a few years ago. I went searching for it after I saw Springsteen here in Phoenix, 2012. At that concert when he broke into, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” I cried thinking of a terrific memory connected to my sister. Some of the best memories aren’t obvious upfront. But when Springsteen goes on stage with U2, yep, history in the making! Thanks for enjoying this with me, Jim 😀


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