* with the exception of Bruce’s mother’s basement that is!

On Saturday December 8th, 2001 a collection of nearly 1000 books and magazines about Bruce Springsteen and his musical career was officially presented to Robert Stewart, the director of Asbury Park Public Library. The collection was donated by “Backstreets’” subscribers from all over the world as well as from some of the major European Bruce Springsteen fan clubs including: Point Blank, The Ties That Bind (UK); The Wish (Germany); The Stone Pony (Spain); and Roulette (Holland).

The dedication was organized on behalf of “Backstreets” by Save Tillie Inc., whose commitment to the preservation of the Palace Amusements building as well as the history of Asbury Park is unparalleled. Hosted by emcee, Andrew Massimino, “Backstreet’s” Assistant Editor, the event took place before an audience of over a hundred people many of whom had taken a break from standing in the Holiday Show ticket drop line to be there.

The main speakers were: Chris Phillips – Publisher and Editor of “Backstreets”; Robert Stewart – Director of Asbury Park Public Library; Kate Mellina – City of Asbury Park Council Member; and Kevin G. Sanders – Mayor for the City of Asbury Park.

I was also invited to say a few words on behalf of the European Bruce Springsteen fan clubs and it really was a pleasure to have taken part in this ceremony because from the moment I first heard about this project, it had my complete and unconditional support. Without a doubt, this collection – which covers all phases of Bruce’s life and career – reflects the Springsteen fan community’s deep ties to Asbury Park. And at a time when so much is happening regarding the City’s future, I believe it is vitally important that Asbury’s Park’s unique musical heritage is part of the redevelopment programme.

An extraordinary highlight of the presentation ceremony happened when Bruce Springsteen’s special envoy, Terry Magovern, arrived and dutifully delivered a message that was announced by Kate Mellina. Clearly Bruce was aware of the event because his message began by thanking everyone who had turned up as well as to say how pleased he was that the collection had found a home in Asbury Park. However, he also wanted to state for the record that the largest such collection was located in his mother’s basement!

The official ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by Mayor Kevin G. Sanders meaning that the entire collection is now available for use by researchers and interested fans alike.

The ceremony was a great success and special thanks go out to Robert Stewart and the Library Staff who made everyone feel so welcome. As Councilwoman Kate Mellina said in her speech, the event honored Asbury Park’s status as an important location in American musical history.

Oh yeah… just in case anyone was in any doubt about the authenticity of the message that was delivered by Terry Magovern, during his performance later on that evening, Bruce actually reiterated what had been said earlier about the collection in his mother’s basement. In addition, he publicly acknowledged “Backstreets” magazine. Way to go guys and how cool is that??!!


For full details about the Collection, including a complete “want” list, please visit:

The Bruce Springsteen Special Collection homepage