Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Bruce Springsteen Sends a Sign to Obama

Bruce Springsteen performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, May 2009. (Photo -- Linda Davidson/The Washington Post

Team Obama was well represented last night when the Boss held up a sign from someone in the audience at the Verizon Center that said: "Obama called, he wants Rosie."

That sign now belongs to President Obama.

Backstage after the concert, Bruce Springsteen personally autographed the Rosie poster and gave it to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to deliver to Obama at the White House, an eyewitness tells the Sleuth.

In the crowd at last night's Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show were: Emanuel; Obama's deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina; Patrick Gaspard from the White House political office; and veteran Democratic spinmeister Jenny Backus, who is now spokeswoman for Department of Health and Human Services.

Backus sat with Messina and her big man, husband Ed Pagano, chief of staff to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), just one section away from the Sleuth. David DiMartino of BGR Holding (formerly the deputy chief of staff to Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska) also sat in their area.

Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, is personal friends with Patti Scialfa, the hottest member of the E Street band and wife of Springsteen. Emanuel and Rule sat in a section just offstage, along with New York Timesmen Carl Hulse and David Brooks , and Phil Schiliro, the president's assistant for legislative affairs, among others.

When Bruce held up the Rosie sign, fans weren't disappointed - except for the unfortunately bad sound mix, which distorted the audio at times and left a metallic ring hanging in the air throughout much of the performance. (Big bummer for audiophiles, or anyone who cares about getting good quality sound in return for the insane price of concert tickets.)

Springsteen belted out Rosalita as a rousing final encore that had the entire Verizon Center throbbing and screaming.

And no, Obama didn't actually call and request Rosie. But we do hear from a very reliable source who witnessed Obama up close and personal on the campaign trail that the president does appreciate the other Boss. During last year's fundraiser concert at which Springsteen and Billy Joel performed in New York, Obama was backstage smiling and enjoying the show.

As expected, last night's concert was filled with Democrats, many of them politicos who now run Washington, just the way Bruce likes things. Instead of ranting about politics - he did none of that last night, and we thank him - every ounce of his energy (and he had tons of it) was preserved for putting on a truly awesome 26-song show. Here is the set list.

For the full low-down on last night's show, check out the must-read review by our our pals at the Post Rock blog.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  May 19, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Robert Byrd, Oldest Senator, Hospitalized
Next: Elizabeth Edwards: 'I Don't Know Whose Child This Is'


One of many reasons I opted not to go to the concert (despite the fact that the first concert I ever saw was the Boss in '85) was to avoid the self-congratulatory Democratic circle jerk that Akers describes. There's nothing more pathetic than watching a bunch of aging consultants trying to hold on to their youth.

Kudos to Backus for getting this story planted. Maybe she's not as over-rated as we all think.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 19, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse


Just because people get older doesn't mean they don't enjoy good music or are trying to hold onto their youth when they see a concert. Good music feels good no matter what age. Now, good sound would have helped even more.

Posted by: YUTZ | May 19, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Good music feels good no matter what age."

Brubeck will be here in June. That is good music.

Warner theater.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 19, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

You are 100% correct. But when you consider that some of other Democratic consultant has-beens even went as far to open a firm called the Thunder Road Group (which I sadly worked with in the past and have no idea what they do or what value they bring), then my point becomes all the more true. Consultants tend to be the geeky kids from jumior high who went into the political business (once called Hollywood for ugly people) so that they could show how much smarter they were than everyone else. It all just smacks of so much despiration if you ask me.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 19, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really believe Obama listened to a single Springsteen song, let alone album, in its entirety before he attended the fundraiser Bruce threw for him? Obama is using Springsteen as a personal cash machine.

Posted by: truthsayer | May 19, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"As expected, last night's concert was filled with Democrats, many of them politicos who now run Washington, just the way Bruce likes things. Instead of ranting about politics - he did none of that last night, and we thank him"...

Why would anyone go on a political rant during a Democrat administration? The streets are clean, the babies are healthy and there are no problems of genuine import. I'm glad Bruce and his ilk only notice the messed-up nature of the world when the guy they don't like wins.

Posted by: twasneva | May 19, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I have a request for the Boss cause you know "the poets round here don't write nothin at all, they just stand back and let it all be".

I would like to hear that one about Spanish Johnny and Puerto Rican Jane again.

Hope to see you at Phil's one day, keep on rockin in the Free World !!! Have you talked to Harry from the Pony Days lately, how is he doin ?

I am not static. I am a Springsteen Fanatic !!!!@

Posted by: truthhurts | May 19, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I am very glad Springsteen personally autographed the sign. It would be a shame if he had a flunky to do that sort of thing for him.

And while Patty is one of the hottest moms in rock, you are giving short shrift to the ever lovely Soozie Tyrell.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 19, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Another great show as Springsteen steamrolls his way across America. We are researching a new volume on Darkness on the Edge of Town and would like to contact any fans that attended any of the 1978 shows or that have any memorabilia from that tour. Visit: Cheers

Posted by: MusicPub | May 20, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"to avoid the self-congratulatory Democratic circle jerk that Akers describes"

Guess you're going to have to confine yourself to Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper revival shows then. Enjoy.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, we are going to have to withstand some 44 to 92 more months of said self-congratulatory bs. Entertainers are no more entitled to preach their positions than the rest of us. They should stick to entertaining. Bruce's preaching has completely turned me off. Yes, the dems are in now and all our troubles will magically go away, and any that happen to remain,just blame bush & chaney to keep the plebes motivated....

Posted by: markd63 | May 20, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Just because a person hits 50, doesn't mean we suddenly become fans of Lawrence Welk.

Posted by: a2mi | May 20, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Do any of you geriatric fools ever go see rock bands play shows in nightclubs anymore? I'm 47, and I see about 2-3 shows a month, almost always in small nightclubs like the Black Cat and Velvet Lounge, featuring young, upcoming, new, and intensely talented bands. This is what real rock'n'roll is about, not going to your metropolitan area's arena once a year to see a washed-up performer from your youth perform a concert! If you consider attending this Bruce Springsteen concert proof that you're not an old fogey who can no longer really rock, than you are entirely delusional!

Posted by: bermtech | May 21, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company