Springsteen's Fans Take Center Stage In New Doc

Springsteen & I
Eagle Vision, 142 mins, $14.98

Every musician at least pays lip service to the importance of their fans. Some even coalesce together as a community, former stronger-than-normal bonds (think Deadheads. The KISS Army. Beliebers).

But few performer's fans are more rabid, loyal, and emotional about the artist and the music than followers of Bruce Springsteen. And -- though it is clearly aimed at the same said rabid fan -- Springsteen & I is a fascinating glimpse into this bond.

The documentary is mostly self-shot footage from fans, on cheap phone cameras to near professional-style clips, who wax rhapsodically about Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen's music, and Bruce Springsteen's impact on their lives. It also had a brief theatrical run this past summer.

Running the gamut from the touching and sad to hilarious and inspirational, contributors (who were asked to send in clips or simply sum up their thoughts on Springsteen in three words) come in from all ages and around the world.

From remembrances like "His music taught me how to be a man" and "I lost my virginity to 'Thunder Road'" to footage of the mother who only plays Springsteen music in her car for her three sons or the English factory worker who found his shitty seats upgraded to front row at Madison Square Garden by a member of Bruce's staff, Springsteen & I covers the fan experience in a surprisingly emotional way.

Almost a subcategory of these clips are women who appreciate the Boss a bit more, um, intimately. Like the woman who nearly orgasms talking into her computer camera about an onstage encounter where she could "see the sweat through Bruce's jeans." Or the mother who used to point to a picture of Bruce on the wall and tell her newborn "Daddy... there's Daddy." Yeah, it gets a little creepy sometimes...

Interspersed between the clips are rare performance clips -- some never before seen -- spanning nearly four decades from grainy black-and-white club-gig footage in the early days to audience-shot YouTube ready things from the last tour.

Review continues on the next page.

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