Tramps like Us: Music & Meaning among Springsteen Fans

By Daniel Cavicchi | Go to book overview

1
Does Anybody Have Any Faith Out There Tonight?

Seeing Bruce in Concert

Getting Tickets, October 31, 1992

When my wife and I first heard on the radio that Bruce Springsteen would be doing two shows at the Boston Garden, we flew into action. It was a Wednesday; the DJ said that ticket wristbands--which would assure us a place in line when tickets went on sale Saturday morning--would be available at all Ticketpro outlets at 5 P.M. We had just moved to a new area of Massachusetts and had no idea where any Ticketpro outlets were. After calling around, we discovered that the closest was at a video rental store in a local bus station. I picked up my wife from work at 5:30, and we drove directly to the outlet.

We knew from experience that tickets to Springsteen shows were not easy to come by. My wife was a long-time fan who had stood in many lines, camped out, and driven hundreds of miles just to get tickets for shows during Springsteen's highly successful Born in the USA tour in the mideighties. And we had failed to get tickets for either of Springsteen's two previous appearances in the Boston area. So, we drove to the ticket outlet with both excitement and trepidation, envisioning enormous crowds and the general mayhem that accompanies an announcement of a Springsteen show. However, when we arrived, we were the only people there, and the clerk at the video counter seemed a bit amused at the whole thing. He said only about five others before us had come to get wristbands, and they had been equally anxious.

Wristbands are similar to those worn by hospital patients. They are plastic and fastened permanently to the wrist, not to be taken off until tickets are bought. Each has a number printed on it, which assures the wearer of a place in line the morning tickets go on sale. Their use was first instituted sometime in the late eighties to alleviate problems with unruly crowds and people camping out at

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Tramps like Us: Music & Meaning among Springsteen Fans
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Contents xv
  • Introduction - Studying Fandom 3
  • 1 - Does Anybody Have Any Faith Out There Tonight? 22
  • 2 - Touched by the Music 38
  • 3 - Ignoring the Music Business 60
  • 4 - Fans in the Audience Performance and the Politics of Participation 86
  • 5 - Listening and Learning 108
  • 6 - Musically Shaping the Self 134
  • 7 - Belonging Together 158
  • Conclusion - Toward an Experience-Near Understanding of Popular Music 184
  • Postscript 190
  • Appendix A Springsteen Fan Questionnaire 195
  • Appendix B - Bruce Springsteen, American Discography (major Works) 199
  • Notes 201
  • References 205
  • Index 217
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