UNDER THE BLEACHERS
On December 14, 1974 I attended a Billy Joel concert at Rutgers University (ticket price $4.75). This concert was held in the small gymnasium which was affectionately nicknamed "The Barn". Just before the concert began my friends and myself decided to walk over to the men's locker room that Billy was using as a dressing room to try and snap a few pictures as he emerged to go on-stage. The quickest way to get there was to walk underneath the bleachers that were on the side of the gym. I remember seeing the outline of a scruffy guy sitting huddled up with his back against the wall under the bleachers. I thought it quite odd and that perhaps this guy must be either stoned or drunk since the show was about to begin in minutes and here he was sitting with his back up against the wall in the darkness.
During the excellent show Billy paused and dedicated the song "The Entertainer" to his friend and fellow Columbia Recording Artist in the audience - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. You could see the Bruce fans scanning the audience looking for that beanie that he used to wear. No luck. For the third encore Billy invited Bruce on-stage to perform an impromptu version of "Twist & Shout". I can remember the feeling of seeing these two performers together on stage knowing that they were both destined to become superstars. (It did not strike me until the next day that the scruffy guy huddled in the shadows under the bleachers; that I was inches away from was in fact Bruce who was trying to keep low key).
return to main page