If Bruce Springsteen ever decides to give up the music business, it appears he has a bright future in stand-up comedy.
The Boss’ comedic chops were on display on Thursday during a Super Bowl performers press conference inside the Tampa Convention Center, as Springsteen fielded one question after another with a sharp wit as he discussed performing during halftime on Sunday.
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When asked who would decide what songs would be played, Springsteen needed to only call upon his trademark nickname.
“Well,” he said with a pregnant pause. “I’m The Boss! Nobody else decides. People suggest, beg, hint, cajole, but I decide!”
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The packed conference room peppered the rock ‘n’ roll legend with one question after another, from his music to politics to his band’s legacy — all of which Springsteen answered with a smile – even if he didn’t have much to say about the actual topic of the Super Bowl itself.
“If these questions are all about football, I can tell you this will be a short press conference,” he joked.
And while he didn’t reveal what songs the band would be performing come Sunday, Springsteen said one thing is for sure – they’re going to give it their all for the 12 minutes they’re on the field, explaining what fans would see with a bit of a story.
“The idea of the show – let’s say you’re going to the Meadowlands [in New York] and you get lost along the way… You stop in a bar to get some directions. The bar gets held up while you’re there. That takes another 45 minutes… Then, you miss your exit on the turnpike… you finally make it into the stadium at 2 hours, 48 minutes into the show – that’s what you’re going to see,” he grinned, drawing laughter from the room.
It’s been quite a run of late for Springsteen and The E Street Band with a win at the Golden Globes for his song in “The Wrestler,” the upcoming Super Bowl gig and performing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for Barack Obama’s inauguration concert – a show, he joked, helped the band prepare to take the field in Tampa.
“It was a good warm up for this,” Springsteen smiled of his D.C. performance. “You’ll have a lot of crazy football fans, but you won’t have Lincoln staring over your shoulder! That takes some of the pressure off now.
“You just have years where things happen and some when it’s quieter… It’s been a good year. It’s been great,” he added.
And although Springsteen will be the first to admit he’s not much of a football fan, bandmate Nils Lofgren lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and said he will be rooting for the Cardinals on Sunday.
The only problem? When Lofgren was ready to talk about his Arizona allegiance, his microphone wouldn’t work.
“Only The Boss’ microphone works!” Springsteen laughed. “I told them to turn the others off!”
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