The studio where Bruce Springsteen made “Born to Run” is a carwash now. An “Auto Spa,” technically, and I guess there are much less sensical options. I mean, once Mary got in that car and they headed off down “Thunder Road,” it was bound to get dirty.
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of Born to Run, one two excuses for Springsteen: Album by Album. The other was last year’s 30th anniversary of Born in the U.S.A. my friends at Palazzo Editions were thinking ahead and planning smart. By the time I got involved with the project, they figured the cover of the book would be Born to Run‘s cover, because that’s never the wrong answer.
But you can’t just make that cover your cover. You have to get rights and permissions and cut checks. I imagine Eric Meola, the photographer, has spent more time than he’d wish over the years dealing with paperwork related to that album cover. It’s my experience that artists like art, not paperwork–no matter how great the art. When he was approached about Album by Album, I guess he was busy–and there were already so many Springsteen books. For a moment, the project was jeopardy, because it was assumed that if we couldn’t get those shots, why bother?
I wrote Eric a note. I wanted to assure him that his all-time great rock photos wouldn’t be used in service of a clown show of words. Obviously pen got to paper and photos got to press and the book came out and Eric wrote embarrassingly nice things about it on Facebook. I happened to see those words, sent him thanks (relieved that he thought it wasn’t said show of clowns) and we became Facebook friends and the benefit of that is many other great, great photos appearing in my timeline. Check out his site.
But he’s also still the guy who shot the Born to Run cover and this summer is the 40th anniversary and some more friends, the crew at Backstreets, along with Meola, Sony, and John Landau management, have worked up 1,975 beautiful posters featuring the iconic shot of Bruce leaning on Clarence.
Net proceeds from the sale go to WhyHunger, and so you’re helping people who need it and getting yourself a hell of a piece of art. Coincidentally, WhyHunger is also 40 this year.
Purchase: Born to Run poster [Backstreets]