Will Springsteen play in Christchurch?

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2014
Bruce Springsteen
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THE BOSS: Can Bruce Springsteen be persuaded to play Christchurch?

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A man on a horse delivered a letter from Christchurch to The Boss - Bruce Springsteen - with high hopes.

Christchurch civic leaders have been trying to convince the rock legend, via letters, to visit the city next month after he has played gigs in Auckland.

Concert campaigner Mark Belton said he, Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Jim Anderton, Garry Moore and the Wizard, Ian Brackenbury Channell, have all sent "registered letters" to Springsteen inviting him to perform.

One letter to The Boss was personally delivered by Marcus Brandt, a master carpenter and stone mason who has previously spoken out about the need to restore the ChristChurch Cathedral.

Brandt lives near Springsteen's New Jersey farm.

"Marcus rode his horse to Springsteen's farm to hand deliver it," Belton said. "But Bruce was out of town. The security people let him in and he handed it to someone there."

To make it easier logistically, Springsteen was invited to do an unplugged concert.

"He has a history of doing concerts where there have been disasters. It's a part of his character to help communities that have been hammered," Belton said. "His songs like City of Ruins are salient for Christchurch."

No reply has yet been received.

The Press yesterday rang the farm in Muhlenbrink Rd, New Jersey, far away from the streets of Philadelphia: "Bruce isn't here right now. Sorry I don't know anything about any letters from Christchurch. Your mayor wrote to him? He gets a lot of mail."

Belton said he was not "countin' on a miracle" but if their high hopes came true and The Boss played unplugged in Cathedral Square, it would not be a free show.

"We'd probably want to put the hat around, there'd be some sort of cost. But it could be a fundraiser for a Christchurch charity or go towards the cathedral."

Brent Eccles, Auckland-based head of Frontier Touring Company responsible for Springsteen's tour, said yesterday that he was "completely unaware" that Dalziel had written to Springsteen and did not wish to comment further.

Australian-based chairman of The Frontier Touring Company, Michael Gudinski, has previously acknowledged "the passion" of Christchurch fans but put a wrecking ball through the notion of a Christchurch show.

"Regrettably, on this particular tour a Christchurch show isn't logistically possible within the timeframe available," Gudinski told The Press last year.

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"A significant number of fans from the Canterbury region have already secured tickets to the Auckland concert and I am absolutely confident that Bruce will deliver them a concert that they will remember for years to come."

- The Press

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