FREEHOLD — The Barnes & Noble in Freehold Township was ready early and so was Bruce Springsteen for his book signing on Tuesday.

About 200 people were lined up outside the store in anticipation of meeting Springsteen and having him autograph a copy of his autobiography, "Born To Run," which goes on sale Tuesday. New Jersey 101.5's Jen Ursillo, waiting in line with her copy of the 528-page book, said the doors opened at 7 a.m.  for the first 50 people to go inside and buy their books.

Ursillo said Springsteen, wearing his black "Bruce garb"  arrived well before his scheduled noon start time and started meeting with fans.She said up until then things were very subdued and quiet as fans waited in line reading the book and talking to each other.

Suddenly, Ursillo said it was announced that Springsteen was in the house. "He calls the shots, He showed up at 10:30 and said 'let's get this started,'" Ursillo said, adding that. people started hyperventilating as Springsteen took a seat and began meeting with fans..

"The line moved very carefully, very easily and very quickly," Ursillo said, comparing the line to an assembly line. After handing off any cell phones and purses one could get their picture taken and briefly speak with Springsteen. "People were smiling and laughing. It was quick but it was so tastefully done and he couldn't have been any nicer," Ursillo said.

The only person with Springsteen was "Kevin The Guitar Tech" who throws him guitars during every concerts.

Ursillo said Springsteen's demeanor was shy. "When he's on stage doing his thing he is a superstar. And when he's talking to people, taking pictures, he is very humble. He is so appreciative of people being here and buying the book, meeting him." Ursillo said.

The manager of the store, who did not identify himself, said everything is ready inside the store for the Boss. He would not divulge any special requests that Springsteen may have for his day at the store.

Earlier, Ursillo said there was a feeling of excitement in and out of the store.

"Everybody's just hanging out. They had the bomb-sniffing dogs come in," Ursillo said.

“We got a bunch of extra guys on. They’ve got their own security at Barnes & Noble so everything’s pretty much handled,” Freehold Township Police spokesman Jim Lasky said, adding that both borough and township police will working the event.

New Jersey 101.5 Fast Traffic's Bob Williams said there was an increase in volume around Route 9 and Route 33, where ticketholders were parking at Freehold Raceway.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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