So what do you do when you’re 16, a huge Springsteen fan, and bored in the suburbs of New Jersey? You go to Bruce Springsteen‘s house, invade his privacy, and raid his garbage cans, of course!

At least, that’s what my friend and I did in 1979 when we drove up to the top of telegraph Hill in Holmdel to Springsteen’s ramshackle first mansion.

This was pre-Rumson, pre-Colts Neck. The house was big, but in disrepair. We felt so lucky to be so close to our idol. We had driven by the house dozens of times, but never got as close as we did that night.

What we found in Springsteen's trash

When we spotted the overflowing trash cans right by the side of the house, we imagined the treasures we might find inside! We saw our moment, and then we went for it.

Some of the booty we came away with was pretty gross. Like actual garbage: An empty cough medicine bottle with the prescription label with his name on it and a torn up magazine cover with his name on the address label.

But this was one of my favorites:

Photo from Judi Franco
Photo from Judi Franco

A photo of him just hanging out in his living room on his tacky velvet sofa, the TV Guide at his side and one of those animal clip thingies that we all had back then stuck on his nose.

I guess this is the way the boss entertained himself when no one but his close friends were around. But I treasure this photo. To me, it’s my childhood. And it’s the REAL Bruce, the way I first fell in love with him.

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