After issuing a heartfelt mea culpa to his fans who had felt stung when he recently paired with the nefarious corporate monolith that is Wal-Mart, Bruce Springsteen capped off what can only be described as an incredibly successful PR blitz by crotch-sliding his way into the living rooms of millions of Americans during a triumphant Super Bowl halftime performance. His boundless energy and indefatigable spirit won over everyone who saw his twelve-minute medley, save of course that contrarian grumpypants Stephen Metcalf at Slate, who made the curious decision to douse a bottle of Haterade on Springsteen for failing to include "The Wrestler" in his set list. Despite this blip, the Boss sold some 224,000 copies of his new album, good enough for a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200. However, just when Bruce thought he had left the last lingering bits of bad mojo in the dust, another nefarious corporate monolith put the screws to his loyal fan base: Ticketmaster.
In an incident that eerily paralleled last week's Live Nation–Phish-ticket-selling fiasco, many users who attempted to buy tickets for Springsteen's upcoming Working On A Dream tour via Ticketmaster encountered error messages that left them unable to buy tickets. Adding insult to injury, these users were then redirected to TicketsNow, the reselling arm of Ticketmaster, which was offering tickets at prices that far exceeded face value. Needless to say, Springsteen Nation was pissed.
Sensing another possible Wal-Mart situation on his hands, Springsteen quickly jumped on the grenade and posted a strongly-worded response on his official website. Not only did he publicly state his opposition to the possible merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, but he "condemned [Ticketmaster's] practice" and stated that "the abuse of our fans and our trust by Ticketmaster has made us as furious as it has made many of you." He then followed up on his rhetoric by giving his fans direct access to the people in charge of this blunder, both by posting the contact information for a Ticketmaster employee named Albert Lopez and by encouraging his fans to get in touch with New Jersey's attorney general.
Even though we applaud Team Springsteen for learning from the mistakes they made during the Wal-Mart debacle, that doesn't change the fact that their fans got screwed out of a chance to pay face value to see the Boss. Not all is lost, though; there's always Bonnaroo! Even better? Now that you don't have to shower for the next five months, the cash that you save on your water bills oughta be at least enough to cover gas money!
Bruce Springsteen “Furious” At Ticketmaster, Rails Against Live Nation Merger [Rock & Roll Daily/Rolling Stone]