I’ve heard it many times over my 31 years as a New Jersey music and arts journalist: “You spend too much time writing about Bruce Springsteen!” And I understand why some people feel that way.
But I feel he is worth the time and attention, for several reasons.
First, he is — unquestionably, in my mind — the greatest rock artist the state has produced, and he has made music that has touched the lives of countless people, in New Jersey and beyond. He is still able to fill stadiums for multiple nights, at least in New Jersey. And he is such a dynamic and unpredictable concert performer that you can’t just cover one show of a multi-night stand — you might miss something incredible.
It’s also a matter of economics, though. The number of page views I can attract on NJArts.net determines the amount of money I can charge advertisers, and the amount of money I can charge advertisers determines if I can pay my bills. In the nearly two years of NJArts.net (which launched on Sept. 15, 2014), writing posts about Springsteen has been, by far, the most dependable way to generate big page view numbers. Below is a list of the most popular 30 posts in the site’s history. More than half are about Springsteen, or at least have something to do with him.
Two of the stories in the Top 10 are, in fact, reviews of two of his three incredible shows this month at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford this month (his first Jersey stadium shows in the lifetime of NJArts.net). I reviewed the third one for NorthJersey.com, where, I assume, it’s doing very well, too.
It’s not just me, of course. If you spend a lot of time on Jersey news sites such as NJ.com and APP.com, you’ll have noticed a lot of posts about Springsteen. They’re doing it for the same reasons I am. He justifies the attention with his artistic merit. And he also generates the kind of hits they need to survive.
It may not seem like it, but writing about Springsteen is actually just a small part of what I do. I can and do often go several months without posting anything substantial on him. But the Springsteen posts are often the ones that get shared the most on Facebook and Twitter, so you’re most likely to seem them.
Anyway, here are NJArts.net‘s 30 most popular posts of the past two years. Please click on the title if you’re interested in seeing the post in its entirety. You’ll find some surprising stuff here, and some not-so-surprising stuff. And, yes, a lot of Springsteen.