Geek Box

Taking the witness stand in a battle with U.K. bootleggers a few years back, Bruce Springsteen offhandedly mentioned to the court, "I don't surf the Internet." Duh, replied his diehard fans, who regularly groused about their Boss being late to the online world. Last month, Springsteen released his first-ever free download, a version of "Born to Run" from his new album, Live in New York City (available at The faithful yawned at his cautious choice. For months, those same folks have been using Napster, BearShare, and other peer-to-peer services to trade unreleased and unauthorized Springsteen recordings. Songs from Before the Fame, the disc of 1972 demos he successfully blocked in the British courts, regularly turn up in the collections of Napster users. You want hardcore stuff like "Losin' Kind," which never made it onto Nebraska? It's there. How about the live "Pilgrim in the Temple of Love," also known to devotees as "Santa Gets a Blow Job?" Not a problem. Concert duets with Tom Waits, Neil Young, Axl Rose, U2, and the Wallflowers abound. And if you really want some Jersey cred, track down his new gospel tune, "My City of Ruins." Springsteen debuted the song in concert last December. It was available from one peer to another just days later.—Chris Nelson

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow