Bruce Springsteen Helps Unveil New Archives Exhibit in Freehold (Video)

Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold Borough for a ceremony announcing a new collaboration with the  Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University to create an exhibition space in the Fire Department building on 49 W. Main Street. Springsteen was moved by the ceremony and made a few brief remarks.

“What can I say?” Springsteen said as he took the podium, pointing out a ring given to him by Tex Vinyard, who gave the then young Freehold musician and his band, The Castiles, a place to rehearse in town. Springsteen told the crowd that he wears the ring on “special occasions,” as it is the one thing he has that connects him to the town.

“Everything I learned of deep importance, I learned in this town. You learn most of what makes you who you are by the time you are 12 maybe. Maybe your teen years. I had all the usual joy and heartbreak of growing up in a small town like this, and of course the minute the opportunity arose-I got the hell out.”

Springsteen added that he was honored that the exhibit would be in the firehouse, which he called “the coolest building in town.”

Archives director Eileen Chapman and Town Historian Kevin Coyne also spoke at the ceremony, with Coyne giving those in attendance a brief history lesson of Springsteen landmarks.

“Two blocks that way is the multi-generational family enclave Glenn Cashion will tell you about,” he said. “Just over there is the bus stop where Bruce ran with a dime in his had to get a paper for his old man.”

The exhibition-expected to open in 2024-will include artifacts, photographs, multi-media displays (voice, film, concert footage, interviews) and interactive displays.

“Together, the Springsteen exhibition in Freehold and The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music on the campus of Monmouth University will ensure that the musical legacy of Springsteen and his important role in American music history remain in New Jersey for generations to come,” said Archives director Eileen Chapman.

Watch Springsteen’s Speech below:

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