The Gaslight Anthem and Their Ties to The Boss

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The Gaslight Anthem are an American rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey that formed in 2006. They have released 4 full-length records since their conception. Their most recent album, Handwritten was released in July of 2012. The Gaslight Anthem are representative of a long history of Jersey punk bands like The Misfits to bands like The Bouncing Souls. They embody that certain Jersey Shore Sound that we’ve come to know from back in the day with Bruce Springsteen’s earliest records. Like The Boss, the town from which the Gaslight Anthem is from plays a major role in their material both musically and lyrically. Guitarist and lead singer, Brian Fallon is a huge Springsteen fan, and it shows in the way he sings, his stage presence, and the area of town from which he came from. His other influences range from The Clash, The Replacements, Neil Young, and Tom Petty. None of those other artists really compare to Brian’s admiration for Bruce, however. He idolizes him as a person and a performer.

In June of 2009 Bruce Springsteen joined The Gaslight Anthem onstage at the Glastonbury Festival in England. Fallon was approached by The Boss himself, asking if he could join them in playing Gaslight’s “The ’59 Sound”, the title track off of their breakthrough album. Fallon said that Bruce learned the chords to the song himself, joined them onstage, and when they walked off he knew the band would never be viewed the same way again. The very next night Bruce was playing in Hyde Park and asked Brian Fallon this time to join him onstage to sing along with him to Bruce’s “No Surrender”, which is not only my favorite song Bruce ever wrote, but also my favorite song of all time.

Every time I watch this video I get emotional, imagining what an honor it must have been to be asked to join your hero onstage during a performance to sing along with him. I have watched The Gaslight Anthem transform from a small punk rock band from Jersey into heirs to Bruce’s New Jersey Rock ‘N Roll empire.

Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller) and the Fatal Car Crash of 1987

Matthew Broderick, the actor that played the infamous Ferris Bueller in John Hughes’ 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, was involved in a car crash that claimed two lives.

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While vacationing in Ireland on August 5, 1987, Broderick and his Ferris Bueller’s Day Off co-star and then girlfriend, Jennifer Grey who played Ferris’ sister Jeanie were in a rented BMW when Broderick drove into the wrong lane, colliding with a Volvo, killing two just 80 miles outside of Belfast. Broderick’s car collided head-on with a Volvo driven by Anna Gallagher, 28. She and her mother, Margaret Doherty, 63, were both pronounced dead on arrival at Erne Hospital. Broderick, who was 25 at the time, suffered a fractured leg, fractured ribs, a concussion, and collapsed lung. Grey, who was 27, only suffered severe whiplash and minor cuts and bruises.

Regarding the accident, Broderick had this to say:

“I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember even getting up in the morning. I don’t remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg.”

His leg was badly broken, resulting in him being rushed to the hospital. The paramedics had to tear the car apart in order to administer first aid to Broderick. All Broderick kept asking at the time of the accident was whether or not the people in the other car had been hurt. Broderick could have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which could have ended in a five-year prison sentence, but he was only fined $175, something the family of the diseased was angered by.

Broderick received quite a bit of flack from the Doherty family and others after appearing in a Super Bowl commercial on game day for the 2012 Honda CR-V, intended to replicate him as Ferris Bueller. They suggested he may not be such a suitable driver.

The Replacements

The Replacements were an alternative rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota that essentially started a genre, mixing classic rock ‘n roll with punk rock. They were around from 1979-1991 and released several full-length albums that still continue to inspire musicians today. They were drawn to the sounds of everyone from Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles to The Clash, The Ramones, and The Dead Boys.

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Their album Tim was released in October of 1985 and was their first major label release on Sire Records. It was produced by Tommy Ramone. This album was one of their most popular and gained some moderate mainstream commercial success. Tim showcases The Replacements’ widely diverse influences from Roy Orbison to Chuck Berry. Lyrically, the most are mostly loser anthems dealing with adult responsibility and growing up. The Replacements made it cool to be outcasts. Three of The Replacements’ most popular tracks can be found on this album including “Kiss Me on the Bus”, “Bastards of Young”, and “Left of the Dial”, which is a reference to college radio stations being left of the dial on a radio and how exciting it was for up and coming bands to hear their music on air.

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On January 18, 1986 The Replacements performed “Kiss Me on the Bus” and “Bastards of Young” on Saturday Night Live after which they were banned for life for swearing during their performance and their rowdy behavior. This was the most success they had received as a band up until this point, but fame did not matter to them. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine placedĀ TimĀ at #136 on their list of the greatest 500 albums of all time. It was also ranked #4 on the Alternative Press list of top 99 albums from 1985-1995. Allmusic gave the album 5 stars as they did with The Replacements’ previous studio album, Let It Be.

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