Early next year, the Boss will be touring the entirety of his classic double album, The River. And although there’s not a hell of a lot to work with sartorially on the cover, it’s the right time to piece together a way for you to channel Springsteen circa 1980.
Here’s a little history lesson for you: plain white T-shirts first appeared in the late 19th century, when some manufacturer decided to split the union suit into separates. And originally, they were meant to protect one’s finer outer layers from the perils of, well, sweat.
Like boxers for your chest.
But the rules have changed in the past century. The undershirt has, on occasion, been called to take sartorial center stage. Like before bed. Or between takes on set. Or during takes, for that matter. And throughout it all, some brave, overtly stylish men have succeeded in proving that these baser layers can be worth way more than their thread count.
We’re pleased to see Bruce Springsteen back on the scene, supporting a new album...but there’s something different about him. We love the Boss, so it pains us to say this—but when a man of 62 appears with hair as consistently coltish as this, certain questions have to be asked. And as duly appointed grooming experts, we had no choice but to track down the answers...
Circa 1978, Bruce Springsteen was in a spectacularly tortured place. Fresh off Born to Run and overflowing with material, he had the chance to fully indulge his perfectionist streak. That made for a stew of ambition, insecurity and some spectacularly frustrated band members—and, as it turns out, some pretty good television.
A new Springsteen doc called The Promise is making the rounds at the Toronto Film Fest with archived footage, band interviews and a refreshingly geeky take on the whole affair. Clips are already leaking out at a thrilling pace, showing exactly how wrenching the sessions for Darkness on the Edge of Town really were, with upwards of 70 songs being whittled down to the darkest ten he could produce (at least until Nebraska). It’s a rare creative moment, the kind of thing that makes you glad someone brought a camera along. And if for some reason you don’t feel like trekking out to Toronto, it’ll be arriving on HBO on October 7.
We have a lot of love for Bruce Springsteen, so it’s hard for us to see him flub a crotch slide on national TV. But if we were to take one lesson away from the experience, it would be the following: never do anyhing that might end up reenacted on YouTube.