Sold in the U.S.A.
His New Jersey mansion isn't on the market,
But, until a few weeks ago, this house was.
Bruce grew up in Freehold, N.J., but he rented the cottage at 7 1/2 West End Court, in Long Branch, on the Jersey Shore, in 1974 and '75. It was here that he wrote Born to Run (the song and much of the album of that name). In a 2005 documentary packaged with the 30th anniversary edition of Born to Run, Springsteen stops outside the house to reminisce.
So when the house came on the market, for $299,000, Kim McDermott, a Springsteen fan who lives in nearby Little Falls, and two partners, Gerard Ferrara and Ryan DeCarolis, couldn't resist making an offer. They ended up paying $280,000, which McDermott says is probably "a bit more" than the house would have gone for without the Bruce connection." (Realtor Susan McLaughlin wisely touted the house's rock pedigree on her website.)
Without Springsteen, the two-bedroom cottage, with about 800 square feet and a tiny porch, might have been a teardown, given its almost-oceanfront location.
The Jersey Shore has served as both inspiration and launching pad for Springsteen, who was recently honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington by a crowd that included President Barack Obama and the comedian and fellow Jersey boy Jon Stewart.
One of the songs Springsteen wrote in the Long Branch house is Thunder Road, which begins with the lyric "the screen door slams . . ."
"The house has a little screen door," says McDermott, who can't help hearing Bruce's words whenever she visits the property.
Right now, DeCarolis is living in the house. But because of its commercial zoning ("it's in an odd little area, with some homes and some businesses," says McDermott), it could someday become a Springsteen museum.
For millions of Bruce fans, that would be a chance to relive a little of the Glory Days.