If you’re anything like me, right about now you’re so stuffed with gravy that the thought of heading out for a Black Friday shopping spree is about as appealing as … well, anything other than just continuing to sit here, watching football with your belt undone. But gifts must be got at some point, and if there’s a Springsteen fan on your list, you could do a lot worse than any of the items listed below:
Bruce Springsteen hasn’t released anything new since Wrecking Ball, so you may want to grab a copy of Long Distance Salvation, the Nebraska tribute album featuring acts like Joe Pug, Spirit Family Reunion, David Wax and Kingsley Flood. (Read our review here.) For 15 bucks you get the limited-edition colored vinyl, mp3 download and, since all proceeds benefit Project Bread, a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Five bucks will get you just the mp3, if vinyl isn’t your bag. And for another option, there’s also Nils Lofgren’s exquisite recent disc, Old School — which, given the title, would be appropriately purchased on vinyl.
No Springsteen fan worth his or her salt would be caught without Bruce, the much-heralded new bio from Peter Ames Carlin (review here) — that’s a no-brainer this holiday season for the Bruce Tramp on your list, if they don’t have it already. But there are plenty of other Bruce book options, including Marc Dolan’s Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll (review here), which features some hearty analysis of the various phases of Springsteen’s career; Springsteen FAQ by John D. Luerssen, a veritable Springsteen encyclopedia that covers his life and career in short, digestable chunks (much like your Thanksgiving dinner); Streets of Fire, featuring stunning photos by Eric Meola circa 1977-1979; and The Light in Darkness, Lawrence Kirsch’s collection of fan tributes to the Darkness era, which only has a few copies left available in its limited run. And we of course recommend our very own Glory Days: Springsteen’s Greatest Albums — granted it’s hard to wrap because it’s an eBook, but you can always get it as a $2.99 treat yourself.
Backstreets.com has an awesome collection of Springsteen concert T-shirts, but we’re especially fond of the travelogue T’s celebrating “Rosalita,” “Thunder Road,” “Racing” and “Spirit in the Night.” For something more upscale, get your favorite Bruce fan a Moncler jacket like the one Springsteen tends to don when the temperature drops — a mere $925 at Nordstrom.
You can’t go wrong with a Springsteen painting. Or maybe you can. But we prefer photographic imagery for our walls, and Wolfgang’s Vault is having a 25 percent off special this weekend only on fine art rock prints, including several Springsteen classics. If those prices are a bit steep for your pocketbook even with the discount, visit roccosphototavern.com, featuring some of the best Springsteen concert shots this side of the Mississippi.
At $600-$700, a ’50s-era Fender Telecaster guitar like Bruce’s most famous axe might be a bit pricey unless you really, really like the person. But if you only kind of like the person, for $37 you can pick him or her up a Hohner 1896 Marine Band Harmonica like the one Springsteen’s been known to pull out of his back pocket from time to time.