Newsflash: Bruce Springsteen Sucks

And here are 10 reasons why.


Bruce Springsteen sucks. Allow me to digress…

Reason #1 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: Bruce Springsteen Is New Jersey

When Bruce Springsteen dies, no doubt the flags of New Jersey will fly at half-mast. For months. Bruce Springsteen is a hero of the “Garden State,” and a symbol of all that it stands for. It’s no surprise that the best a state like New Jersey could do was Bruce Springsteen. They are made for each other.

Reason #2 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: “Oh, You Have To See Him Live”

The most common argument against Bruce Springsteen hatred goes like this. Have you seen him live? Oh, you haven’t. I see. Well, you really have to see him live. I used to hate him, too. But then I saw him live.

The whole thing has some weird, cult-like, Amway seminar thread running through it. I say, “I hate Bruce Springsteen,” and the best you can do is suggest that I go spend three hours with the man? (Yes, I’ve heard all about those legendary three-hour concerts. Save your breath.) What is this, aversion therapy?

People used to say the same thing about the Grateful Dead, and, against my better judgment, I went to see them live. In fact, I saw them at their last Spectrum performance before Jerry Garcia died. There’s a reason why Grateful Dead fans needed all those drugs.

Reason #3 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: The Rock-And-Roll Saxophone

I love the saxophone in jazz and funk. But in rock-and-roll, the instrument is overused even when it is barely used. And no one is more guilty of rock-and-roll saxophone overuse than Bruce Springsteen. (Okay, well maybe Steely Dan.)

When longtime Springsteen sax player Clarence Clemons died of a massive stroke a couple of years back, some fans wondered whether the Clarence-less 2012 tour would be worth the price of admission. That’s how integral saxophone overuse is to Springsteen’s music.

Bands out there, when you’re recording your next album and one of your members says, “Hey guys, I think that a saxophone solo here would really seal the deal,” fire him on the spot.

Reason #4 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: “The Streets of Philadelphia”

It is unfortunate that two of the most famous songs about Philadelphia are Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” (only someone not from here would ever write a song about tennis and include “Philadelphia” in the title) and “The Streets of Philadelphia,” the track that Bruce Springsteen contributed to Philadelphia, Jonathan Demme’s 1993 film.

Yes, “Streets” won the Oscar. (Neil Young, also nominated for a Philadelphia song, was robbed). But, then, “A Whole New World” won it the year before, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” the year after. Not exactly great company to keep.

Reason #5 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: Maybe It’s A Mary Hart’s Voice Thing

In 1991, Dr. Venkat Ramani reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that one of his patients went into seizures every time she heard Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart’s voice. Apparently, it’s called audiogenic epilepsy and is an actual thing, which pretty much makes it number one on The List of Things That Seem Like They Are Urban Legends But Are Not. Based on my own reactions to the voice of Bruce Springsteen, I may be a candidate for this diagnosis, although my allergic reaction is also triggered by the mere sight of his bandanna, denim and open-shirt-clad self.

Reason #6 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: The Earring

As far back as the 1970s, Bruce Springsteen was sporting an earring, making millions of working-class grunts think they had the right to do the same. Men with earrings would become an unfortunate trend that lasted far too long. When in doubt, fellas, skip the stud.

Reason #7 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: Nepotism Isn’t Just for Philly Politics

We here in Philadelphia know all about nepotism, and it has no place at rock concerts. And yet, Van Halen replaced founding bass player Michael Anthony with Wolfgang van Halen, the spawn of Eddie van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli, while Springsteen chose Jake Clemons (nephew of Clarence) to replace the late sax player. Springsteen nepotism bonus: Bruce’s wife, Patti Scialfa, sings backup vocals and bangs on a tambourine for him.

Reason #8 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: E Street Drummer Max Weinberg

I’m pretty sure that if Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham hadn’t died, he would have kicked Max Weinberg’s ass a long, long time ago.

Reason #9 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: The Fans

Maybe I wouldn’t have to hate Bruce Springsteen so much if you fans didn’t love and worship him so much. I could tolerate a general liking of the guy. But it seems like people don’t like Bruce Springsteen. They love him. And when we hear you go on and on and on and on about how awesome he is, it gets a little tiresome and leads to reactions like the one you are reading here. Stop shoving him down my throat. I get it, even though you’ll say that I don’t. I get it. I just hate it.

Reason #10 Why Bruce Springsteen Sucks: The Christmas Cover

Way to ruin Christmas, bro.

A version of this article originally appeared on The Philly Post in 2012.

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Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Disappointed

    Way to use an old article (that was also hated by pretty much everyone) to get a rise out of people. I thought you were better than that Philly Mag. Not mad, just disappointed.

    • Dick_Wolf

      Dissappointed how? It’s a troll magazine written by trolls. I can’t wait for the weekly “Maybe Philly IS inferior” blog. We’re talking about a magazine that published an entire feature length piece on a Marine Sniper based on his Sportsradio calls to WIP. No one, not the writer or the editors, even confirmed the guy was in the Marines before they published it. That’s high school newspaper sh!t.

    • ridusofreid

      Is it me are is this satire? The reasons are stupid enough that I think the author is just writing to bug people. I laughed as I read it and I bought Sirius radio the day they announced the E street channel 10 years ago.

  • plowking

    what a moronic assessment…..Keep lauding the crap ‘B List’ acts they usually get for Fourth of July , etc. , because they’re ‘contemporary’ and ‘hip’! Wow, Neo and Grace Potter!

  • JJ

    (Yawwwwnnnnnn) This list was lazy & insipid 2 years ago when you first wrote it. I just Googled the phrase “Click-Bait” and the first link was to this article. (aside to Plowking – don’t go knocking Grace Potter – “you gotta go see her live”)

  • LDK

    Reasons to hate Philadelphia Magazine: recycling old stories that were out of date when they wrote them.

  • Matt Wales

    First time reader, first time poster. There might be 10 reasons that Springsteen sucks, but there’s a 1000 reasons why Philly sucks. I’ll take my answer off the air.

    • bobowl

      Don’t lump that DB in with Philly, please. Bruce made his bones in Philly and the city loves him like no other.

  • Guest

    None of these makes sense at’s probably talent, good looks, weath and maybe even penis envy..lmaooo your a hack cannot believe you get paid to write such nonsense..your jealousy is showing and at his age he has not lost a step..cant out last out perform and must have found the fountain of youth..esp compared to some that look like tales from the crypt out there ..the old guys and even the the way what does your fat ass look like and what have you contributed to the world? stfu..pleeeease

  • DeeMD215

    Duh..none of these makes sense at’s probably talent, good looks, wealth and maybe even penis envy…that has you in a tither…lmao your a hack writer cannot believe you get paid to write such nonsense on this and other articles..your jealousy is showing and let me say.. at his age he has not lost a step..can out last out perform and must have found the fountain of youth..esp compared to some that look like tales from the crypt out there of the old rockers and hell even the the way what does your fat ass look like and what have you contributed to the world? stfu..pleeeease. This article is just plain idiotic.. he’s New Jersey? the sax? His earring? Philly Mag is really going sucks ..and you more than..ahhh bruuuuuuuuuuuce.. 😉 LOL

  • Will

    clearly you and your boss sat down before you ran this piece and discussed the ramifications of this tired, inflammatory style. You knew you’d probably get some hate-mail, maybe even a few comments and most likely bloated page views. What you two probably didn’t discuss was your ability to be remarkably terrible at this particular shtick. You’re like an up and coming clown at a birthday party trying something weird, but the bit fails and all the spectators sorta just flip their eyes from right to left to see if anyone gets it. I’m not really sure who this Victor person is, but I sincerely hope he’s not a Philly native. You’re doin it wrong, bro

    • Ranbo

      Thought it was a great article.

  • Denise Rambo

    I’ve never been a big Springsteen fan – not enough to spend any of my money on an album or a concert ticket. A few years ago a nonprofit I am affiliated with ran a concession stand at The Linc and I had the chance to see a Springsteen concert for free. I still don’t get what all the hype is about and I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to find that out.

    • Freak&aGeek

      No soul , huh? Too bad for you.

  • Matt

    I’ve lost what little respect I had for PhilyMag after reading this. I’m sure you could get some better writers than this.

  • poojer

    Flags would fly at half staff, not half mast, that is reserved for things with masts, like boats….other than that, you are way off base, and I am by no means a Springsteen fan. He absolutely does not suck, oh and seeing him live really is a good idea.

    • vfiorillo

      Actually, you are incorrect. Look up “half-mast” in the good old Merriam-Webster: “The position about halfway up a mast or pole at which a flag is flown as a symbol of mourning for the dead or as a signal of distress. Also called half-staff.”

  • Orange

    “Nepotism”? Is this a joke? Have you ever heard of the Wainwright family? The Jackson 5? The Carter Family? Linda McCartney? Gloria and Emilio Estefan? Johann Sebastian Bach and his dozens of children and grandchildren, many of whom became musicians and composers of note? Musical families and musical dynasties have been a fact of music for centuries, probably millennia. Give me a break, “nepotism,” Jesus. Are you new to the planet, or just to human society?

  • bobowl

    “Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive.”

    How ironic, huh?

    Someone just linked this and I had to see if it was as idiotic and doltish as the headline suggested. Despite just skimming it in 4 seconds, it was not hard to tell that it is worse. This is obviously a hyperbolic troll piece written to draw attention to this pathetic rag and some low-life, unintelligent twit trying to make a name for himself. Seriously Victor, the urine Bruce shakes off his weenie after taking a leak has more talent than you. Spend your $17k p/yr wisely.

  • mark

    I’m not a Springsteen fan so was excited to read the reason this guy wasn’t. Mine of them are good, clever, or funny. This is on par with a teenager blogger

  • jakdracula

    I get up a half hour earlier every day just to hate Bruce Springsteen longer.

  • Scooter66

    This a$$hole woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

  • Rick Kelly

    Nothing worse than a lazy journalist. “Journalist” being a misnomer in Victor’s case. I still miss your Wednesday quizzes though Vic – even if you got them out of a book.

  • jd_steel

    Victor, I like you…. but is there any room in any world you occupy for an opinion other than your own? You just attempted to eviscerate all of rock and roll- and my career with your opinion…. jeez, I was gonna ask you to participate in Drunk Piano, but I dunno….. I get a feeling that if there’ maybe half a thing that you don’t like about it- you’ll take a big dump on it………..

  • Mike215

    This article is spot on and contextualized my feelings perfectly.

    • pj

      Victor, sucks dicktor

  • Slick

    What’s apparent to me is that the person who wrote this article has an absolute horrible taste in music. Some of these reasons are ridiculous and childish, so… Yeah, you gotta up your music game, maestro.

  • LGGlenside

    Sounds like the rant of a spoiled baby trying to get Mommy and Daddy’s attention.

  • Um…

    This article is idiotic. And I’m by no means a rabid Bruce fan.

  • I never post comments

    I’ve only ever seen Bruce and estreet band two times and both times were in last two years. i live in NYC and have seen hundreds of rock shows, mostly in small intimate clubs. I’ve been to SXSW 6 times. I believe I feel that have enough experience to conclude thusly: Bruce and the E street band are the greatest rock and roll show I have ever seen. it is amazing the cross section of fans….young and old…working class, white collar, men and women. I’ve never been to a show where I have laughed , cried, danced and sang- other than at a Bruce show. The guy and his band are in their sixties and bring it for no less than three hours. His songs , both old and new, are still relevant and hold up over time. His selection of covers (stayin alive?? Whose got bigger balls and can pull it off??) are bold and cool (e.g clampdown). Victor, for your information, Clampdown is a song written by a band called the Clash….you know that band that thought was ripping off your favorite band Greenday.

    • Hugh Jass

      So you are saying that you need to see him live?
      Reason number 2.

      • GoBirds1

        Yes and the DBAG that wrote this article makes the lame argument that same argument was used to support the Dead and he went to that show and it sucked, therefore the same argument to support Bruce’s greatness is not valid. You may friend a tool a fool and try to use chic circular logic to make your otherwise stupid position. Go to a show, then write a review.

        • Hugh Jass

          Man, springsteen fans sure are sensitive. Lighten up. Who cares if some people don’t like his music? Not everyone likes the Stones either. I’ve seen the Dead and Springsteen live.

          • Scott Hannon

            Waaaaah stop picking on Bruce!

      • I never post comments

        No DB, read the above post again. I never said you need to see him live. In fact, I hope soul less DBs like you never do.

    • Frank the Tank

      You cried at his show? Wow.

      This comment thread is ten tons of hilarious.

  • Chelsea

    I’m sure PM will just roll their eyes and laugh at this comment, but really, think about some of these comments. They aren’t just overblown, there’s some reason to them. I know Buzzfeed makes money off lazy and snarky little lists, but we all know they aren’t journalists and collecting clicks isn’t quality journalism. It’s just disappointing to see a publication that used to really have a voice become a snarky, rag mag. You guys can do better than this, it might involve working harder but really, you can do so much better.

  • David R Velasquez

    Bruce Springsteen doesn’t suck. He’s good at what he does. You just don’t happen to like him. I’m not that big on him either.

  • Veillantif

    I like how you recycled this two-year-old piece, as if writing a new one of the same quality would have been just too difficult and time-consuming.

  • vyvyan


  • SchmidtUltra

    I applaud Victor Viorillo. It takes guts to post a two year old article as your own in efforts to stir up some “controversy”.
    You do know that you don’t HAVE to listen to Bruce Springsteen, right? I can’t stand olives, but you don’t see me walking around, eating a jar of them telling everyone how disgusting they are. And if you’re going to do an Buzzfeed-esque opinion piece, at least come up with your own.

  • PPABootsquadVinnie

    Does anyone Else get the feeling this is some kind of ‘social experiment’ by Victor/PhilaMag to generate controversy, comments and Maybe readership? Dislike of Springsteen or any other ‘too popular’ musician is certainly anybody’s privilege and has been done many times before, but to recycle an old piece just to get a reaction is no big deal.
    Must be the Summer Doldrums for Philadelphia Magazine while they ‘mail it in’ with a cover article [advertisement/filler] on Top Docs. It seems like I hafta read all the ‘fine print’ on their websites And magazine, so I’ll know when they are trying to entertain me, or just plain old advertising with a ‘special’ section. Philly Mag, you’ve come along way, baby’, only the wrong way—down.

    • EA

      Probably. V loves to instigate. I guess he has to make up for drole restaurant reviews. Guess he hasnt quite found a niche yet at Philly Mag. lol

  • EaglefaninAZ

    I like a lot of his stuff, but back in the day when he was being force fed to me and the guys hanging on the corner, we started calling him Bruce Cantsingsteen. :)

  • Guest

    I don’t think this deserves a better response…

  • Hugh Jass

    #2 with your Grateful Dead comparison. Spot on!

  • Atombird

    The sax doesn’t work in rock n roll? Tell that to Bobby Keys and Mick Jagger. You wouldn’t have gotten Honky Tonk Women and Brown Sugar without it.

  • TheBSDetector

    You suck. But you sure know how to get clicks on this lame blog.

  • Joan B

    The only thing that sucks is that at 53 my husband and I had to get up for work after getting home around 2:30pm last night!! After about 120 shows in the us and europe (for him) and only about 25 or so for me it is clear that it is harder to put in a good days work after listening, dancing and singing to great rock and roll. I just hope that when bruce is in his 70’s and we are in our 60’s he starts the concerts in the afternoon. Oh and I am thankful he is only doing one night because I would really be less effective at work if I went a few nights in a row!! And sure does not suck how he mixed it up with a great guitarist – Tom Morello. (Oh and for the record we drank Patron and corona’s in the parking lot)

    • ImNotTheWalrus

      Drank Patron and Coronas? I shall alert the media!

  • zzzz

    yawn, nice troll job. you posted this a few years ago too.

  • BizzyBone

    Yeah… this writer is an idiot. Should be called, “10 Things I Hate About Bruce Springstein”. This has no merit, especially #3 and #4. I’m not even a huge fan, but you have to respect talent.

  • Rbman

    What an A**hole you are. Wow.

  • IvanK

    This was, quite possibly, the dumbest thing I read online this week … Congrats. I’ll never get those minutes back in my life. Who ya gonna roast next? Billy Joel? I hear he’s a hack, too…

  • jonathan

    The only decent (earlier) songs this guy ever wrote all sound the same, and the rest are pop rock with sentiment and no substance. I have seen him live and it sucked. There is no exceptional talent in his band. It’s just a big hype machine for those who are suckers for that sort of thing. Go ahead, admit it. Bruce isn’t that great.

  • John

    Reason #11: He can’t sing
    Reason #12: He plays a telecaster
    Reason #13: His fans are tone deaf
    Reason #14: He lifts his old arms too often to reveal nasty old-man soaked armpits… keep your arms down
    Reason #15: We have no choice but to “see him live” at every benefit and charity event within a 200-mile radius of New Jersey. I’m convinced charity fundraisers pay more than festivals.

  • Max Lightfoot

    And the fact that Chris Christie loves Bruce speaks for itself.

  • DJPC

    This article will be my number one reason when I create the piece “Newsflash: Philly Mag Sucks”. Congrats, you got me to comment.

  • LS

    You only wish you could look like and rock out, perform for hours on end at 64 years old like he does!! Your words are nothing shy of a bitter, synical and jealous loser. You could only wish to have his talent!

  • jbdcjd1025

    It’s seems like no one writes for the sake of good journalism anymore. It’s all about getting a rise out of people. Can’t imagine what kinds of things we’ll see in another 10 years.

    “Miley Cyrus has 3rd child. Like OMG can you BELIEVE what she NAMED IT?!”

  • Lynn Warf

    Nope… You just do NOT GET IT!! Bruce is the BOSS!!!!!

  • lcarlat
  • evrythingmustgo
  • Jay

    If you don’t like him it’s one thing, I hate pink floyd but I know they don’t objetively suck. I don’t think that the ones who say that a band or an artist, that made the history of music, sucks just because they don’t like him are much intelligent: DE GUSTIBUS. :S

    The funny thing is that a great part of let’s call them haters (I know, ’cause all my friends don’t like him) hate him because we fans talk too much about him (I perfectly know it’s true, but if i’m mad about something you should hate me talking about it, not that thing), not for his music. And great part of them know only Born in the U.S.A., that over 30 albums I guess it’s not enough to judge.

    Oh, fact is that you’re talking of Bruce and fact is I’m a fan and if you read this you’ll probably concentrate on this part, but this message was against people saying that a band (whatever, in this case Bruce but there are thousands of comments on other bands) sucks just because they hate it, and that’s NOT a fact. When will people understand this?

    Oh yeah, I understood how much I liked his music once I saw him live, but if you have already decided you hate him I guess nothing will change. We can’t like everything.

    And another thing: I’m Italian, and here we have the difference between north and south Italy that I guess (for what I see on tv series and shows) is almost the same difference between New Jersey and maybe NY or others. Even if a lot of northern people insult the south of italy (some politics too) they’re not considered intelligent and result pretty awkward. What you said about New Jersey and its people was not very nice to see even from a point of view from the other part of the planet, and I would like to remind you that I’m pretty sure to find some (let’s call them) people as the ones of Jersey Shore programme even in your state and in every single other state of the world. Stupid people are everywhere and some have registered your same birth place on the document, they’re not only from New Jersey.

  • Scott Hannon

    Good god…you would think this guy was insulting everyones family! Bruce IS overated along with the Dead.

  • Stephen

    You know who sucks? You suck.

  • Smoothie

    I’m not a fan per se (and yes, I live in New Jersey), but these are pretty weak arguments. I give Bruce credit for writing music that connects with people so strongly. And the “seeing them live” anti-argument is a very valid one. I’ve seen a few acts that I marginally liked and their performance made me a much more avid fan. You tried to elicit a reaction and you did. Congratulations.

  • ImNotTheWalrus

    I remember his 1975 Time Magazine cover and had no idea who he was, then like most people on the Times cover he disappeared for years.If only he had just stayed wherever he went.Tri state hype

  • Farty Fartsalot

    I’m sure someone with Down Syndrome can write a better analysis than this greasy guinea

  • Donald Sterling

    Another atrocious story by one of the biggest fraud journalists – VICTOR FIORILLO

  • Megumi

    Ummmm…how do any of those videos show that Springsteen sucks? They were all pretty good. I loved the video with Jake. This article is a joke.

  • JonB

    Fun stuff. You were reaching a bit on some so I’m assuming coming up with 10 was tough. Conversely, I have an article coming out of the. “Top 1000 Reasons Philly Sucks.” It started at 2k but my editor made me take it down some.

  • islanchief

    One reason Victor sucks- Re-runs.

  • James H

    OK, Maybe it just that you suck! Springsteen is a legend of rock and roll and one of the most prolific artists of our time. Yes, I am a fan but I also love all types of music with only a few exceptions. Your article is just pure bs without a real point made. You just want to get a lot of responses to make your article look better than it is. A pitiful cry for attention… Sad!

  • Dr Mark

    Isn’t the above article a “personal attack” as described in your editorial guidelines? I’m surprised you bothered to publish it!

  • RobertaZ

    With only reason #3 having even the remotest link to the man’s overall musical catalog and performances, the author of this article clearly needs to get a life. You don’t like him? Great. Just say that. Saying that he sucks because you don’t like him, is like saying that chocolate sucks because you don’t like it.

    As for sax in funk and jazz……I think that funk sucks horribly…..but that’s MY opinion!

  • what

    Bruce and his band are like the band you’d see at a crappy wedding. There’s just nothing to them.

  • Ben Preston

    Sorry Mr. Fiorillo, but this piece is pretty weak (still). Posting a second time didn’t make it any better. Maybe it was supposed to be funny?

    It is more than fair to say you don’t enjoy Springsteen. You don’t like sax in rock music, you don’t like his voice, you don’t connect with his songs — OK, all fair. But trashing him because you don’t like New Jersey? You don’t like men wearing earrings? You don’t like Max Weinberg? What are you, 12 years old? You sound like an Eagles fan who “hates” the Cowboys and Giants because they keep winning championships and the Eagles don’t.

    More to the point, the piece is pretty clearly aimed not at Bruce, nor even at the broader music public as a form of review of Bruce’s work. Rather, it is a small-minded, attack on his fanbase. The good news is that millions will be singing Bruce songs long after all of us reading or contributing to this Board are long dead, and this piece will have faded to oblivion, as it should.