Been There, Done That
The Red and the Green Stamps
I have never heard that Bruce Springsteen was a "draft dodger," but I have just been informed by my boss and a buddy (a Navy CDR and a LT) that Bruce Springsteen was a draft dodger. So they scorn him. (I'm a "Navy civilian"/fed. employee, and I LOVE Springsteen!)
I've "googled" and have come up with nothing.
Anybody out there know if it is true? Or do they just assume that a man born in '49 without "Vietnam" in his resume is automatically a "draft dodger"?
Dave Marsh's Born to Run, if you can find it (Amazon says "limited availability," which I assume means it's out of print) talks about Springsteen's experience with the draft board. Essentially he did dodge the draft, though the official line is that he failed the physical.
Here is an interview with the man himself where he talks briefly about it:
quote:[Interviewer]:You hadn't been to Vietnam yourself.
[Bruce]: No, I did the draft-dodger rag.
[Int]: Did you feel guilty about not going?
[Bruce]: No, but it was such a part of growing up at that time, it was in your home every single night. My drummer in The Castiles went - and he died. I remember a fella was the best front man in New Jersey at the time, Walter Cichone, and he joined the Marines and was posted missing in action, and on the street people were frightened and everybody was trying to figure out how to get out of the draft. Whether you were there or whether you were at home in the United States, it was a defining moment in American culture. It finds its way time and again into some of my songs. Whether you went or not, it was a big part of your life.
At the time I was 18 or 19, I didn't come out of a political household, I was part of what you'd consider the counterculture, though probably I was the conservative part. I never had any real drug experience, you know. I lived in a little town, and there were lines drawn everywhere.
IIRC, Springsteen has said he filled out the draft forms in crazy ways and said he was a homosexual and so forth. But if you know anything about Springsteen's life in the late 1960s, you know he probably was in a condition where he would fail a physical, and the military would take a look at him - skinny, wild hair, not particularly articulate yet - and take a pass on him.
He talks a little about his draft experience in his introduction to "The River" on the Live 1975-85 album.
Yeah, you could say he was a draft dodger. (After all, he said he was.) But, hell, we're talking about Vietnam here - not exactly our nation's finest moment. I don't have a problem at all with those who didn't want to go.
quote:Originally posted by Silence Dogood: He talks a little about his draft experience in his introduction to "The River" on the Live 1975-85 album.
Silence "Born in the USA" Dogood
Yeah Silence, I was going to mention this. To paraphrase, He said that he left the house three or so days before he was to report to the draft board, and when he reported, they "didn't take me".
My mental image has always been of a young wild haired rock n' roller showing up for his physical after a three-day bender. No shower, no clean clothes, no tooth brush etc. No wonder they didn't want him!
I won't say that I don't have a problem with draft dogers, but I can certainly understand that most people would not be very happy or excited about walking into a meat grinder like 'Nam
His description of the drummer in his first band coming to his house in uniform to say good-bye was downright chilling. They pulled out a globe to find out where Viet Nam was. They had been hearing about it every night on the news, but it never hit home until this fellow was about to be sent there.
Atlanta "...and he said 'that's good...That's good'." Jake