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Author Topic: Joel and Springsteen Draft Dodgers?
Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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After searching for the item here, and Googling my little head off, I have to post.

I had heard that Bruce Springsteen had gone to Canada when it looked like he would end up being drafted and sent to Vietnam. I then heard that Billy Joel did the same thing - and even that he lived down the block from Bruce while in Canada.

After their songs giving tribute to the US military and the sacrifice of the Vietnam vets.... this seems a bit ULish to me.

Can anyone help me out? Thanks!!

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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It was not necessary for Billy Joel to avoid the draft -- his number was never called. See this site for draft numbers for men born from 1944 through 1950. Joel's birthdate is 9 May 1949, and the draft number for 9 May birthdates was 197.
quote:
The lottery drawing held December 1, 1969, determined the order in which men, born from 1944 through 1950, were called to report for induction into the military.

The highest lottery number called for this group was 195; all men assigned that lottery number or any lower number, and who were classified 1-A or 1-A-O (available for military service), were called to report for possible induction.

Can't help you with Springsteen: his DOB is 23 September 49, and the draft number for that date was 119.

Four Five Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Springsteen has stated in concerts that he reported to the induction center and failed the physical. I don't think he said why he failed, but it seems he purposefully failed. Or he failed due to a leg injury from a motorcycle accident.

pinqy

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It is actually quite a moving story. His Dad and he did not get along, so his Dad kept saying "Wait until the Army gets you!"

After he failed his physical, [At this point the audience claps, but Bruce says "It's nothing to be proud of"] he goes home and tells his Dad, expecting fireworks.

Instead his Dad says "I'm glad, Son."

It is on the multiple CD Live set. I will give it a listen to see if it mentions *why* he failed the physical.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Thank you. This helps my overly critical mind rest a bit.

Now, KeithB, just admit that you are putting the CD in just to listen to the music!! [lol]

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Atlanta Jake
Xboxing Day


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IIRC, the story on "Bruce Springsteen Live 1975-1985" made it sound like he and his friends went out on a three-day bender prior to reporting for his physical. I always took it to mean that he showed up dirty, scruffy, unkempt/hungover and failed the physical.

But I do agree that the gist of the story was very poingent... his father always threatened him "Just wait until the army gets ahold of you... When the Army gets ahold of you their gonna make a man out of you... Their gonna cut off all that hair and make a man out of you!".

But when he told his father that "they didn't take me" his father said "That's good... that's good..." Showing the underlying love of a father for his son.

Atlanta "I'm misty all now..." Jake

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RubyMoon
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Atlanta Jake, in the stacks:
IIRC, the story on "Bruce Springsteen Live 1975-1985" made it sound like he and his friends went out on a three-day bender prior to reporting for his physical. I always took it to mean that he showed up dirty, scruffy, unkempt/hungover and failed the physical.


Everybody went out for extended drinking sprees before reporting for induction -- and noboyd every failed the physcial for being dirty, scruffy, unkempt and hungover. That's the way everybody looked -- the people who actually wanted to be in the military had already enlisted.
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Atlanta Jake
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by RubyMoon:
quote:
Originally posted by Atlanta Jake, in the stacks:
IIRC, the story on "Bruce Springsteen Live 1975-1985" made it sound like he and his friends went out on a three-day bender prior to reporting for his physical. I always took it to mean that he showed up dirty, scruffy, unkempt/hungover and failed the physical.


Everybody went out for extended drinking sprees before reporting for induction -- and noboyd every failed the physcial for being dirty, scruffy, unkempt and hungover. That's the way everybody looked -- the people who actually wanted to be in the military had already enlisted.
I'll take your word for it... That's just the impression I got! [Smile] I was a little too young at the time... born in 1965.

The same story also included a bit about being laid-up after a motorcycle accident.... maybe that's why he failed.

Jake
ETA: or maybe it was the 37 color glossy photos with the circles and the arrows and the writing on the back of each one...

At least he didn't get put in jail with the father killers and the mother rapers... and the father rapers!

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Remember Kids, Don't try this at home!

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Malruhn:
Thank you. This helps my overly critical mind rest a bit.

Now, KeithB, just admit that you are putting the CD in just to listen to the music!! [lol]

With Bruce, you get the whole package, which is why his Live Albums are so good - it is much more like the concert experience.

I saw him at the Los Angeles Coliseum in the 80s during the "Born In The USA" tour. He played the audience like an instrument.

During one song we would be up on our feet hollering and singing along, and for the next story/serious song we would obediently sit and - dare I say it - reverently listen.

It was much like a modern worship service with times of strong emotion and joy and other times of reflection and thoughtfulness.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I have seen Bruce twice... and it was the best 8+ hours I have ever spent.

And Atlanta Jake, I've been there... sittin' on the Group W bench.

When I originally enlisted in the Army, I found myself whistling when I was sitting in the MEPS getting my injections, inspections, detections and all that groovy stuff... and didn't realize what I was whistling until a Marine Corps major that resembled a refrigerator in Khakis came running into the room to find the whistler - looked me in the eye and walked away, laughing his ass off.

I was whistling Alice's Restaurant Massacre - in four part harmony. At least I hadn't gone out and "got good and drunk the night before so I would look and feel my best." What a damned fine song!!!

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I love you guys. Anyone who can quote Alice is fine by me. [Big Grin]

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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"Rather than bring that stuff up we decided to send ours down."

"Roll the toilet paper through the bars, slide down the roll and make an as-cape."

[Smile]

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Vivling
Happy Holly Days


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I read that Billy Joel put himself down as the sole supporter of his mother (and his career as a musician) which is why he never got drafted. This is from one of the "Pop-Up Video" episodes of his videos, but I can't remember which one.

The Bruce Springsteen Live album is where I got my avatar from!

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Shake it, take control
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Lindiglo
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Atlanta Jake, in the stacks:
ETA: or maybe it was the 37 color glossy photos with the circles and the arrows and the writing on the back of each one...

At least he didn't get put in jail with the father killers and the mother rapers... and the father rapers! [/QB]

YOMANK! It was Arlo's birthday this past saturday [Smile]
Lindiglo

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A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.
-Sophia Loren

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I just checked the story. It is part of "The River" track on the Live 3 CD set.

Bruce gives no reason for his failure of the physical, and the motorcycle accident is an unrelated part of the story.

Remember though that this is a story, and may be embellished a bit for dramatic effect.

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KeithB
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I also found this:
http://experts.about.com/q/602/2677106.htm

Which confirms that the mororcycle accident caused him to fail the physical.

No references, though.

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