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HARTFORD, Conn. (CAP) - As Bruce Springsteen's latest tour with the E Street Band gets under way, "The Boss" has announced he will be debuting several new from-the-stage rebukes for fans who talk during the show.
"I've been using Shut the f--k up for a long time," Springsteen told the Today show's Matt Lauer this week. "But these are changing times, and if I'm going to grow as an artist, I feel like I have to bring something new to the table, you know? Find new ways to tell people to shut the f--k up."
Once reserved for his acoustic concerts, in recent years Springsteen has brought out "Shut the f--k up" during his E Street Band shows as well, usually for quieter songs like 41 Shots. For this tour, though, he's mulling such alternatives as "Shut your pie hole," "Zip it!" accompanied by a zipper motion across the mouth, and "Stifle yourself, Edith."
Springsteen told Lauer he's also considering "Sit the f--k down," for the people who get up to go to the bathroom, and if people yell "Play Thunder Road" during a song from Springsteen's new album, Magic, Clarence Clemons will come down off the stage and beat them with his tambourine.
The news has drawn mixed reaction from Springsteen fans. Jeff Brenner from Ledyard, Conn., said he likes to make noise during concerts and doesn't want to be told to shut up while he's hoisting beers and high-fiving his former fraternity brothers. "A Springsteen show is like a party, man!" he said. "Except for, like, his bummer solo tour ... And that folk crap or whatever it was. But with the band, man, that rocks! Play Thunder Road!"
But Jack Swanson of Freehold, N.J., who cites The Ghost Of Tom Joad as his favorite album and Wild Billy's Circus Story as "an unheralded masterpiece," says Bruce deserves attentiveness from his audience. "The man is a troubadour for our times," said Swanson, who has seen Springsteen more than 600 times since 1974, to the exclusion of his family, his job and his own personal hygiene. "It's my honor and privilege to be told to shut the f--k up by him."
"Also, if you want tickets, I know a guy at Ticketmaster who calls me whenever they do a drop," he added.
Meanwhile, Lauer asked Springsteen whether patrons who paid their hard-earned money for the tickets shouldn't be allowed to do whatever they want, prompting Steven Van Zandt to strangle him with his bandanna.
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