CLEVELAND – Seeking something fresh and exciting to complement its upcoming induction ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has gotten its fondest wish — the cooperation of 1999 inductee Bruce Springsteen in launching a new exhibit solely dedicated to the Boss.
The hall on Friday announced plans to open the exhibit "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen" on April 1, three days before the hall holds its induction ceremonies in Cleveland. Featuring various memorabilia from Springsteen, the exhibit is expected to run through the spring of 2010.
"He's someone we've always wanted to do a big exhibit on," said Jim Henke, the Rock Hall's curator. "So it's one of those things that I'd bring up with his manager from time to time. Last summer they said, 'Yes, it makes sense now."'
It's perfect timing for a year that has been rather Springsteen-packed already. He performed during festivities surrounding the inauguration of President Barack Obama, released his latest album, "Working on a Dream," in January, then was the halftime entertainment at the Super Bowl last month. He's planning a major tour to kick off April 1 in San Jose, California, and will even make an appearance at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in June.
Henke says the Springsteen exhibit may be the most extensive exhibit on a rock star ever done at the hall. Previous exhibits have focused on the lives and careers of John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles.
Springsteen has provided various guitars, including the one he holds on the cover of "Born to Run," the album that helped rocket his popularity. The exhibit also will have scrapbooks and notebooks in which Springsteen wrote many song lyrics.
"Once (Bruce) knew this was real, that it would really happen, he wanted it to have as much depth as it could possibly have," said Jon Landau, Springsteen's manager and board member of the hall. "He is fully behind this exhibition and the effort the museum has made to really get things right."
Henke is hopeful that eventually Springsteen will make his first visit to the Rock Hall since it opened nearly 14 years ago. Landau said he's sure that the Boss eventually will visit the exhibit.
"I think we'll have to visit at some other time than the official opening, but Bruce is looking forward to seeing it as soon as it's possible for him," Landau said.