Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, “Born to Run,” is an impressive feat for an artist. Not only did he avoid using a ghostwriter, penning every word himself, but The Boss did an impressive job of juggling an infinite number of anecdotes, from the sad, the happy, and the outright ridiculous.
The below story falls into the “outright ridiculous” category.
It was 1984, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were in the middle of the “Born in the USA” tour. Little Steven Van Zandt, before the tour had even started, before the album had even been finished, had left the band. Springsteen and Van Zandt didn’t let that ruin their friendship, which is good, because then they wouldn’t have gone on to get kicked out of Disneyland, or as Springsteen correctly calls it in his book, “THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH.”
“Steve is the biggest kid I know,” Bruce writes about the future star of “The Sopranos.” “For days we’d planned on a trip together to the Magic Kingdom. As we neared it, Steve’s excitement rose to light hysteria …”
Accompanied by Steve’s wife, Maureen, and Obie Dziedzi, aka Bruce Springsteen’s “first fan,” The Boss and his crew got in line. Problems began essentially the moment the group stepped into the theme park.
Steve was stopped 30 feet inside the happiest place on earth and told he could not enter… unless he took his bandana off.
Simple enough request, right?
Apparently not. Steve refused.
The reason Disney’s security didn’t want Steve to wear his bandana? They didn’t want him to be misidentified as a bandana-wearing gang member, specifically a Blood or a Crip.
“Steve’s bandana is neither red nor blue but an indeterminate hue, chosen carefully and precisely to complement the rest of his ‘look’ by the man who invented the male babushka,” Springsteen wrote. “So the removal of such… I wish to enlighten Mickey’s storm troopers…is…NOT F***** GONNA HAPPEN!”
Bruce, in his “Born in the USA do-rag,” also refused to remove his head scarf in solidarity.
“WE’RE OUTTA HERE! SCREW YOU, FASCIST MOUSE! WE’RE GOING TO KNOTT’S BERRY FARM!” was their reply.
Sadly, after a two hour drive to Knott’s Berry Farm, they realized that bandana bans in those days were quite popular…