A Springsteen Mystery Solved

Jon Landau, the Boss’s longtime close collaborator in matters musical and financial, offers a definitive answer about what Mary’s dress is doing in “Thunder Road.”

By David RemnickJuly 17, 2021

Bruce Springsteen and the EStreet Band performing onstage
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band onstage during the “Born to Run” tour, in 1975.Photograph by Fin Costello / Redferns / Getty

The Internet is an uneven contribution to the human prospect. We know this now. The wide-eyed evangelical era of “information wants to be free” is long in the past, and we can safely argue that the Web has deepened the ugliest fissures of society, winnowed our attention spans and heightened our anxieties, poured gasoline on conspiracy thinking, assisted in the global rise of nationalism and neo-Fascism, and, well, Chrissy Teigen.

But we strive for fairness, and the Internet has also made invaluable contributions. For example: during Game Three of the N.B.A. Finals, I mistakenly turned away from the action to do some reading. My phone buzzed. It was a text from my colleague Isaac Chotiner, noting that Jeff Van Gundy, an ESPN commentator and a former coach, had just quoted on the air a few lines by the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky as a way to describe a pick-and-roll play executed by Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, of the Phoenix Suns. This rarely happens. And I’d missed it! But all was not lost. Thanks to Twitter, there it was. We are told that Mel Allen once compared a Mickey Mantle home run to a moment in Anna Akhmatova’s “Poem Without a Hero,” but, without Twitter, it is lost to the mists of legend.

David Remnick has been editor of The New Yorker since 1998 and a staff writer since 1992. He is the author of “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.”More:MusicBruce SpringsteenLyrics

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