“There are a lot of ghosts in this place,” Bruce Springsteen said as his boots clomped on an ancient staircase at the Asbury Park Convention Hall. It was here in this old seaside venue that Springsteen, as a teenager, watched Jim Morrison prowl the stage and Keith Moon thunder away on drums for the Who. It was also in the corridors here that he brushed past a wild-child named Janis Joplin. “Our elbows, they came this close,” said Springsteen, somehow still amazed that a Jersey kid could come within arm’s reach of rock history. Unlike those lost icons, Springsteen was built for the long haul. He will turn 60 in September, and he’ll do so while on the road with the E Street Band supporting their latest album, “Working on a Dream.” The world tour (which comes to the Los Angeles Sports Arena on April 15 and 16) officially began Wednesday in San Jose, but it was in late March, here at this creaky boardwalk venue, that Springsteen began working on “the conversation” of the concert tour, as he calls it, trying out the new songs in front of a live audience for the first time. On a blustery Monday afternoon, just hours before the first of two charity shows, Springsteen arrived at the venue with a 155-year-old surprise for his bandmates. During sound check he told the singers in the group to line up along the lip of the stage and, looking down at the lyrics, Springsteen coached them through a late addition to their opening-night lineup, a Civil War-era lament by Stephen Foster called “Hard Times Come Again No More”:
It’s a song that the wind blows across the troubled wave
It’s a cry that is heard along the shore.
It’s the words that are whispered beside the lowly grave
When hard times will come again no more.
It’s a song and a sigh of the weary.
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
continue reading from source By Geoff Boucher