Reagan Knows Who's Boss

Conservative political figures make Bruce Springsteen their latest darling

October 25, 1984
bruce springsteen 1984
Bruce Springsteen
Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Who's the right wing's latest darling? Bruce Springsteen, to judge from the recent comments of President Reagan and conservative columnist George F. Will. ''If all Americans ... made their products with as much energy and confidence as Springsteen and his merry band,'' wrote Will in his September 13th column after attending a Springsteen show, ''there would be no need for Congress to be thinking about protectionism.'' Will admitted he didn't have ''a clue about Springsteen's politics.''

Six days later, at a New Jersey rally, Reagan did Will one better. America's future, he said, ''rests in the message of hope, in the songs of a man that so many young Americans admire, New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen. Helping you make these dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.''

At press time, there was no comment from the Springsteen camp. And it remained unclear exactly which Springsteen songs Reagan's speech writers had been listening to. When one Reagan-campaign spokesman was informed that the president had referred to Springsteen, he replied: ''Omigod. He didn't say ''this gun's for hire,' did he?''

This story appeared in the October 25th, 1984 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »