Chris Christie has never let his conservative politics interfere with his love of Bruce Springsteen, and a string of messages from a 15-year-old email listserv unearthed by Politico paint a portrait of the Republican presidential hopeful as an ardent, fawning fanboy.
Christie wrote the messages between 1999 and 2000 while working as a lobbyist and serving a single term as freeholder in Morris County, New Jersey. Signed “Chris,” “Chris C.” and “Chris from Mendham, NJ,” the notes have been floating around the Internet for years, but would not have surfaced under a search of Christie’s full name. A rep for his campaign confirmed the messages had been written by the New Jersey governor.
Christie’s first message followed Springsteen’s March 19th, 1999 concert at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, and includes a setlist with notes regarding specific songs. For instance: “‘The Promise’ — Bruce solo on the piano, awesome” and “‘Give the Girl a Kiss’ — Bruce said they cut this for Darkness [on the Edge of Town], hadn’t played it in public, wanted to see how it went — it went great.”
Elsewhere, in the midst of Springsteen’s 15-night stand at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey during his 1999 E Street Band reunion tour, Christie urged other fans to put down their request placards and specifically called out those asking for “Rosalita.”
“Kill the Rosie signs,” he wrote. “He showed again tonight that he is the master of set changes and the more those signs go up, the less chance we will ever hear it (IMHO).” (He would play “Rosalita” on the final night of the East Rutherford stand.)
Christie’s most precious post, however, recounts a January 2000 run-in he and his wife had with Springsteen on a flight to New Jersey after attending his concert in Minneapolis the night before. The couple overheard Springsteen while he found his seat, and then took advantage of a 30-minute delay to introduce themselves and chat about — of course — New Jersey. While getting off the flight, Christie told the rocker about being in the front row of one Continental Arena show with his six-year-old son, Andrew, to whom Springsteen had dedicated a performance of “Sandy.”
“He then introduced ‘Sandy’ by pointing to my son and saying ‘We’re gonna send you home with a little lullaby,'” Christie recounted. “As I finished this story in the jetway, Bruce said, ‘That was your little guy?’ I said yes and told him how much it meant to my son (he’ll still calls [sic] Sandy ‘his’ song) and how much it meant to me. He said he remembered and called Andrew ‘crazy’ with a big grin and chuckle.”
Christie concluded: “He was everything I hoped he would be if I ever got a chance to meet him — gracious and incredibly normal in a truly extraordinary way. That was my Christmas gift.”
Unfortunately, Springsteen has been less gracious as Christie’s political career has taken off. While the pair connected in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Springsteen had previously forbidden Christie from using his songs on the campaign trail. In 2014, Springsteen delivered an especially vicious blow to Christie while he weathered the fallout from the George Washington Bridge scandal: The rocker appeared alongside Jimmy Fallon on Late Night, where they performed a hilarious “Born to Run” parody titled, “Governor Christie Traffic Jam.”