Every state has their own Bruce Springsteen: Someone who personifies (and thus garners the adulation) of their home turf, leading to people who are from those places to forever say, “Hey, you know______________ is from here, right?” at the slightest mention of their name.
CALIFORNIA (Northern)—Steve Jobs
CALIFORNIA (Southern)—John Stamos from The Beach Boys
FLORIDA—“Did you know that Lynyrd Skynyrd is actually from Jacksonville?”
FLORIDA (Keys)—Hemingway (Fishing years)
IDAHO—Hemingway (Suicidal years)
INDIANA—John “Cougar” Mellencamp
KENTUCKY—The Everly Brothers
MASSACHUSETTES—James “Whitey” Bulger
MINNESOTA—Jesse “The Body” Ventura
MISSISSIPPI—Brett Favre (Actual)
NEW HAMPSHIRE—Sarah Silverman
NEW JERSEY—Frank Sinatra
NEW MEXICO—Neil Patrick Harris
NEW YORK CITY—The Ramones
NEW YORK (Hudson Valley)—Pete Seeger
NEW YORK (Upstate)—Chuck Mangione
NEW YORK (Long Island)—Billy Joel
NORTH CAROLINA—Arguing about barbeque sauce
NORTH DAKOTA—Lawrence Welk
OHIO—The Wright Brothers
RHODE ISLAND—John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band
SOUTH CAROLINA—Chubby Checker
SOUTH DAKOTA—Crazy Horse
TENNESSEE—Peyton Manning (Observed)
WEST VIRGINIA—Mary Lou Retton
WISCONSIN—Brett Favre (Observed)
Michael Venutolo-Mantovani is a writer who grew up on the Jersey Shore in the 1980 and 90s, making him an expert in the language of Springsteen.
Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego
Great concept but a few modifications are in order. Chubby Checker was born in S.C. but lived in and was known as a Philadelphian. As for PA, G Love is hardly the Springsteen of PA. You got Hall & Oates, Todd Rungren, Chubby Checker (sorry but he’s a Philly guy), Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, John Coltrane (should count twice he’s that big), Billie Holiday, Pink, Questlove, and many other musicians bigger than G Love, let alone his Special Sauce.
As for Washington state, I’d think Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder or Chris Cornell are all more deserving of the “Washington’s Springsteen” mantle over, gag, Kenny G.
Otherwise, very nice job!
The key to American Springsteenism is the adulation and perceived underdoggedness of a local to a locale by the locals. That Chubby Checker is so widely associated with Philly is exactly why South Carolinians will quickly remind you that the Chubbster is actually one of their progeny. Which is why you can’t mention the name G. Love in the city of Brotherly Love without some lumpy brawler in a Flyers jersey reminding you that, “Yo, you know homeboy grew up dahn Society Hill, right?”
It’s the very reason Kenny G is so beloved by Washingtoners. Everyone knows Cobain and Cornell are proud sons of the PACNW.
But “Yo, did you know homeboy grew up Mt. Baker?!”
Two overarching points, then I yield the floor to you. First, Kenny G? Really? I thought this was mainly, although I see not exclusively, about musicians, a category Kenny G objectively does not belong in. Second, except for his parents and childhood friends, no self-respecting music-loving Philadelphian knows or cares a whit about sappy G Love. The Philly music scene won’t utter a word about him being “one of us.” If you want someone who fits your criterion, go with Kurt Vile.
P.S., good pull with Mississippi native Brett Favre!