United States of Springsteen

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.

ALABAMA—Nick Saban

ALASKA—Jewel

ARIZONA—Linda Ronstadt

ARKANSAS—Mary Steenburgen

CALIFORNIA (Northern)—Steve Jobs

CALIFORNIA (Southern)—John Stamos from The Beach Boys

COLORADO—John Denver

CONNECTICUT—Michael Bolton

DELAWARE—George Thorogood

FLORIDA—“Did you know that Lynyrd Skynyrd is actually from Jacksonville?”

FLORIDA (Keys)—Hemingway (Fishing years)

GEORGIA—Ryan Seacrest

HAWAI’I—Bruno Mars

IDAHO—Hemingway (Suicidal years)

ILLINOIS—Jennifer Beals

INDIANA—John “Cougar” Mellencamp

IOWA—Slipknot

KANSAS—Kansas

KENTUCKY—The Everly Brothers

LOUISIANA—Archie Manning

MAINE—Stephen King

MARYLAND—Crab cakes

MASSACHUSETTES—James “Whitey” Bulger

MICHIGAN—Bob Seger

MINNESOTA—Jesse “The Body” Ventura

MISSISSIPPI—Brett Favre (Actual)

MISSOURI—Brad Pitt

MONTANA—David Lynch

NEBRASKA—Marlon Brando

NEVADA—Wayne Newton

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

OKLAHOMA—Brian Bosworth

OREGON—Nike, Inc.

PENNSYLVANIA—G. Love

RHODE ISLAND—John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band

SOUTH CAROLINA—Chubby Checker

SOUTH DAKOTA—Crazy Horse

TENNESSEE—Peyton Manning (Observed)

TEXAS—Sam Houston

UTAH—Karl Malone

VERMONT—Bernie Sanders

VIRGINIA—Dave Grohl

WASHINGTON—Kenny G

WASHINGTON (D.C.)—Ginuwine

WEST VIRGINIA—Mary Lou Retton

WISCONSIN—Brett Favre (Observed)

WYOMING—Buffalo Bill

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

SHARE

3 Responses

  1. 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!

    1. Michael,

      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?!”

      1. 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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.