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Bruce to ‘The Promised Land’? Just rumors, for now

Yarkon Park is reported by one Hebrew media outlet to be reserved for a late July concert, but top promoter says nothing is booked

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Bruce Springsteen with drummer Max Weinberg in concert. (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Craig ONeal, Wikipedia)
Bruce Springsteen with drummer Max Weinberg in concert. (photo credit: CC-BY-SA, Craig ONeal, Wikipedia)

Despite one newspaper’s claim that Bruce Springsteen could be on his way to Israel this summer, the Boss has not been booked. And Bruce watchers know all too well that rumors of his imminent arrival have repeatedly proved false in the past.

According to the Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth daily on Thursday, Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, an expansive outdoor venue that has lately hosted the likes of Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has been reserved for an end-of-July date.

But a publicist for Shuki Weiss, the promoter who for years has been trying to bring Springsteen to Israel, told The Times of Israel that “nothing has been booked.”

She pointed instead to the upcoming concerts of Elton John at the end of May and Simply Red in June.

The rumor mill swirling around Springsteen and the possibility of his coming to Israel has persisted for years. Weiss, a veteran concert promoter who has brought the Stones, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and even BDS promoter Roger Waters’ Pink Floyd to Israel over the years, has repeatedly tried to get the New Jersey-born superstar to add Israel to his regular European tours.

Weiss has often said that logistics play a larger role than any other factor. One question may regard the number of tickets Springsteen would sell in Tel Aviv.

The Bring the Boss to Israel online petition on Facebook, with 8,250 likes, regularly posts news of other visiting artists.

There are several Jewish and Israeli ties in Springsteen’s famed E Street band.

Drummer Max Weinberg once told JTA that drumming “was my way of living a life of ‘tikkun olam.’”

Springsteen’s longtime manager and producer, Jon Landau, is Jewish, as is pianist Roy Bittan. And one-time Israeli violinist Suki Lahav, from Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar (who now lives in Jerusalem’s German Colony), briefly toured and recorded with Springsteen in the 1970s before returning to Israel. A recent book reported that Springsteen wrote “She’s the One,” with Lahav in mind. Her then-husband, Louis Lahav, was a recording engineer for Bruce.

At a star-studded Los Angeles gala to honor the 20th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation last May, Springsteen serenaded the crowd with his 1978 track “The Promised Land.” But will he visit it?

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