Born In The U.S.A. Tour

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The  Born in the U.S.A. Tour  was the supporting concert tour of  Bruce Springsteen 's  Born in the U.S.A.  album. It was his longest and most successful tour to date. It featured a physically transformed Springsteen; after two years of bodybuilding, the singer had bulked up considerably. The tour was the first since the 1974 portions of the  Born to Run tours without guitarist  Steven Van Zandt , who decided to go solo after recording the album with the group. Van Zandt, who was replaced by  Nils Lofgren , would appear a few times throughout the tour and in some of the music videos to promote the album. It was also the first tour to feature Springsteen's future wife,  Patti Scialfa .

The tour started in June 1984 and went through the United States and to Canada. In March 1985 the tour went to Australia, Japan and Europe. It then headed back for a second leg of the U.S. tour in which Springsteen and the  E Street Band  played to sold-out professional football stadiums. The tour finished in October 1985 in Los Angeles.

The tour grossed $80–90 million overall. Of that, $34 million came from Springsteen's summer 1985 stadium dates in North America. [1]  The  Born in the U.S.A.  album was inside the top 10 of the  Billboard  200 during the entire tour. Springsteen also was enjoying a hit single from the album (there were seven in total) during any moment of the tour. The album along with Springsteen's previous album,  Nebraska , which he did not tour to promote, were performed in their entirety throughout the tour. Total attendance was 3.9 million.

  • 1.1 Special guests
  • 2 Broadcasts and Recordings
  • 3 Postponed dates

Personnel [ ]

  • Bruce Springsteen  – lead vocals, guitars, harmonica
  • Clarence Clemons  – saxophone, congas, percussion, background vocals
  • Garry Tallent  – bass guitar
  • Danny Federici  – organ, glockenspiel, piano, synthesizer
  • Roy Bittan  – piano, synthesizer, background vocals
  • Max Weinberg  – drums
  • Nils Lofgren  – guitars, background vocals
  • Patti Scialfa  – background vocals, synthesizer, tambourine

Special guests [ ]

  • Courteney Cox (6/29/84 – danced with Springsteen on " Dancing in the Dark " which was captured in the music video)
  • J.T. Bowan (8/9/84)
  • John Entwistle (8/11/84)
  • Southside Johnny (8/12/84)
  • Steven Van Zandt  (8/20/84, 12/14/84, 12/16/84, 12/17/84, 7/3/85, 7/4/85, 7/6/85, 7/7/85, 8/22/85)
  • The Miami Horns  (8/19/84, 8/20/84, 9/14/84)
  • Pamela Springsteen (10/22/84 – danced with Bruce on "Dancing in the Dark")
  • Gary U.S. Bonds (1/18/85)
  • Robbin Thompson (1/18/85)
  • Eric Clapton (6/1/85)
  • Pete Townshend (6/1/85)
  • Jon Landau  (9/29/85, 10/2/85)
  • Julianne Philips (10/2/85 – danced with Bruce on "Dancing in the Dark")

Broadcasts and Recordings [ ]

Nearly half of  Live/1975-85  consists of songs from the Born in the U.S.A. Tour, incorporating songs from the August 6, August 19, and August 20 shows in 1984, and the August 19, August 21, and September 30 shows in 1985.

Several shows have been released as part of the Bruce Springsteen Archives:

  • Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984 , released May 13, 2015
  • Brendan Byrne Arena, August 20, 1984 , released March 2, 2018
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Sept 27, 1985 , released April 5, 2019
  • Brendan Byrne Arena, August 6, 1984 , released September 18, 2020
  • Giants Stadium, August 22, 1985 released July 23, 2021

Postponed dates [ ]

  • 1 Curtis King
  • 2 Springsteen on Broadway
  • 3 Bruce Springsteen 1992-1993 World Tour
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American Anthem

What does 'born in the u.s.a.' really mean.

Steve Inskeep, photographed for NPR, 13 May 2019, in Washington DC.

Steve Inskeep

Vince Pearson

Barry Gordemer

born in the usa tour de kuip

Bruce Springsteen onstage during the Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1984. Shinko Music/Getty Images hide caption

Bruce Springsteen onstage during the Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1984.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at .

If you're listening closely, the lyrics of " Born in the U.S.A. " make its subject pretty clear: The 1984 hit by Bruce Springsteen describes a Vietnam War veteran who returns home to desperate circumstances and few options. Listen only to its surging refrain, though, and you could mistake it for an uncomplicated celebration of patriotism. You wouldn't be the only one.

NPR's American Anthem series is about songs that Americans embrace in ways that reveal who we are — and of these songs, "Born in the U.S.A." may hold the title for the most historically misunderstood. But as NPR Music director Lauren Onkey explained to Morning Edition, it took time for Springsteen himself to figure out just what the song was meant to say.

"He did a big benefit in the summer of '81 for Vietnam veterans in Los Angeles and met with vets," Onkey says. "After that tour ends, there's a number of places where he's trying to write about the Vietnam veteran experience, so the song grows out of that moment. And it starts out as something just called 'Vietnam.' "

That early attempt at the concept survives as a rough demo . In "Vietnam," a veteran arrives home and tries to get back his old job, but the administrator who greets him can only shrug:

"Son, understand, if it was up to me ... 'Bout half the town's out of work Ain't nothin' for you here From the assembly line to the front line But I guess you didn't hear: You died in Vietnam."

The songwriter kept that scene as he set about writing a more haunting, but still muted version — which is where he first added the "Born in the U.S.A." refrain. In its story of one American, Onkey says, she hears the story of many.

"He says, 'I'm 10 years burning down the road / Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go.' Those lines, I think, describe so many of Springsteen's male characters — who are lost, who can't find a home. The systems around them of jobs and connection are unattainable."

But it still wasn't the song we know. In the version that became the title track on his 1984 smash album, Springsteen made one more change: turning up the volume and shouting out the lyrics almost as if for joy. Rarely has a man with nowhere to go sounded so triumphant.

As the musician later told WHYY's Fresh Air, he meant it that way. "The pride was in the chorus," Springsteen said to host Terry Gross in a 2005 interview . "In my songs, the spiritual part, the hope part, is in the choruses. The blues and your daily realities are in the details of the verses."

Springsteen fans will tell you the effect that big chorus had on crowds, whether or not the message of the verses was entirely understood. Take Chris Christie — yes, that one — who saw Springsteen at New Jersey's Giants Stadium decades before he became governor of that state.

"Bruce started every show with a really rousing, anthemic-type version of 'Born in the U.S.A.,' " Christie recalls. "With a bandanna on and a cutoff shirt and the fist-pumping, it felt like a celebration of being born in the USA — when really, it's a defiant song about 'I was born in the USA, and I deserve better than what I'm getting.' I think plenty of people didn't get what it was about, including the president of the United States."

That would be President Ronald Reagan, who referenced The Boss in a 1984 campaign speech , saying: "America's future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs of a man so many young Americans admire, New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about."

By playing on the hope, Reagan seemed to overlook the despair. He may have been influenced by a sometime adviser: The columnist George F. Will, noted for his bow ties and conservative politics, tells NPR he saw Springsteen in concert that year.

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"Max Weinberg, of whom I'd never heard, who was the drummer for the E Street Band, of which I'd never heard, called me up out of the blue and said who he worked for and would I like to come see The Boss sing," Will says. "I thought, 'This is a way to impress my children,' and I said yes."

After the show, Will penned a column praising the hardworking musicians onstage, albeit in political terms. "If all Americans — in labor and management, who make steel or cars or shoes or textiles — made their products with as much energy and confidence as Springsteen and his merry band make music, there would be no need for Congress to be thinking about protectionism," he wrote.

Springsteen's politics leaned well left of Reagan's. After the president praised him, the artist mused that if people misunderstood his music, that was fine — it only made him more popular.

"After it came out, I read all over the place that nobody knew what it was about," he said before performing "Born in the U.S.A" to a crowd in 1995. "I'm sure that everybody here tonight understood it. If not — if there were any misunderstandings out there — my mother thanks you, my father thanks you and my children thank you, because I've learned that that's where the money is."

After the applause and laughter died down, he added: "But the songwriter always gets another shot to get it right."

Over the years, Springsteen himself has been willing to tweak the song's meaning. Christie heard him play an acoustic version in the 1990s.

"Much different feeling, much different sound," Christie says. "I can remember, at the show I went to see at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J., a couple of people started to try to sing with him. And he stopped in midsong and said, 'I can handle this myself.' "

At other times, Springsteen dropped the upbeat chorus — singing only the verses, forcing his audience to hear the dark story of the veteran. When the U.S. invasion of Iraq loomed in 2003, he told his audience the song was a prayer for peace.

Onkey says the complexity of "Born in the U.S.A." is why it endures: "It describes the ambiguities and challenges of the country that I have grown up in. And for me, it's a rock-and-roll anthem: This singer, this scream, the sound of the guitar and the scale of the song suggest that rock and roll is big enough and important enough to tell that story."

Maybe the meaning of "Born in the U.S.A." is the distance between the grim verses and the joyous chorus. It's the space between frustrating facts and fierce pride — the demand to push American reality a bit closer to our ideals.

Daoud Tyler-Ameen contributed to the digital version of this story.

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Tour Tickets

Stadium tour and feyenoord museum.

During the tour, you will access areas normally out-of-bounds to the public. Imagine you are a member of the matchday squad as you walk down the famous tunnel and emerge on to the pitch. Learn more about the proud history of club and stadium at the Feyenoord Museum and even sit on the seat normally reserved for the head coach.

There are three ways to buy tickets: at our online ticket shop, at the Feyenoord Fanshop or via our customer service team.

Online Ticketshop

In the online ticketshop (in Dutch) you can see an overview of the dates and times of our stadium tours and buy tickets of your choice where available.

Feyenoord Fanshop

You can buy tour tickets at the Feyenoord Fanshop at De Kuip. The address is: Van Zandvlietplein 15, Rotterdam . The opening hours are: Monday to Friday from 09.30 – 17.30 and Saturday from 09:30 – 17:00.

Customer service

If you would like to book ahead but need help with your reservation, don’t hesitate to contact us . You can fill out the contact form with the date and time you would like to have your guided tour and how many people will be coming. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you are in The Netherlands, you also have the option to call us on 0900-1908. You can reach us from Monday to Friday from 09:00 - 20:00 and on Saturdays from 09:00 - 12:00. 


Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Born in the USA Tour

The Born in the USA Tour was Bruce Springsteen’s most successful tour to date, supporting his iconic album ‘Born in the USA.’ The tour included performances in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. It was also the first to feature the future wife of Springsteen, Patti Scialfa.

The tour grossed nearly 90 million dollars and the namesake album was inside the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart for the entirety of the tour. The final four shows of the tour, September 27, 29, 30 & October 2, were held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where they performed crowd-tested classics and premiered new songs like Edwin Starr’s “War.” The cumulative attendance was of the four sold-out Coliseum shows was 322,900. logo

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Songs played by tour: Born in the U.S.A.

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Born In The U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

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  • Often misinterpreted as a full-throated patriotic anthem, "Born In The U.S.A." is about the problems Vietnam veterans faced when they returned to America. While veterans of other wars received heroes' welcomes, those who fought in Vietnam were mostly ignored when they returned to their homeland, and many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments.
  • This song was inspired by a chance encounter with Ron Kovic, who was confined to a wheelchair after being shot while fighting in the Vietnam War. Kovic, who enlisted to fight in the war, later protested against it, becoming a leader in the anti-war movement. In 1976 he published a book called Born On The Fourth Of July that told his story. In 1989 it was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise as Kovic. Springsteen picked up a copy of the book in 1980 when he was on a cross-country road trip with a buddy. They were outside of Phoenix and Bruce found it at a drugstore. About two weeks later, Springsteen was in Los Angeles staying at the Sunset Marquis hotel, where remarkably, Kovacs was also staying. They met in the pool area and had a long conversation, with Kovacs inviting Springsteen to join him on a visit to the veterans center in nearby Venice. Bruce accepted the invitation and found the visit quite enlightening. "I'm usually pretty easy with people, but once we were at the center, I didn't know how to respond to what I was seeing," he said during his Springsteen On Broadway residency. "Talking about my own life to these guys seemed frivolous. There was homelessness and drug problems and post-traumatic stress - guys my age dealing with life-changing physical injuries." Springsteen used their stories as the basis for the song. "The verses are just an accounting of events," he said. "The chorus is a declaration of your birthplace, and the right to all the pride and confusion and shame and grace that comes with it."
  • Springsteen started writing the song in 1981 with the title "Vietnam." He changed the title and the chorus when the director Paul Schrader sent him a script for a movie he was working on called Born In The U.S.A. , about a rock band struggling with life and religion. Schrader was hoping Springsteen would appear in the movie. Bruce didn't participate in the film, but he lifted the title for the song, which became "Born In The U.S.A." It went through lots of iterations before it was released as the title track to Springsteen's seventh album in 1984. Unfortunately for Schrader, when he was finally ready to make the movie in 1985, the title "Born In The U.S.A." was too associated with the song. Springsteen made it right by providing the song " Light Of Day ," which became the new title for Schrader's movie and the feature song in the film. The movie Light Of Day was released in 1987 with Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox in the lead roles. The song, as performed by Jett and credited to "The Barbusters" - the name of her group in the movie - was released as a single and charted at #33.
  • The chorus comes off as a pure expression of American pride, but the verses cast a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans. Springsteen addressed this dichotomy when we spoke with Barack Obama on the podcast Renegades. "It's a complex picture of the country," he said. "Our protagonist is someone who has been betrayed by his nation and yet still feels deeply connected to the country that he grew up in." "Its imagery was so fundamentally American, but it did demand of you to hold two contradictory ideas in your mind at one time," he added. "You can both be very critical of your nation and very prideful of your nation simultaneously."
  • Springsteen worked up the demo of this song in 1982 at his home studio in a batch of songs that became his Nebraska album. Released later in 1982, Nebraska ended up being just those spare demos without his E Street Band. Bruce went in the opposite direction for the Born In The U.S.A. album, using the band to create a big sound with lots of textures. The result was a classic rock and roll album with seven Top 10 singles. In order: " Dancing In The Dark " - #2 " Cover Me " - #7 "Born In The U.S.A." - #9 " I'm On Fire " - #6 " Glory Days " - #5 " I'm Goin' Down " - #9 " My Hometown " - #6 These songs kept Springsteen on the charts for about a year and a half, from the summer of 1984 to early 1986. He dialed it back on his next album, Tunnel Of Love (1987), which is a lot more mellow and is mostly a Springsteen solo effort.
  • This song got famously political when President Ronald Reagan evoked it while campaigning for re-election in New Jersey in 1984. Reagan said in his speech: "America's future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about." Springsteen talked about this in a 2005 interview with National Public Radio . Said Bruce: "This was when the Republicans first mastered the art of co-opting anything and everything that seemed fundamentally American, and if you were on the other side, you were somehow unpatriotic. I make American music, and I write about the place I live and who I am in my lifetime. Those are the things I'm going to struggle for and fight for." Speaking of how the song was misinterpreted, he added: "In my songs, the spiritual part, the hope part is in the choruses. The blues, and your daily realities are in the details of the verses. The spiritual comes out in the choruses, which I got from gospel music and the church."
  • Chrysler offered Springsteen $12 million to star in an ad campaign featuring "Born In The U.S.A." He turned them down, so they used "The Pride Is Back" by Kenny Rogers instead. Springsteen has never let his music be used to sell products, although he did appear in a Jeep commercial in 2021. Jeep is a division of Chrysler.
  • This song inspired the famous Annie Leibowitz photo of Springsteen's butt against the backdrop of an American flag. Bruce had to be convinced to use it as the album's cover. Some people thought it depicted Springsteen urinating on the flag. Looking back on the cover in a 1996 interview with NME , Springsteen said: "I was probably working out my own insecurities, y'know? That particular image is probably the only time I look back over pictures of the band and it feels like a caricature to me."
  • The drum solo towards the end of the song was completely improvised. Drummer Max Weinberg said that the band was recording in an oval-shaped studio, with the musicians separated into different parts. Springsteen, at the front, suddenly turned towards Weinberg (at the back) after singing and waved his hands in the air frantically to signal drumming. Weinberg then nailed it.
  • Springsteen included "Born In The U.S.A." on his solo acoustic tour in 1995. This was a surprising rendition of the song, making it much more somber but congruent with the message. Springsteen realized this arrangement was quite powerful and really drove home the meaning, so he did it the same way when he toured in 1999 after reuniting the E Street Band.
  • The video was directed by John Sayles, who wrote the screenplay for the 1978 movie Piranha and later directed the films Lone Star , Honeydripper and Eight Men Out . Most of the video is footage of Springsteen performing the song in concert - he wore the same outfit for a few consecutive shows so Sayles could get the shots (Springsteen didn't want to lip-synch). Other footage came from a Vietnamese neighborhood in Los Angeles and Springsteen's old stomping ground, Asbury Park, New Jersey. The video stuck to the true meaning of the song, with shots of factory workers, regular folks walking the streets, soldiers training for combat, and a line of guys waiting for payday loans. Sayles said in the book I Want My MTV : "It was right around the time that Ronald Reagan had co-opted 'Born In The U.S.A.' and Reagan, his policies were everything that the song was complaining about. I think some of the energy of the performance came from Bruce deciding, 'I'm going to claim this song back from Reagan.'"
  • Springsteen has often reflected on the Vietnam War in his work. He didn't serve because he dodged the draft, pretending to be a misfit high on LSD. He has expressed guilt, knowing someone else went in his place, and may not have returned. When Springsteen performed a spare, acoustic version of the song during his Springsteen On Broadway run from 2017-2018, he would introduce it with a story about Walter Cichon (pronounced sha-shone), leader of a New Jersey rock band called the Motifs, who seemed destined for stardom. Cichon got drafted and in 1968 went missing in action (Springsteen's 2014 song " The Wall " is about Cichon). Bruce got drafted the next year. "It was 1969 and thousands and thousands of young men to come would be called, simply sacrificed just to save face for the powers that be, who by then already knew it was a lost cause," he said. "I do sometimes wonder who went in my place, because somebody did." With this backdrop, "Born In The U.S.A." tells the tragic story not just of soldiers who were neglected when they returned to Vietnam, but also to those who never made it home.
  • Springsteen allowed the notorious rap group The 2 Live Crew to sample this for their song "Banned In The U.S.A." in 1990 after the group was arrested for performing songs with obscene lyrics. Bruce felt they had a constitutional right to say whatever they wanted in their songs.
  • In 1988, four years after this song was released, Sony bought Springsteen's label, Columbia Records, meaning "Born In The U.S.A." is now owned by a Japanese company.
  • Born In The U.S.A. was the first CD manufactured in the United States for commercial release. It was pressed when CBS Records (parent of Columbia) opened its CD manufacturing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1984. Discs previously had been imported from Japan.
  • When the album took off, it was Springsteen's second go-around with staggering fame. His 1975 album Born To Run immensely popular and got him on the covers of Time and Newsweek - in the same week! Springsteen handles it better than most (no drugs) but still needed some time to retreat. After touring for the Tunnel Of Love album, he broke up the E Street Band in 1989. In 1992 he released two albums on the same day - Human Touch and Lucky Town - that didn't sell nearly as well as he expected. For the first time since the early '70s, Bruce had to seek out publicity. He started doing a lot more interviews and began performing on TV shows for the first time. In 1999 he reunited the E Street Band and got back to his happy place: on tour with his favorite musicians.
  • The children's TV show Sesame Street reworked this as " Barn In The U.S.A. ," credited to Bruce Stringbean and the S. Street Band. >> Suggestion credit : Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Springsteen's fist-pumping recitations of this lament for the plight of the Vietnam War veterans during his 1984-85 Born In The USA tour contributed to its misreading as a patriotic song by some listeners with a political agenda. Critic Greil Marcus wrote: "Clearly the key to the enormous explosion of Bruce's popularity is the misunderstanding... He is a tribute to the fact that people hear what they want to hear."
  • This was not the first hit song to tell a story about a Vietnam veteran's return to America. In 1982, The Charlie Daniels Band took " Still in Saigon " to #22 in America. That song was written by Dan Daley, who felt that only two artists were right for it. "Since it was such a political song, the strategy was there were only two artists that it would make sense to give it to," Daley told Songfacts . "One was Bruce Springsteen and the other was Charlie Daniels. Because both had made public statements in support of Vietnam veterans."
  • Richard "Cheech" Marin parodied this in the song " Born In East L.A. ," which came from his 1987 movie of the same name. Sample lyrics: Next thing I know, I'm in a foreign land People talkin' so fast, I couldn't understand
  • Springsteen doesn't often license this song for movies or TV, but it does show up in a 1986 episode of ALF and a 2021 episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ("The Gang Carries a Corpse Up a Mountain"). It also appears in the movies Mask (1985) and Skins (2002).
  • The opening line, "Born down in a dead man's town," is quoted in Stephen King's It (1986) to introduce "Part 1: The Shadow Before," which tells us all about the cursed town of Derry, Maine, and the children who came together to fight an evil clown.
  • Jennifer Lopez incorporated a bit of this song into her set when she performed at halftime of the 2020 Super Bowl. Lopez honored both her homeland and her heritage by donning a feathered cape with the Puerto Rican flag on one side and the American flag on the other. When she revealed the Puerto Rican side, her daughter Emme sang the chorus of "Born In The U.S.A." Lopez was born in New York City. Springsteen left the song out of his set when he played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2009.
  • More songs from Bruce Springsteen
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  • More Fourth of July songs
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  • More songs performed at the Super Bowl
  • More songs from 1984
  • Lyrics to Born In The U.S.A.
  • Bruce Springsteen Artistfacts

Comments: 79

  • Eaglesfanintn from Nashville, Tn Michael from Madison should know that, unlike his Mango Mussolini, Springsteen wasn't a DRAFT DODGER. He took his physical and was declared 4F due to a recent concussion. If you ever get out of your bubble and listen to his live album set (75-85) there's a great story he tells that leads into The River, about his relationship with his father and Bruce going for his physical. Also, this wasn't a number 1 song, and Bruce will never see your screed. He's out on tour now playing to tens of thousands of people a night while you're in your mommy's basement.
  • Rattlin Bones We lost the war of 1812. Soundly.
  • Maxime from Canada « Vietnam was the first war the US didn't win » I mean, yes, if you don’t count: - Red Cloud War against the Sioux - Russian Civil War against the Bolcheviks - Korean War against communists
  • George from Vancouver, Canada Wow; I, like most, thoght it was meant to be a patriotic+celebratory song! *shivers* on reading the lyrics, especially the verses
  • Patricia Mccall from 43229 Born in the USA should be sang everyday. Its a very true and good song. We the people live it.
  • Brian from Ny "...most misinterpreted songs ever." "Most people thought it was a patriotic song about American pride". Ridiculous. Only mom and dad types who only listen to the main chorus would think it was a patriotic song. You don't have to be a deep, soul-wrenching person to understand the lyrics. I think it's obvious to most listeners. Please. Conversely, it's also not "anti-American". It's brings light to an overlooked facet of the Vietnam war in particular - the Country was torn as to being involved or not, so many disgusting people chose not to rally around or support the soldiers returning home.
  • Michael E Brown from California George from Vancouver, Canada sez: "Springsteen has won zero Grammy's. Never even had a #1 hit -- I can't believe "Reflex" beat out "Born in the USA"! :P" While it's true that he never had a single top the Billboard chart, he's had ten albums top the Billboard album chart. And he's actually won twenty Grammys. Starting to wonder if your comment was intended seriously.
  • Steven Larusso from Houston Always thought this song was repetitious. Never liked it.
  • Phil from Earth Bruce was/is astute enough to know full well that Born In the USA was going to be a huge hit and used as a rallying cry for the USA First types. To imagine that in the sabre rattling, ultra jingoistic Reagan years a song such as Born in the USA wouldn't be used as a conservative theme song is to put it very mildly..bulls--t. He knew and protests of his to the contrary can't be taken seriously. I like Springsteen enough but he isn't fooling too many people with denials.
  • Michael from Madison I can't believe a DRAFT DODGER wrote a song about coming home from Vietnam when he didn't even go. Bruce Springsteen dosen't deserve this to be a no.1 song this is disgusting and I hope he sees this.
  • George from Vancouver, Canada Springsteen has won zero Grammy's. Never even had a #1 hit -- I can't believe "Reflex" beat out "Born in the USA"! :P
  • Camille from Toronto, Oh No bridge in the middle of the song makes it sound more anthem-like. That, along with the accompanying album cover of Bruce's backside in jeans in front of a U.S. flag confused people into thinking this was an upbeat song. Yet, to dissent, as has been mentioned in the comments, is a right we have in this country. So an different twist on the patriotic theme.
  • Camille from Toronto, Oh Ok, I gotta agree with this: Americans at their core are dissenters. It is in their blood, it's an inherited gene. Our forefathers shot, stabbed, and killed to get away from their government. Dissention is just as patriotic as saluting the flag. If you're waving your silly flags thinking that only flag wavers are patriotic, you are the least patriotic of all. It's the American way to be dissatisfied with being slaves to any one way of thinking. That is the number 1 reason why this song IS patriotic. American patriotism is very unique this way.
  • Jules from Usa Please add the movie -The Rescue- to the history here. They used the song and a T-shirt of Springsteen as critical part of the movie's resolution.
  • Larry from Cleveland The USA is more than the government, it is the people. And while the veterans returning from Viet Nam were not given the heroes welcome, it was not everyone that treated them that way. Ironically, the people that treated them the worst were the people who protested the war. But if you actually read the lyrics, they talk about a guy who is on the wrong side of the law, forced to go, and when he comes back is not handed everything on a silver platter. Bottom line is that no one is entitled, and we shouldn't put the US down because you didn't get a handout. I personally support all that our armed forces do for us, and think that only now are we starting as a whole to appreciate it. But most veterans I talk to don't want handouts, just respect. This song puts all of us down because some chose to treat the returning vets badly. Another example of "here's what I see, somebody should do something about it". Why is it always" somebody " should?
  • Markantney from Biloxe Jun 2015, Larry you're correct in asking why they play that song (considering the lyrical content) but exactly how is the song putting the Country Down? It's only holding it/US up to a Mirror; now if the reflection isn't something you like,...not seeing how BITUSA is to blame? I don't have the lyrics in front of me but I don't recall them calling Us/Americans/Government Bad Names, just the story of dudes called to serve under less than favorable circumstances and when they got back, they weren't well received back home.
  • Jarvis from London, Uk Those of you complaining about the lyrics - what is worse, sending 58,000 men to die in a totally futile war and not making proper provision for the millions who returned home, or writing a song complaining about it? And why is it more patriotic to ignore or accept the government's behaviour?
  • Larry from Cleveland I never understand why every city that puts on a fireworks show on the Fourth of July plays this song. Let's celebrate our most patriotic holiday with a song that puts our country down. Shows the mentality of most Springsteen fans.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, Ms July 2014, Actually BITUSA is a Patriotic Song; just not a Positive One. Compare it to today's charitable foundation commercials you/we see on the Iraq Vets, showing you their injuries (which was a direct result of Combat). This (GREAT) song is no different, except it's about the "Nam" Vets but,...our Country just didn't embrace them or their sacrifices the same. I for one understood what he meant the (micro) second I saw the video. And someone mentioned it earlier but that line, "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much Till you spend half your life just covering up." tells you it's not a positive song and it's the first verse. BTW, love that line.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On June 4th 1984, Columbia Records released Bruce Springsteen's sixth studio album, "Born In The U.S.A."... And on July 1st it peaked at #1 (for 7 non-consecutive weeks) on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart... Seven tracks from the album made Billboard's Hot Top 100 Singles chart; "Dancing in the Dark" (#2), "Cover Me" (#7), "Born in the U.S.A." (#9), "I'm on Fire" (#6), "Glory Days" (#5), "I'm Goin' Down" (#9), and "My Hometown" (#6)... The album also reached #1 in Australia, Canada, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, and West Germany.
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, Mi The only lyrics most people hear are the chorus BORN IN THE USA. This will always be a misunderstood song.
  • John from Auckland, - This song was parodied brilliantly by English comedy duo Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones, in their 1984 TV show, Alas Smith & Jones. It was Griff dressed in Springsteen like clothing, singing 'Lost in the USA". Unfortunately, no copy is yet available on YouTube.
  • Ulysses from Dorrigo, Australia Top Gear had it on the Vietnam Special and like 20 different Vietnams came running down the street. I almost died laughing. So damn funny!
  • Ulysses from Dorrigo, Australia Greatest American song ever! Perfect, just gold. Best Voice ever.
  • Steve from Beechmont, Ky To Ken, in Lousville...... When the News does "Walkin'" live, they acknowledge that they were not in Viet Nam but they had friends who were. The song is for them, the Vets, as are the others you cited. Not being there does not mean they can't do songs for and about the ones who were.
  • Cory Stoczynski from Lancaster, Ny The Sesame Street Version Of The Song Teaches About The Life And The Animals Of The Farm
  • Dirk from Nashville, Tn This is a great message song. Springsteen was brave to put it out in the midst of the rah-rah Reagan era. ...But couldn't he have come up with a "middle 8," as they used to say? A little secondary part of the song just to break up the monotony? It is the same beat and melody from beginning to end.
  • Jim from Long Beach, Ca This song is about how The US government screwed the Vietnam Vets when they came back from the war. No jobs waiting for them,shotty vet facilities,being called "baby killers' when they came back..the list goes on..I love this song and it's honesty..
  • Tony from South Philly, Pa As a tribute to my New Jersyite...Bruce you nailed it!!!!
  • Paul from San Angelo, Tx Americans at their core are dissenters. It is in their blood, it's an inherited gene. Our forefathers shot, stabbed, and killed to get away from their government. Dissention is just as patriotic as saluting the flag. If you're waving your silly flags thinking that only flag wavers are patriotic, you are the least patriotic of all. It's the American way to be dissatisfied with being slaves to any one way of thinking. That is the number 1 reason why this song IS patriotic. American patriotism is very unique this way.
  • Brian from Kc, Mo I think the shame of this song comes from the fact that the way it's interpreted gets critiscism--I LOVE Springsteen's music-but you write a song and give it away and what it turns into isn't yours anymore-the other version paints a better picture of what he wanted it to--but this one has a patriotic feel to it (the drive of the beat)-like it or not--I think it says somethng more though--something about inheriting the life of our folks and owning it--even if it isn't the dream they had for us...just a thought
  • Tessa from Washingtonville, Pa Me and my father always sing along to this song in the car. Great song!
  • James from Fort Worth, Ga Khe Sanh is the district capital of Hướng Hoá District, Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam, located 63 km west of Đông Hà.. Khe Sanh Combat Base was a United States Marine Corps outpost in South Vietnam.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, Or Where's Khe Sahn? Is that a part of Asia? The Middle East?
  • G from Potomac, Md Talk about misinterpretation, Reagan asked Bruce if he could use this in his reelection campaign!!
  • N.i. from Baltimore, Md Many songs have been misinterpreted, but what makes this one stand out is that it isn't subtle. The song's critical tone should have been obvious to everyone. Take the line "Sent me off to a foreign land, to go and kill the yellow man." What, did people actually think the point was, "Yippee, I killed Asian people"? Just goes to show that lots of people don't pay attention to lyrics.
  • Joshua from La Crosse, Wi Considering how Springsteen closes the song with the out-of-place line "I'm a cool rockin' daddy in the USA", it's not so hard to understand why this song has been misinterpreted so much over the years.
  • Colin from Guelph, On awesome song, with true lyrics about war. one of the best all time, i'd say :)
  • Gene from San Diego, Ca This song was used in 2005 to torture prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Played it all night while the prisoners were forced to listen to it. Holds the honest glory of the American patriot. Fighting and being injured for the country you love, then coming home and getting shoved in a blue-collar job.
  • Alexis from San Francisco, Ca I'm 17 and had to pick a song of my choice that protests a war. I didn't even know that this song was a protest song and like many others thought that it was a patriotic one. People suck and America sucks and I didn't realize that until I started this project. Thanks Bruce.
  • Steve from Arnol, Md I don't understand the whole Springsteen phenomenon, least of all this song. The whole thing is built on a riff - and not even a good riff, but a boring one. There is no melody to speak of. The lyrics are depressing as well as politically and historically obtuse. And then there's Springsteen's voice, or shall I say lack of it. As Seinfeld would say, "....what's with Bruce Springsteen?!"
  • Soutiman from Mumbai, India Quite a revelation to know that the song isn't patriotic. Well I never concentrated much on the lyrics of the song in first place. The chorus line is catchy.
  • Musicmama from New York, Ny This is my second-favorite song about war/peace. ("Imagine" by John Lennon is first.)It's one of the most emotionally complex songs in all of rock'n'roll: It deftly weaves together grief, anger, sorrow and wistfulness. I think that the question of whether or not it or the song is patriotic or not (I think both are.)is beside the point. If I had to pick one word, it would be "elegiac." Bruce is really singing about loss. However, it's not about non-victory in battle; rather, it deals with the loss of honor and dignity. (To Chris from Gloucester, England: NOBODY wins a war. All any military confrontation has ever done is to set the stage for more of the same: hate and carnage and more hate and more carnage.) I can easily imagine song this in "The Spoon River Anthology." If you haven't read it, or "The New Spoon River Anthology," check them out: They contain the best monologes in the English language that weren't written by Shakespeare.
  • Max from Laconia, Nh Bruce turned down 12 million because he didn't want this song to be on a commercial? 'Atta boy, Brucey! This song is sweetness
  • Bob from Windsor, Ct The TRUTH is that Bruce conceived, & began writing "Born in the U.S.A." in 1975; while He was about to do a concert in Connecticut. I was Chief of Concert Security, a Vietnam Veteran ("long gone Daddy in the U.S.A."), & We were having a conversation: Bruce asked Me why I was wearing a military "U.S." marked item: I said "cause I was born in the U.S.A.",: We began talking about Vietnam Veterans, & the War. I asked Bruce if He could write a song for Vietnam Veterans; that's where it began, & where the Title came from. Bruce also conceived "Dancing in the Dark" ("this Gun is for Hire", "You can't start a Fire without a Spark") at that time: Summer of 1975 in Connecticut. Annie L. was there taking photos for Rolling Stone. Willie Nelson was there, too. I'm not taking credit for anything: just inspiration: Bruce has the Gift of astute observation, contemplation, composition, melody, & presentation! BOB K. in Connecticut
  • Jazzz from Frankfurt I was actually born in the States but came to Germany when I was still a baby. My Mom never spoke English at home, so I didn`t learn English until I was 10 and in secondary school. But she must have translated the chorus to me, cause I remember that as a 4yr old, I would sing along frantically. I don´t know if patriotism is inborn, but even then, being the toddler I was, I sure felt proud of being born in a country I wouldn´t be visiting for another 12 yrs or so...The song still rocks me, although reading the lyrics now is quite disillusioning...
  • Matthew from Milford, Ma This song was part of my "Voices of Vietnam" project during my sophomore year, along with others like "War" and "Masters of War".
  • Sam from Portsmouth, Va Tim, I salute you. Also this song is pretty good. I like how people misunderstand it.
  • Tim from Philadelphia, Pa And uhh here is some of your "over-patriotism"...America is always going to be the greatest country in the world and we can destroy any one in a fight...toughest people in the world are here in America...that's why we play football over soccer...and last time I checked, England and Canada always go to us for help so all you English/Canadians talking trash on America...just don't come to us for help next time you need it...Oh and uhh World War I and II, I believe the Americans were the main reason the allies won those wars.
  • Tim from Philadelphia, Pa By the way that arguement about America not winning all their wars...well America may not have won all their wars but they sure as heck achieved their objective.
  • Tim from Philadelphia, Pa This song is amazing and it attracted me to become a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen.
  • Dave from San Jose, Ca the song can certainly be both patriotic and bitter. The lyrics are bitter as arsenic, but the fact that Bruce is angry at what happened to american soldiers, how they were treated by our government and by their fellow citizens, is a sign of a high-minded patriotism.
  • Andrew from Dartmouth, Ma every war the U.S has entered was a stalemate....last time i checked World War I and World War II and the American Revolutionary War were not stalemates
  • Dennis from Anchorage, Ak The song IS patriotic. It's about the fact that the treatment of the soldiers when they came back was UN-patriotic. They had given their all and deserved better. You can protest and be patriotic at the same time.
  • Dirk from Nashville, Tn No, it's definitely not a patriotic song. Reagan was clueless about a lot of stuff. It's a song of emotional outpouring. What psychologists call "catharsis." Like wailing in grief at a funeral. Bruce created a song that let people put their arms around the entire Vietnam experience and weep out of love for those who endured it, veterans, families, protesters, even the smug people who spent 15 years just pushing it all away and refusing to deal with it. It's not "patriotic" and it's not "anti-American."
  • John from Kirkland, Wa Ronald Reagen also praised Bruce for this "patriotic" song - Bruce said - "I don't think he (Regan) is listing.
  • Sam from Provo, Ut a lot of americans are overpatriotic. i am patriotic and i love our country( so you people wont accuse me of being a "commie.") but anyway great protest song, compares with ohio by neal young and blowing in the wind by bob dylan. awesome song
  • Dirk from Nashville, Tn How can all of you people talk about this song in terms of it being "anti-American"? It's not anti-American. It's about the frustration of the Vietnam War. It's about the destruction and misery that a confusing war brought onto well-meaning people and patriotic Americans. In the end, their efforts amounted to nothing. ("They're still there, he's all gone," he sings about his dead brother. People gave their lives and spirits for something that left them ruined and cynical. And then the country turned its back on them. This is a song that sort of puts its arms around the people who suffered in the name of the USA. It's a song that asks us to recognize the pain stand shoulder to shoulder with them and acknowledge what they did in our name--right or wrong. But this is not an anti-American song.
  • Heather from Newark, Oh Well excuse us Americans for our "over patriotism", Steve in Markham, Canada. Why should we be ashamed to be proud of our country? Yes, the U.S. makes mistakes. Doesn't your country? If Canada needed help, the U.S. would help in a second. It seems that everyone is against us until they need our help.
  • Iain from England, United States Springsteen is so angry when he sings this song, he shouts more than he sings. His voice seems angry and bitter starting and ending with his hopelessness.
  • Pat from Las Vegas, Nv "Born in the USA" isn't an anti-American song. What it's against is two things: the way the Vietnam war was conducted (badly--Dubya needs to read some history books fast, and think about what happened), and the way vets were treated when they came back home. I'm a Vietnam-era vet. I got lucky and didn't get shipped over there, but I remember how the public treated us at the time, and the disillusionment of the Vietnam vets coming back home.
  • Miles from Vancouver, Canada Forget that this an anti-America song. It's a groovy, well-written tune, just like "Every Breath You Take."
  • Kevin from Sandy, Ut it's been said that the BOSS got denied from serving in the military during vietnam due to medical reasons.
  • Matt from Mokena, Il I think Dan from Sydney is confused...listen to the song, there is no way you can say this is patriotic
  • Nathan from Defiance, Oh Bravo Bruce, the instant you allow your music to be used by companies for ads, you lose credibility as an artist. Glad to see The Boss didn't tarnish his reputataion. And while on the subject wasn't the goal of the Vietnam War the same as the Korean War? Push back the commies, to protect the Democratic nations, not to liberate the Communist north? Why did no one protest that war? Becuase we didn't lose?
  • Steve from Markham, Canada Defintely the most misunderstood song that I can remember. To this day, many people think this is a patriotic song and living in Canada, many Canadians think this is the usual American over-patriotism. I believe this is because of the way he sings the chorus and has his fist pumping during the video and his concerts. Too bad for those idiots. This is a great song.
  • Todd from Sacramento, Ca Good lord, what was the GOP thinking?! You would think that SOMEONE that was working for the '84 Reagan campaign would actually listen to the song. Good for Bruce though.....there probably isn't anything more liberating than telling the leader of the free world "no, you can't use my song to drive up interest rates and increase the homeless rate." lol
  • James from Bridgeport, Ct Chris from england, we have not been brainwashed that much. Even going back to the beginings of our country only 3 american wars have ended in stalemates or defeats. The majority were still victories. War for independence was a US victory, 1812 was a stalemate (but we owned at New Orleans afterwards), Mexican war was complete domination (we seized about half their country), Civil War was a union victory in that the union was preserved, we dominated the spanish american war (seized philipines, guam, puerto rico, and held cuba breifly), WW1 was a US victory, so was WW2, Korea we accomplished our goals but neither side decisively drove out the other so that will count as a stalemate, vietnam we lost, gulf war we completely dominated (ruined that whole republican guard in 3 days), and gulf war 2 is still yet to be decided. Thats 7-2-1 and one undecided. Not too shabby. Not "practically every war the U.S. has ever been in has ended in a stalemate." We've had 7 decisive victories, unless of course you consider us saving you guys in Britain during WW2 just another "stalemate." The US military still has reason to be proud of its history. Nam has been our only large blemish so far.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United States This song is part of what makes me keep dollar bills in my car and my window rolled down at freeway entrances and intersections.
  • Eric from Cumberland, Ri Ronald Reagan used this song for his Campaign cause he thought that the "Born in the U.S.A." part mean the rest of it was patriotic. So much for that.
  • Ken from Louisville, Ky This is considered as part of the early 80's "Vietnam triology", including Huey Lewis and the News' "Walking On A Thin Line" and Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon". Neither Springsteen, Lewis or Joel served in the military, much less in Vietnam.
  • Madeline from Melbourne, Australia I always thought he was really patriotic bout America. Oh well i like this song, at least the chorus
  • John from Island Park, Ny The United States of America won its freedom when the British Army was forced to surrender at Yorktown on October, 18th 1781. This conflict was necessary to free the people of America from the tyranny of England. Most wars are not justified, and are simply the failure of leaders to find a peaceful resolution to conflict. Bruce Springsteen is a man who understands that fact and has dedicated his life, as well as his music to glorifying peace, and to showing Americans (and all) what is wrong with war. What makes America great is that we are free...and that is something to be celebrated. But just as America has a lot to celebrate and be proud of, we also have many things to be ashamed of...and Bruce Springsteen is a great American for having the courage to give equal voice to the good and bad. What I love about this song is that it somehow finds a way to do both of those things with lyrics and music.
  • Fred from Abilene, Tx It's the music of the song that makes it sound so much like an "anthem." Springsteen has a unique gift of mixing upbeat and downbeat elements together. I love the hard-hitting opening lyrics--shouted out with almost gleeful defiance: "Born down in a dead man's town/ The first kick I took was when I hit the ground/ End up like a dog that's been beat too much/ Till you spend half your life just a coverin' up." That describes a lot of people from my small hometown.
  • Steve from Woodbridge, Va Bruce was born in Freehold, New Jersey. He was indeed perturbed by attempts by Reagan and others on the song to use the song for political purposes. It's astounding, actually, how the song could possibly be interpreted as a patriotic anthem. The song's actual message isn't at all subtle or cryptic; you almost have to purposefully avoid listenig to anything but the chorus to take it as a declaration of American pride.
  • Trevor from Boring, Or I think it's less about the Vietnam war and more about how the working man gets shafted in the United States of America. Who does the working? Who does the fighting? Most importantly: who does the dying?
  • Tyler from Hamilton, Canada If only the majority of people understood this wasn't a flag waving patriotic song. If people knew what the song meant, it more than likely wouldn't be considered the "rock anthem" it is today. Also, one of the very few times Springsteen has spoke out in public, promptly calling the press conference to say that he had been miss quoted by Regan
  • Kelly from Farmington , Mi Ronald Regan mistakenly chose Born In The USA as the theme song for his presidential re-election campaign (1984). It's rumored that Springsteen was furious when he found out...
  • Erik from Davis, Ca What's really great about this song is that it's honest.

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Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band 'Born in the U.S.A.' 40th anniversary edition coming

born in the usa tour de kuip

The muscles, the bandana, the hits.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's landmark 1984 album, “Born in the U.S.A.,” will receive a special edition 40th anniversary release on red vinyl June 14 from Sony Music. The anniversary edition will include a gatefold sleeve and booklet with archival material from the era, new liner notes penned by Erik Flannigan, and a four-color lithograph.

“Born in the U.S.A.,” released June 4, 1984, presented themes of Springsteen’s work to that point in his career — community, friendship and patriotism — and framed them in a bigger, bolder and streamlined single album. The result was a generational album that produced seven hit singles and sold more than 25 million copies.

The “Born in the U.S.A.” tour started with a rehearsal show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park and went across North America and to Australia, Japan and Europe before coming back to the states to play stadiums until October of 1985.

Springsteen and the E Street Band are currently on tour in Europe with their next show Sunday, May 12 in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

More: Bruce Springsteen introduces the little Welsh dragon that's helping him rock Europe

More: Bruce Springsteen pays tribute to late 'Rebel Rouser' guitar legend Duane Eddy

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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected].

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A Plan to Remake the Middle East

While talks for a cease-fire between israel and hamas continue, another set of negotiations is happening behind the scenes..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.


Today, if and when Israel and Hamas reach a deal for a ceasefire fire, the United States will immediately turn to a different set of negotiations over a grand diplomatic bargain that it believes could rebuild Gaza and remake the Middle East. My colleague Michael Crowley has been reporting on that plan and explains why those involved in it believe they have so little time left to get it done.

It’s Wednesday, May 8.

Michael, I want to start with what feels like a pretty dizzying set of developments in this conflict over the past few days. Just walk us through them?

Well, over the weekend, there was an intense round of negotiations in an effort, backed by the United States, to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza war.

The latest ceasefire proposal would reportedly see as many as 33 Israeli hostages released in exchange for potentially hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

US officials were very eager to get this deal.

Pressure for a ceasefire has been building ahead of a threatened Israeli assault on Rafah.

Because Israel has been threatening a military offensive in the Southern Palestinian city of Rafah, where a huge number of people are crowded.

Fleeing the violence to the North. And now they’re packed into Rafah. Exposed and vulnerable, they need to be protected.

And the US says it would be a humanitarian catastrophe on top of the emergency that’s already underway.

Breaking news this hour — very important breaking news. An official Hamas source has told The BBC that it does accept a proposal for a ceasefire deal in Gaza.

And for a few hours on Monday, it looked like there might have been a major breakthrough when Hamas put out a statement saying that it had accepted a negotiating proposal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the ceasefire proposal does not meet his country’s requirements. But Netanyahu says he will send a delegation of mediators to continue those talks. Now, the terms —

But those hopes were dashed pretty quickly when the Israelis took a look at what Hamas was saying and said that it was not a proposal that they had agreed to. It had been modified.

And overnight —

Israeli troops stormed into Rafah. Video showing tanks crashing over a sign at the entrance of the city.

— the Israelis launched a partial invasion of Rafah.

It says Hamas used the area to launch a deadly attack on Israeli troops over the weekend.

And they have now secured a border crossing at the Southern end of Gaza and are conducting targeted strikes. This is not yet the full scale invasion that President Biden has adamantly warned Israel against undertaking, but it is an escalation by Israel.

So while all that drama might suggest that these talks are in big trouble, these talks are very much still alive and ongoing and there is still a possibility of a ceasefire deal.

And the reason that’s so important is not just to stop the fighting in Gaza and relieve the suffering there, but a ceasefire also opens the door to a grand diplomatic bargain, one that involves Israel and its Arab neighbors and the Palestinians, and would have very far-reaching implications.

And what is that grand bargain. Describe what you’re talking about?

Well, it’s incredibly ambitious. It would reshape Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, principally Saudi Arabia. But it’s important to understand that this is a vision that has actually been around since well before October 7. This was a diplomatic project that President Biden had been investing in and negotiating actually in a very real and tangible way long before the Hamas attacks and the Gaza war.

And President Biden was looking to build on something that President Trump had done, which was a series of agreements that the Trump administration struck in which Israel and some of its Arab neighbors agreed to have normal diplomatic relations for the first time.

Right, they’re called the Abraham Accords.

That’s right. And, you know, Biden doesn’t like a lot of things, most things that Trump did. But he actually likes this, because the idea is that they contribute to stability and economic integration in the Middle East, the US likes Israel having friends and likes having a tight-knit alliance against Iran.

President Biden agrees with the Saudis and with the Israelis, that Iran is really the top threat to everybody here. So, how can you build on this? How can you expand it? Well, the next and biggest step would be normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

And the Saudis have made clear that they want to do this and that they’re ready to do this. They weren’t ready to do it in the Trump years. But Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has made clear he wants to do it now.

So this kind of triangular deal began to take shape before October 7, in which the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia would enter this three way agreement in which everyone would get something that they wanted.

And just walk through what each side gets in this pre-October 7th version of these negotiations?

So for Israel, you get normalized ties with its most important Arab neighbor and really the country that sets the tone for the whole Muslim world, which is Saudi Arabia of course. It makes Israel feel safer and more secure. Again, it helps to build this alliance against Iran, which Israel considers its greatest threat, and it comes with benefits like economic ties and travel and tourism. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been very open, at least before October 7th, that this was his highest diplomatic and foreign policy priority.

For the Saudis, the rationale is similar when it comes to Israel. They think that it will bring stability. They like having a more explicitly close ally against Iran. There are economic and cultural benefits. Saudi Arabia is opening itself up in general, encouraging more tourism.

But I think that what’s most important to the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is what he can get from the United States. And what he has been asking for are a couple of essential things. One is a security agreement whose details have always been a little bit vague, but I think essentially come down to reliable arms supplies from the United States that are not going to be cut off or paused on a whim, as he felt happened when President Biden stopped arms deliveries in 2021 because of how Saudi was conducting its war in Yemen. The Saudis were furious about that.

Saudi Arabia also wants to start a domestic nuclear power program. They are planning for a very long-term future, possibly a post-oil future. And they need help getting a nuclear program off the ground.

And they want that from the US?

And they want that from the US.

Now, those are big asks from the us. But from the perspective of President Biden, there are some really enticing things about this possible agreement. One is that it will hopefully produce more stability in the region. Again, the US likes having a tight-knit alliance against Iran.

The US also wants to have a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia. You know, despite the anger at Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, the Biden administration recognizes that given the Saudis control over global oil production and their strategic importance in the Middle East, they need to have a good relationship with them. And the administration has been worried about the influence of China in the region and with the Saudis in particular.

So this is an opportunity for the US to draw the Saudis closer. Whatever our moral qualms might be about bin Salman and the Saudi government, this is an opportunity to bring the Saudis closer, which is something the Biden administration sees as a strategic benefit.

All three of these countries — big, disparate countries that normally don’t see eye-to-eye, this was a win-win-win on a military, economic, and strategic front.

That’s right. But there was one important actor in the region that did not see itself as winning, and that was the Palestinians.


First, it’s important to understand that the Palestinians have always expected that the Arab countries in the Middle East would insist that Israel recognize a Palestinian state before those countries were willing to essentially make total peace and have normal relations with Israel.

So when the Abraham Accords happened in the Trump administration, the Palestinians felt like they’d been thrown under the bus because the Abraham Accords gave them virtually nothing. But the Palestinians did still hold out hope that Saudi Arabia would be their savior. And for years, Saudi Arabia has said that Israel must give the Palestinians a state if there’s going to be a normal relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Now the Palestinians see the Saudis in discussions with the US and Israel about a normalization agreement, and there appears to be very little on offer for the Palestinians. And they are feeling like they’re going to be left out in the cold here.

Right. And in the minds of the Palestinians, having already been essentially sold out by all their other Arab neighbors, the prospect that Saudi Arabia, of all countries, the most important Muslim Arab country in the region, would sell them out, had to be extremely painful.

It was a nightmare scenario for them. And in the minds of many analysts and US officials, this was a factor, one of many, in Hamas’s decision to stage the October 7th attacks.

Hamas, like other Palestinian leaders, was seeing the prospect that the Middle East was moving on and essentially, in their view, giving up on the Palestinian cause, and that Israel would be able to have friendly, normal relations with Arab countries around the region, and that it could continue with hardline policies toward the Palestinians and a refusal, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said publicly, to accept a Palestinian state.

Right. So Michael, once Hamas carries out the October 7th attacks in an effort to destroy a status quo that it thinks is leaving them less and less relevant, more and more hopeless, including potentially this prospect that Saudi Arabia is going to normalize relations with Israel, what happens to these pre-October 7th negotiations between the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel?

Well, I think there was a snap assumption that these talks were dead and buried. That they couldn’t possibly survive a cataclysm like this.

But then something surprising happened. It became clear that all the parties were still determined to pull-off the normalization.

And most surprisingly of all, perhaps, was the continued eagerness of Saudi Arabia, which publicly was professing outrage over the Israeli response to the Hamas attacks, but privately was still very much engaged in these conversations and trying to move them forward.

And in fact, what has happened is that the scope of this effort has grown substantially. October 7th didn’t kill these talks. It actually made them bigger, more complicated, and some people would argue, more important than ever.

We’ll be right back.

Michael, walk us through what exactly happens to these three-way negotiations after October 7th that ends up making them, as you just said, more complicated and more important than ever?

Well, it’s more important than ever because of the incredible need in Gaza. And it’s going to take a deal like this and the approval of Saudi Arabia to unlock the kind of massive reconstruction project required to essentially rebuild Gaza from the rubble. Saudi Arabia and its Arab friends are also going to be instrumental in figuring out how Gaza is governed, and they might even provide troops to help secure it. None of those things are going to happen without a deal like this.


But this is all much more complicated now because the price for a deal like this has gone up.

And by price, you mean?

What Israel would have to give up. [MUSIC PLAYING]

From Saudi Arabia’s perspective, you have an Arab population that is furious at Israel. It now feels like a really hard time to do a normalization deal with the Israelis. It was never going to be easy, but this is about as bad a time to do it as there has been in a generation at least. And I think that President Biden and the people around him understand that the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians is intolerable and it is going to lead to chaos and violence indefinitely.

So now you have two of the three parties to this agreement, the Saudis and the Americans, basically asking a new price after October 7th, and saying to the Israelis, if we’re going to do this deal, it has to not only do something for the Palestinians, it has to do something really big. You have to commit to the creation of a Palestinian state. Now, I’ll be specific and say that what you hear the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, say is that the agreement has to include an irreversible time-bound path to a Palestinian state.

We don’t know exactly what that looks like, but it’s some kind of a firm commitment, the likes of which the world and certainly the Israelis have not made before.

Something that was very much not present in the pre-October 7th vision of this negotiation. So much so that, as we just talked about, the Palestinians were left feeling completely out in the cold and furious at it.

That’s right. There was no sign that people were thinking that ambitiously about the Palestinians in this deal before October 7th. And the Palestinians certainly felt like they weren’t going to get much out of it. And that has completely changed now.

So, Michael, once this big new dimension after October 7th, which is the insistence by Saudi Arabia and the US that there be a Palestinian state or a path to a Palestinian state, what is the reaction specifically from Israel, which is, of course, the third major party to this entire conversation?

Well, Israel, or at least its political leadership, hates it. You know, this is just an extremely tough sell in Israel. It would have been a tough sell before October 7th. It’s even harder now.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is completely unrepentantly open in saying that there’s not going to be a Palestinian state on his watch. He won’t accept it. He says that it’s a strategic risk to his country. He says that it would, in effect, reward Hamas.

His argument is that terrorism has forced a conversation about statehood onto the table that wasn’t there before October 7th. Sure, it’s always in the background. It’s a perennial issue in global affairs, but it was not something certainly that the US and Israel’s Arab neighbors were actively pushing. Netanyahu also has — you know, he governs with the support of very right-wing members of a political coalition that he has cobbled together. And that coalition is quite likely to fall apart if he does embrace a Palestinian state or a path to a Palestinian state.

Now, he might be able to cobble together some sort of alternative, but it creates a political crisis for him.

And finally, you know, I think in any conversation about Israel, it’s worth bearing in mind something you hear from senior US officials these days, which is that although there is often finger pointing at Netanyahu and a desire to blame Netanyahu as this obstructionist who won’t agree to deals, what they say is Netanyahu is largely reflecting his population and the political establishment of his country, not just the right-wingers in his coalition who are clearly extremist.

But actually the prevailing views of the Israeli public. And the Israeli public and their political leaders across the spectrum right now with few exceptions, are not interested in talking about a Palestinian state when there are still dozens and dozens of Israeli hostages in tunnels beneath Gaza.

So it very much looks like this giant agreement that once seemed doable before October 7th might be more important to everyone involved than ever, given that it’s a plan for rebuilding Gaza and potentially preventing future October 7th’s from happening, but because of this higher price that Israel would have to pay, which is the acceptance of a Palestinian state, it seems from everything you’re saying, that this is more and more out of reach than ever before and hard to imagine happening in the immediate future. So if the people negotiating it are being honest, Michael, are they ready to acknowledge that it doesn’t look like this is going to happen?

Well, not quite yet. As time goes by, they certainly say it’s getting harder and harder, but they’re still trying, and they still think there’s a chance. But both the Saudis and the Biden administration understand that there’s very little time left to do this.

Well, what do you mean there’s very little time left? It would seem like time might benefit this negotiation in that it might give Israel distance from October 7th to think potentially differently about a Palestinian state?

Potentially. But Saudi Arabia wants to get this deal done in the Biden administration because Mohammed bin Salman has concluded this has to be done under a Democratic president.

Because Democrats in Congress are going to be very reluctant to approve a security agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

It’s important to understand that if there is a security agreement, that’s something Congress is going to have to approve. And you’re just not going to get enough Democrats in Congress to support a deal with Saudi Arabia, who a lot of Democrats don’t like to begin with, because they see them as human rights abusers.

But if a Democratic president is asking them to do it, they’re much more likely to go along.

Right. So Saudi Arabia fears that if Biden loses and Trump is president, that those same Democrats would balk at this deal in a way that they wouldn’t if it were being negotiated under President Biden?

Exactly. Now, from President Biden’s perspective, politically, think about a president who’s running for re-election, who is presiding right now over chaos in the Middle East, who doesn’t seem to have good answers for the Israeli-Palestinian question, this is an opportunity for President Biden to deliver what could be at least what he would present as a diplomatic masterstroke that does multiple things at once, including creating a new pathway for Israel and the Palestinians to coexist, to break through the logjam, even as he is also improving Israel’s relations with Saudi Arabia.

So Biden and the Crown Prince hope that they can somehow persuade Bibi Netanyahu that in spite of all the reasons that he thinks this is a terrible idea, that this is a bet worth taking on Israel’s and the region’s long-term security and future?

That’s right. Now, no one has explained very clearly exactly how this is going to work, and it’s probably going to require artful diplomacy, possibly even a scenario where the Israelis would agree to something that maybe means one thing to them and means something else to other people. But Biden officials refuse to say that it’s hopeless and they refuse to essentially take Netanyahu’s preliminary no’s for an answer. And they still see some way that they can thread this incredibly narrow needle.

Michael, I’m curious about a constituency that we haven’t been talking about because they’re not at the table in these discussions that we are talking about here. And that would be Hamas. How does Hamas feel about the prospect of such a deal like this ever taking shape. Do they see it as any kind of a victory and vindication for what they did on October 7th?

So it’s hard to know exactly what Hamas’s leadership is thinking. I think they can feel two things. I think they can feel on the one hand, that they have established themselves as the champions of the Palestinian people who struck a blow against Israel and against a diplomatic process that was potentially going to leave the Palestinians out in the cold.

At the same time, Hamas has no interest in the kind of two-state solution that the US is trying to promote. They think Israel should be destroyed. They think the Palestinian state should cover the entire geography of what is now Israel, and they want to lead a state like that. And that’s not something that the US, Saudi Arabia, or anyone else is going to tolerate.

So what Hamas wants is to fight, to be the leader of the Palestinian people, and to destroy Israel. And they’re not interested in any sort of a peace process or statehood process.

It seems very clear from everything you’ve said here that neither Israel nor Hamas is ready to have the conversation about a grand bargain diplomatic program. And I wonder if that inevitably has any bearing on the ceasefire negotiations that are going on right now between the two of them that are supposed to bring this conflict to some sort of an end, even if it’s just temporary?

Because if, as you said, Michael, a ceasefire opens the door to this larger diplomatic solution, and these two players don’t necessarily want that larger diplomatic solution, doesn’t that inevitably impact their enthusiasm for even reaching a ceasefire?

Well, it certainly doesn’t help. You know, this is such a hellish problem. And of course, you first have the question of whether Israel and Hamas can make a deal on these immediate issues, including the hostages, Palestinian prisoners, and what the Israeli military is going to do, how long a ceasefire might last.

But on top of that, you have these much bigger diplomatic questions that are looming over them. And it’s not clear that either side is ready to turn and face those bigger questions.

So while for the Biden administration and for Saudi Arabia, this is a way out of this crisis, these larger diplomatic solutions, it’s not clear that it’s a conversation that the two parties that are actually at war here are prepared to start having.

Well, Michael, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

On Tuesday afternoon, under intense pressure from the US, delegations from Israel and Hamas arrived in Cairo to resume negotiations over a potential ceasefire. But in a statement, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear that even with the talks underway, his government would, quote, “continue to wage war against Hamas.”

Here’s what else you need to know today. In a dramatic day of testimony, Stormy Daniels offered explicit details about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump that ultimately led to the hush money payment at the center of his trial. Daniels testified that Trump answered the door in pajamas, that he told her not to worry that he was married, and that he did not use a condom when they had sex.

That prompted lawyers for Trump to seek a mistrial based on what they called prejudicial testimony. But the judge in the case rejected that request. And,

We’ve seen a ferocious surge of anti-Semitism in America and around the world.

In a speech on Tuesday honoring victims of the Holocaust, President Biden condemned what he said was the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in the United States after the October 7th attacks on Israel. And he expressed worry that too many Americans were already forgetting the horrors of that attack.

The Jewish community, I want you to know I see your fear, your hurt, and your pain. Let me reassure you, as your president, you’re not alone. You belong. You always have and you always will.

Today’s episode was produced by Nina Feldman, Clare Toeniskoetter, and Rikki Novetsky. It was edited by Liz O. Baylen, contains original music by Marion Lozano, Elisheba Ittoop, and Dan Powell, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for The Daily. I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

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Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Featuring Michael Crowley

Produced by Nina Feldman ,  Clare Toeniskoetter and Rikki Novetsky

Edited by Liz O. Baylen

Original music by Marion Lozano ,  Elisheba Ittoop and Dan Powell

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | YouTube

If and when Israel and Hamas reach a deal for a cease-fire, the United States will immediately turn to a different set of negotiations over a grand diplomatic bargain that it believes could rebuild Gaza and remake the Middle East.

Michael Crowley, who covers the State Department and U.S. foreign policy for The Times, explains why those involved in this plan believe they have so little time left to get it done.

On today’s episode

born in the usa tour de kuip

Michael Crowley , a reporter covering the State Department and U.S. foreign policy for The New York Times.

A young man is looking out at destroyed buildings from above.

Background reading :

Talks on a cease-fire in the Gaza war are once again at an uncertain stage .

Here’s how the push for a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia looked before Oct. 7 .

From early in the war, President Biden has said that a lasting resolution requires a “real” Palestinian state .

Here’s what Israeli officials are discussing about postwar Gaza.

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We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Michael Crowley covers the State Department and U.S. foreign policy for The Times. He has reported from nearly three dozen countries and often travels with the secretary of state. More about Michael Crowley



  1. Bruce Springsteen Born In The Usa Tour

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  1. Born in the U.S.A. Tour

    The Born in the U.S.A. Tour was the supporting concert tour of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. album. It was his longest and most successful tour to date. It featured a physically transformed Springsteen; after two years of bodybuilding, the singer had bulked up considerably.The tour was the first since the 1974 portions of the Born to Run tours without guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who ...

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    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live in 1985

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    The name spread throughout the 1960's and has stuck ever since. Bruce Springsteen is 74 years old and was born on September 23, 1949. The Boss is 5'8" (1.77m) tall. He's eight inches shorter than his late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who was 6'4" (1.96m) tall. Springsteen is worth around $500 million.

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    Vandaag in 1985 - Bruce Springsteen bezoekt Rotterdam met zijn 'Born in the USA-tour'. Hij staat voor het eerst in de Kuip (in '75 en '81 stond hij in...

  6. Born In The U.S.A. Tour

    The Born in the U.S.A. Tour was the supporting concert tour of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. album. It was his longest and most successful tour to date. It featured a physically transformed Springsteen; after two years of bodybuilding, the singer had bulked up considerably. The tour was the first since the 1974 portions of the Born to Run tours without guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who ...

  7. Born in the U.S.A.

    Born in the U.S.A. was the first compact disc manufactured in the United States for commercial release, and was manufactured by CBS and Sony at its newly opened plant in Terre Haute, Indiana in September 1984; Columbia Records' CDs were previously manufactured in Japan. It was the best-selling album of 1985 and of Springsteen's career. It was promoted by the international Born in the U.S.A ...

  8. What Does 'Born In The U.S.A.' Really Mean?

    Bruce Springsteen onstage during the Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1984. Shinko Music/Getty Images This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and ...

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    Bruce Springsteen's official music video for 'Born In The U.S.A.'. Click to listen to Bruce Springsteen on Spotify: ...

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    "Born in the U.S.A." peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 8 on the Cashbox Top 100 in January 1985. It was the third of a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles to be released from the Born in the U.S.A. album. In addition it made the top 10 of Billboard's Rock Tracks chart, indicating solid play on album-oriented rock stations.

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    4 June 1984. Critical meets commercial success. Springsteen's seventh studio album placed him firmly on the pop charts with seven Top Ten singles and turned him into a global superstar. The title track is self-described as one of his best songs. Reasonably regarded as the turning-point album in Bruce's career.

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    The best-selling album of 1985 in the U.S.A. and Springsteen's most successful album ever, producing a record-tying string of seven Top 10 hits. Rolling Stone faithfully defined the album's spirit, calling Springsteen the "Voice of the Decade" "Like Nebraska, Born in the U.S.A. was about people who come to realize that life turns out harder, […]

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    The Born in the USA Tour was Bruce Springsteen's most successful tour to date, supporting his iconic album 'Born in the USA.'. The tour included performances in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. It was also the first to feature the future wife of Springsteen, Patti Scialfa. The tour grossed nearly 90 million dollars ...

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  18. Born In The U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

    Springsteen worked up the demo of this song in 1982 at his home studio in a batch of songs that became his Nebraska album. Released later in 1982, Nebraska ended up being just those spare demos without his E Street Band. Bruce went in the opposite direction for the Born In The U.S.A. album, using the band to create a big sound with lots of textures. The result was a classic rock and roll album ...

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    transcript. Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand The porn star testified for eight hours at Donald Trump's hush-money trial. This is how it went. 2024-05-10T06:00:09-04:00

  23. Born In The USA

    Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Proshot Born In The USA - 29th June 1985,Parc De La Courneuve, Paris, France

  24. Born in the U.S.A. Tour Archives

    X. You're signed in! About the streaming player: Songs play if you keep the player window open. The music stops if you close the window. To keep the music playing while you visit other pages, two options:

  25. A Plan to Remake the Middle East

    In a speech on Tuesday honoring victims of the Holocaust, President Biden condemned what he said was the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in the United States after the October 7th attacks on Israel.

  26. Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band performing "Born In The U.S.A." at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London, 2013. Listen to Bruce Springsteen: https:/...