Cape Town music blogger and MC Gary Cool has drafted an open letter and rallied some of the country's best-known artists to try and persuade Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen to perform in South Africa.
These artists, which Cool calls 'The South African Rock Fraternity', include Kongos, Tailor, Hunter Kennedy (Fokofpolisiekar, Die Heuwels Fantasies), Gareth Wilson (Southern Gypsey Queen and solo artist), Arno Carstens, Alan Shenton (Zebra & Giraffe), Rob O'Brien (Mugshot), J.P. Sing (OneDaySky) and Trevor Rebello.
The strongest message came from Hunter Kennedy, who has cited Springsteen on countless occasions and interviews as his primary musical inspiration:
"Bruce, you changed my life many times," he says in the open letter, "I inherited the love for your songs. At three, I wore a bandanna, jumped on the bed with a tennis racket 'guitar' singing 'Born in the USA' – and I still do that now. Only now, I'll probably also be crying; I now understand the lyrics. Irony is beautiful to me and at this moment I cannot think of a better example in pop culture than that song, in lyrical content, conception and reception. Brilliant. Actually, crying and dancing is kind of what I do when I listen to you. Saw you in Dublin last year. Couldn't see all the time. Balled my eyes out. Your track record is second to none. 'Wrecking Ball' might just be your best album yet. For someone as old as my dad, that's not bad. I bought my Tele because of you. Reagan and Obama owe their presidencies to you. Holding the leaders of the free world's fate in your hands is why they call you The Boss. Now you're making an EP with Dropkick Murphys. Fuck. Whattaboykie!"
The letter was posted on Saturday 14 September and has already gone viral, with a combination of more than 800 Facebook likes and shares and 76 reTweets. Even Israel's Ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk, has commented on the open letter, saying: "Bruce's fans in Israel have been, like us here in S.A., calling for The Boss to come visit. We, of course, know that 'our' show would open with 'The Promised Land'. I am sure that a show here would have so much meaning for so many in S.A., [where] 'Chimes of Freedom' would be great. I saw him (twice) in Ireland in July and he is as good as ever."
Cool concluded the open letter with: "Having The Boss read this piece would be amazing, but if it never reaches him, well, let's at least aim at getting someone like Big Concerts to hear our plea."
If The Boss actually gets to read Cool's open letter, the middle of March 2014 would be the perfect time to visit S.A. as Springsteen performs in Australia in February and New Zealand at the beginning of March.