Fanzine To Donate Springsteen Collection To Asbury Park Library

Backstreets will deliver more than 650 Boss-related magazines and books to town in September.

Asbury Park, New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen's musical home since his regular gigs there in the early 1970s, will also be home to the Springsteen Collection at the Asbury Park Public Library.

The Springsteen fanzine Backstreets is mounting a drive to add to its collection of more than 600 Springsteen-related magazines and 50 books, which it will donate to the library in September, according to Backstreets editor Chris Phillips.

The 'zine's Springsteen cache ranges from teen magazines to academic journals. "More and more academic books and articles have been written in recent years placing Springsteen in a canon of American artists going back to folk singer Woody Guthrie and even back to [poet Walt] Whitman," Phillips said.

That doesn't mean the collection is for academics only. It also contains articles from supermarket tabloids the Globe and the Star, detailing Springsteen's affair with backing singer Patti Scialfa and divorce from model Julianne Phillips. There's even a 1987 Men's Health magazine with an article detailing the Boss' workout regimen.

"You really get to trace the different arcs of his career, from what critics had to say back in 1973 to 1984 or '85 when he was on the cover of everything," Phillips said. "He faded out of the spotlight for a while, but he returned in recent years with his last tour and live album."

The collection is still missing plenty of items, including issues of Creem, European fanzines and U.K. music newspaper New Musical Express, and the curator is actively seeking donations. A list of both items held and items needed is available at www.backstreets.com/libmain.html.