Bruce Springsteen Is Charged With D.W.I. on Sandy Hook
Months before he appeared in his first Super Bowl commercial and drove a white jeep in an ad calling for a divided country to strike the middle ground, Bruce Springsteen was accused of driving drunk in New Jersey.
Mr. Springsteen, a rock legend and the state’s favorite son, was arrested on November 14 at the Gateway National Recreation Area, a sprawling 27,000-acre park with beaches, hiking trails, and an abandoned military fortress, according to a spokeswoman for the National Park Service.
Mr Springsteen, 71, was accused of drunk, reckless driving and alcohol consumption in an enclosed area, spokeswoman Daphne Yun said in a statement sent via email.
“Springsteen has been cooperative throughout the process,” she said.
Since the arrest took place in a national park, the federal prosecutors are processing the case. According to Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for the US attorney in New Jersey, Mr. Springsteen’s first court visit is expected to be via videoconference in late February.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Springsteen could not be reached for comment.
The news of the arrest was first reported by TMZ on Wednesday.
On Sunday, Mr. Springsteen appeared in his first commercial, a two-minute appeal for national unity. In it, Mr. Springsteen is shown driving a jeep, a newspaper flapping in the passenger seat and a notebook leaning against the steering wheel.
“It’s no secret that the middle has been a difficult place lately, between red and blue, between servants and citizens, between our freedom and our fear,” he says in the advertisement.
“Fear has never been the best of us. And as for freedom, it is not the property of the lucky few. It belongs to all of us. “
The commercial was the result of decades of Jeep lobbying. Mr. Springsteen’s longtime manager Jon Landau said that Mr. Springsteen – known worldwide as the Boss and as Bruce to avid fans – created the Jeep ad with his own creative team.
“Bruce made the movie exactly the way he wanted without Jeep bothering him,” Landau said in an article in the New York Times about the commercial.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jeep announced that it would pause the commercial hours after the ad’s video was removed from the company’s YouTube and Twitter accounts.
In a statement, a spokeswoman also suggested that Jeep was unaware of the arrest prior to the much-vaunted Super Bowl fourth quarter ad.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter that we have only read about and that we cannot substantiate,” said spokeswoman Diane Morgan.
“But it is also right that we pause our big game commercial until the real facts are established,” she said. “The message of fellowship and unity is still relevant. What’s the message that drinking and driving can never be tolerated. “
A Park Service spokeswoman did not comment on why it took nearly three months for the arrest to become publicly known.
On January 20, Mr. Springsteen became the first artist to perform and sing “Land of Hope and Dreams” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, also operated by the National Park Service, during a television concert celebrating President Biden’s inauguration.
Known for his rock anthems celebrating the common man – warts and all – Mr. Springsteen lives with his family on a horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey, about 18 miles from Gateway, a popular national park on the northernmost part of the Jersey Shore. Commonly known as Sandy Hook, it is closed from November through March, according to the Park Service website.
He grew up in Freehold, about 30 miles from Sandy Hook, where he made a music video and part of his 2014 short film Hunter of Invisible Game. Photographer Annie Leibovitz also shot the cover of his album “Tunnel of Love” on Sandy Hook.
Mr. Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, his wife and bandmate, have three grown children. Their youngest son Sam became a firefighter in Jersey City, New Jersey a little over a year ago.
For the past several months, Mr. Springsteen has helped raise funds for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and encouraged the wearing of masks on highways billboards asking people to “wear a goddamn mask!”