Skip to main content

This may be the most American news story I’ve ever covered. On Veterans Day, a group of veterans were riding their motorcycles through New Jersey when they spotted a biker broken down. They stopped to ask the helmeted rider if he needed help. And imagine their shock when it was none other than “The Boss” himself, rock and roll legend Bruce Springsteen.

You might say he was a “scared and lonely rider” who was “on a last chance power drive.”

Apparently, the good samaritans were taking the scenic way home from the Freehold American Legion Post 54’s festivities. They made sure he had a tow coming. Then they offered him a ride so he didn’t have to spend all day, you know, “watching the traffic pass…on the highway.”

Singer Bruce Springsteen sits on a Harley in Madison Square Garden
Bruce Springsteen | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Springsteen and his saviors rode on to Mulligan’s restaurant in Farmingdale, New Jersey. They all had a beer together, took some pictures, and exchanged numbers. It turns out that The veterans say that Springsteen insisted on paying, throwing down a crisp $100 and telling them to keep the change. But when his tow truck arrived, he needed to go. He was, you know, “born to run.”

The veterans described Springsteen as down to earth. They turned down requests for interviews but a rep for the Freehold American Legion said, “These are good guys who helped someone without knowing who it was at first.” The organization also pointed out that because Springsteen is local and his dad was a veteran, they consider him one of their own. He’d even be eligible for membership, if he wants.

A man sits in a bar with two beers in front of him.
Beers | Julianna Arjes via Unsplash

But the story doesn’t end there. Billy Joel happened to be in the midst of a monthlong residency at Madison Square Garden. He surprised his crowd with a cover of “Born to Run.” Then he admitted that Springsteen’s breakdown was his fault. He had assembled the motorcycle himself, as a gift to Springsteen.

Joel said he had even called Springsteen to apologize, and been told, “No worries.” Maybe next time, Joel will give Springsteen something more reliable. Such as a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac-ac.

See Bruce Springsteen and his rescuers in the video below: