(Asbury Park, New Jersey) Citing a depressing dearth of metaphor-inspiring abandoned buildings, as well as the staggering failure of his latest CD, "Sunrise over the Sand," rock mega-star Bruce Springsteen claimed he was driven to desperation this past weekend when he attempted to burn down the newly rejuvenated Asbury Park boardwalk and convention hall.
"Man, y'all don't understand. I need inspiration! I just can't sing about burgeoning businesses and artists making an economic comeback on their own terms," croaked Mr. Springsteen as he was taken into custody near the Stone Pony Rock Club, where he was found brandishing a full can of gasoline and a Zippo brand lighter at 3:48 am Sunday morning. "I mean, first there was Obama giving us all hope for the future, and now we've got nice, clean storefronts on this formerly run-down and desolate strip of Ocean Avenue? Man, that's just freakin' depressing."
According to sources, Springsteen, who has made billions of dollars using Asbury Park's poverty-stricken streets as a creative springboard for writing hundreds of infectious, hummable, rock-and-roll tunes, had been recently overheard bemoaning the infusion of cash into the long-suffering shore town. In a recent interview published in Cigar Aficionado magazine, Springsteen stated, "I can write about the way Christine and Danny's once-promising relationship has decayed and faded like the walls of the [recently demolished] Palace Amusements. Or I can compare a down-on-her-luck stripper to an old, beat-up tilt-a-whirl.
"But Jesus, what am I supposed to say about that upscale sushi joint on the corner?" Springsteen continued. "I guess I could write about their inability to provide a decent wasabi paste, or their failure to bring the cocktails in a timely fashion… er, not that I would know about that, of course. Heh."
When pressed further, Springsteen, whose songs have propelled him to god-like icon status while arguably fomenting learned helplessness and a fatalistic mentality in the working class by romanticizing their plight, ennobling questionable life choices, and mythologizing shitty economic circumstances, went on to say, "I guess I could write about how garish everything is now and how it all lacks integrity… ah, let's face it, I'm gonna bitch no matter what this place looks like."
Adding to Springsteen's growing dismay in the last few months was the resounding flop of his latest single, "Yacht Town." Moreover, a close friend revealed that "The Boss" was angered when someone pointed out that "My Lucky Day" sounds a bit too much like the chorus to [80's rock band] The Cutting Crew's ill-fated second single, "One for the Mockingbird."
Springsteen was released on 5 million dollars bail early Tuesday afternoon. In a surprising turn of events, the songwriter was reportedly in good spirits, having quickly penned 53 songs for a planned triple-CD about the injustices of the Asbury Park penal system, which, for two nights straight, denied him access to his favorite brand of red wine and forced him to use a pillow with a thread count of less than 500.
No date has been set for Springsteen's trial. When questioned about his immediate plans, the Jersey rocker smiled and whispered in his trademark gruff voice, "I've got this new album of prison songs I need to record. And while Asbury Park is doing ok right now, I think we can all agree that the U.S. economy at large is still pretty much f---ed. People are out of work, down on their luck, and struggling just to get by. So things are definitely looking up."