Bruce Springsteen has been forced to relive his most embarrassing onstage moment for a new DVD box set of Amnesty International concert movies.
The Boss agreed to sit down and talk about his experiences with the human rights organisation for a new DVD box set product, titled RELEASED! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998, and he reveals he was left cringing after agreeing to be part of a star-studded 1998 Paris gig at the last minute.
Springsteen recalls, “We were in Europe somewhere and they (Amnesty bosses) got in touch and said, ‘Hey, they’re doing the anniversary show, do you wanna do it?’ and I said, ‘I don’t have my band together at the moment but I’ll come over with my guitar’.
“They said, ‘We’d like you to go on after Led Zeppelin!’ I said, ‘I’m playing by myself. I don’t think I wanna go on right after Led Zeppelin. How about I go on before Led Zeppelin?’
“So we gave the guitar to one of the road guys… and I went out and he came and he handed it to me and I went to the mic and it was completely out of tune, like, horrendously, unbelievably, horrifically, embarrassingly, you’re-finished-go-home out of tune.
“There was an enormous commotion. I handed it back and I think I sat down on the stage for a while. The difficulty was it was a French audience, so I had nothing to say. Peter Gabriel comes out, who speaks French pretty well, and launches into obviously some excuse for me; what that was I don’t know, and I’m sitting on a speaker watching him.
“The guitar comes back, it’s still pretty badly in shape, but I manage to get it somewhat in tune and if you ever see all the footage… it was hilarious.”
The footage exists but it won’t feature among the 12-hours of Amnesty concert footage in the six-DVD box set, released next week.