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Crowd-sourced documentary tells Springsteen's fans' stories
July 30th, 2013
06:18 PM ET

Crowd-sourced documentary tells Springsteen's fans' stories

Born in the U.S.A., and raised in the arms of his fans for more than four decades Bruce Springsteen is not just beloved, he's "the boss."

But make no mistake, legions of fans, young and old, corporate and blue collar, are the heart of the Springsteen empire, and this month, that empire expands to film.

The documentary "Springsteen and I" had just one screening worldwide July 22. It flashes to life for a second showing today in U.S. theaters.

The documentary is marketed more like an event with specific dates and online ticket sales. But this Springsteen "event" is not so much about the man on stage, as it is about the scores of fans who sing along with him. It's about Facebook and YouTube devotees and the proud owners of more than 120 million Springsteen albums sold worldwide.

British director Baillie Walsh asked fans to submit their own material and to explain what this man means to them.

Among the first of its kind, the film weaves more than 2,000 submissions, all relaying the stories of real fans, and their very real connection to the music.

The end result is a film the New York Daily news described as having "the specificity, humor and unashamed earnestness of one of Springsteen's own songs."

The Springsteen team has funneled this fandomanium into something called "Springstream" – a one-stop shop for all things Bruce. From videos to pictures to tweets, Springstream is where the boss brings people together online in droves.

For those who doubt that Springsteen enthusiasts can fill two hours, think again.

Springsteen fans have filled the Oval Office more than once, with former President Bill Clinton describing him as "one of the coolest dudes I ever met."

A die-hard fan leads Springsteen's home state of New Jersey.

"You go on hold in the Christie administration, you're going to hear Bruce Springsteen on hold," said Gov. Chris Christie, who said he has seen about 130 shows.

And Comedy Central's "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart is also a follower.

It seems Bruce fans are everywhere, and in theaters across the country Tuesday night, they will be the stars.

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