NZ On Screen’s Nicky Harrop gets ready for tonight’s Bruce Springsteen show with a look at some local tributes to The Boss.

A catalogue of hits five decades deep - and counting - Bruce Springsteen's songs have been covered by artists around the globe. Even half a world away his all-American stories have the power to connect, as evidenced by the following local recordings.

When Kiwi bluesman Sonny Day's biggest hit arrived, it was in the form of a gift from The Boss. Savin' Up was written by Springsteen and given to his sax player Clarence Clemons, who originally recorded it for his own 1983 album Rescue.

Released a couple of years later, Day's version has gone on to become something of a classic radio staple in New Zealand. The 80s-tastic video sees him encountering a spot of dancing in Auckland's Vulcan Lane, before performing with a band that includes former members of Herbs and The Underdogs, plus backing vocalists Annie Crummer, Beaver and Josie Rika.

See the video for Savin' Up here:

Some might think Springsteen an unlikely muse for Wellington's Head Like A Hole, but their 1997 version of I'm On Fire plays it relatively faithful to the original before bringing it home with a more trademark rockin' finish.


Originally recorded as a b-side, the cover quickly took on a life of its own, becoming a favourite in the band's live set, and prompting production company Flying Fish to make this stellar accompanying video.

Channeling U2's Where The Streets Have No Name, the clip captures the group performing on the rooftop of a Vivian St high-rise, complete with helicopters and a large crowd looking on.

See the video for I'm On Fire here:

A vocal long-time fan, Emmylou Harris has covered many Springsteen tracks over the course of her career. In 1984, while in New Zealand on tour, she filmed her first-ever TV special, recording a set that includes a great take on Racing in the Street from Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Watch Racing in the Street as part of the TV special here:

Also on the bill tonight is local Marlon Williams, whose own compelling narratives make him a great choice for the Springsteen support. A 2012 collaboration with Delaney Davidson, Bloodletter, earned Williams his first New Zealand Music Award; the gothic tale showcasing his predilection for the darker side of country.

See the video for Bloodletter here:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play Mt Smart Stadium tonight, with support from Jet and Marlon Williams and The Yarra Benders.