Iowa History Daily: On September 26, 1975, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band arrived in Iowa City on their “Born to Run” tour. On the edge of becoming an international musical superstar, “The Boss” rocked an audience of almost 2,600 at University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium with many of the hits from the iconic “Born to Run” album.
Following an East Coast swing and a stop at nearby Grinnell College a week prior, Springsteen arrived after a student group called the Hancher Entertainment Commision booked the band for $2,500. One of the first on-campus concerts of the Fall 1975 semester, students could pick up a ticket for the show for $3.50. Despite the low price, the show came just short of selling out the venue.
The band’s sound crew and the student organizers got in an argument which threatened the performance, but eventually the show went on. Opening with “Meeting Across the River” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” the band kept the crowd on their feet throughout a finale “Detroit Melody” which included parts of favorite songs like “Good Golly, Miss Molly.”
As “Born to Run” climbed to Number 3 on the Billboard 200 and Springsteen appeared on the covers of “Time” and “Newsweek” over the fall of 1975, many University of Iowa students got to say “I was there” to see one of the iconic American musicians of the 20th century on the rise. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar