“Rocking the Wall. Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World,” is about the famed Springsteen concert in 1988 East Berlin. Erik Kirschbaum spoke to scores of fans and concert organizers including Jon Landau, Springsteen’s long-time manager. With lively behind-the-scenes details from eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, and even Stasi files, this book takes you to an unforgettable journey with Springsteen through the divided city; it also offers links to the Boss’ classic hits on Vevo, powered by YouTube. You will not only read the story, but see the pictures of Bruce and the crowd, and hear the music.
“…as clear a statement of the power of this music as anyone, ever, has come up with.” –Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone music critic
“An illuminating and impressively detailed examination of a frequently overlooked moment in the nexus of rock music and political liberation. I learned a great deal and enjoyed doing so.”–Eric Alterman, author of The Promise of Bruce Springsteen
“…a glorious example of the influence that rock ‘n’ roll can have on people who are hungry and ready for change.”—Michelle Martin for The Washington Post
“Rocking the Wall” was written by Erik Kirschbaum, a native of New York City and long-time Springsteen fan, who has lived in Germany for more than twenty-five years. He is a correspondent for the Reuters news agency and is based in Berlin since 1993. Here is how he came up with the idea:
After a riveting Bruce Springsteen concert in Berlin in 2002, I was riding home in a taxi when the driver suddenly started chattering on about another Springsteen performance—in Communist East Berlin, back in 1988. He said that July ’88 show was the most amazing thing ever, anywhere. The concert behind the Iron Curtain happened more than fourteen years before our chance encounter on that cold October night, but the heavyset taxi driver with the thick gray beard and long scraggly hair couldn’t stop raving about it.
“Yeah, I know,” I said, trying to close my eyes and relax. “I’ve seen lots of Springsteen concerts too, and they’re always amazing.”
“Nein, nein, nein!” the driver replied. “No! You don’t understand.” That East Berlin concert was really different. More than 300,000 people watched it live, and millions more saw it on television. The whole country was shaken up. “It was the most incredible thing that ever happened in East Germany,” he said.
For millions of baby boomers, Springsteen’s music has been the soundtrack of our lives. Four decades of song lyrics are lodged in our collective memory. The Berlin taxi driver’s uncontainable enthusiasm about that concert was contagious, and he got me wondering: Had there been something really special about that Springsteen show in Communist East Berlin?
And then it dawned on me—what made that particular concert so extraordinary was its date: July 19, 1988. That was less than sixteen months before the Berlin Wall fell. Could there have been a connection between the Springsteen concert, the ensuing rebellion in East Germany, and the Berlin Wall falling that no one had seen before?
Berlinica ist a New York-based publishing company that specializes on English-language books from Berlin, Germany. As of now, Berlinica offers six books on Kindle, among them “The Berlin Wall Today,” a color picture guide with interactive maps (http://www.amazon.com/Berlin-
B006RNNYUM/), “Berlin for Free”, a guide book to all free leisure activities, linking to a map of the venue, (http://www.amazon.com/Berlin-for-Free-Berlinica-ebook/dp/B006S5CTBE
), “Berlin in the Cold War”, with links to the key places of the Cold War (http://www.amazon.com/Berlin-Cold-War-Berlinica-ebook/dp/B006H87KT8
), Wallflower, a novel set in the time when the Wall came down (http://www.amazon.com/Wallflower-Berlinica-ebook/dp/B006QY12MY
), and “The Times Are Screaming for Satire”; two short stories by the famed Weimar author Kurt Tucholsky, for only 99 cents (http://www.amazon.com/Times-Screaming-Satire-Berlin-ebook/dp/B00CRNPL48