Dateline Freehold: All the news from Barney, owner emeritus of Joe's Barbershop.

So why does Bruce Springsteen still live near his ancestral home of Freehold, New Jersey? Owner emeritus of Joe’s Barbershop, Barney DiBenedetto, (his dad was Joe), makes it pretty clear. And he’s no rock ‘n’ roll fan, which I think is the point:

“I never cut his hair. But my father. . Look, i’ll tell you a funny story.

“I had a guy who used to work for me here, Mike Patterson. He used to go to school with Bruce. Then in the early ’80s he saw Mike  at the paper store, and  Bruce hollered after him, because they were friends. So they talked and then Mike figured he’d take him here so Bruce could meet his boss.

“So I’m cutting hair in the first chair, and he comes walking in with Springsteen. Now, I’m no Springsteen fan, I never listened to him, I don’t have any idea what he looked like. And he says to me, ‘Do you remember me?’ I look over at him and say, naw. I don’t remember you. He says, your father and Vinnie Paladino used to cut my hair when I was a kid!’ and I says, well, I remember my father and Vinnie Paladino, but I still don’t remember you.’ He says, ‘Well, I’m Bruce Springsteen!’ and I says, ‘Hi, how ya doin’?’

See, he was a real nice fella. A real nice fella. And what impressed me about him was that he said to Mike Patterson, ‘You want to go to a concert?’ and Mike said, ‘Sure!’ and he said he’d send over some tickets. I was listening and thought, well, he’s a blowhard. He ain’t gonna send over no tickets. But then two weeks before the concert a limo pulls up front. A guy came out and said, ‘You got a guy named Mike Patterson works here?’ I said, ‘Yeah, he’s on the 3rd chair.’ So he walks over and hands him an envelope. MIke opens it up, it’s got six tickets, six backstage passes and a note that said, ‘C’mon back, we’ll have a soda or a sandwich or something.’  Then for the next concert he sent over two tickets. And that impressed me, that really impressed me.

“He’s a real nice guy. I aint’ crazy over his music, but he’s still a nice guy.”

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