The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 May 2005

Springsteen Deemed Too Vulgar

Bucks: No Boss

Coffee Chain Won't Sell New Release

Of course, the problem couldn't be Bruce Springsteen's recent, onstage anti-Bush tirades. Instead, liberal Seattle coffee chain Starbucks has banned his new release from its stores, for other reasons.

Why? Profanity and sexually explicit content, apparently gave 'Bucks execs the shakes, interestingly enough.

It would seem to fit Seattle's quirky ultraliberal big-government conformist politics, mixed with Scandanavian puritanism, exported to America through its stores. I have my doubts, though, that this is about family values, so I wouldn't want to see conservatives get especially excited.

It's a bit of a "man bites dog" story, however, you don't expect a leftist outfit like Starbucks to punish a fellow-traveller like Springsteen.

Coffee chains, by the way, have the ability to move large amounts of product through their stores.

(BBC- Staff Report- 7 May 2005)

The retailer - which stocks CDs at its branches in the US - said it would be promoting other albums instead.

Devils and Dust, which has topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, is Springsteen's first album to carry an advisory label.

His song Reno describes an explicit encounter with a prostitute.

Influential role

Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment in 4,400 coffee shops across the US, said they agreed the Springsteen album warranted a warning label.


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