Bruce Springsteen Teams With The Gaslight Anthem for the Most Jersey Song Ever

"History Books" is from the band's forthcoming album

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen performs on stage with Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem on day 3 of Hard Rock Calling 2009 in Hyde Park.
Pete Still/Redferns

What’s more New Jersey than eating both pork roll and Taylor ham at a Kevin Smith film festival held at a shopping mall near the Garden State Parkway? We might well have an answer to that very question — and it’s in the form of a song. Not just any song, mind you — a song that finds The Gaslight Anthem joined by one Bruce Springsteen.

The song is called “History Books,” and its video features some elements that listeners to either Springsteen or the Gaslight Anthem will find familiar — including open roads, impressive cars and mysterious women. There’s also a bit of modern dance in a cornfield, which is always fun.

Full disclosure: I grew up in central Jersey and think this is all pretty terrific. The video’s credits don’t state where it was filmed, but the relatively agricultural feel — Jersey’s not called “the Garden State” for nothing — suggest Howell, or possibly Englishtown, as a location. Even in an era of rapid development, New Jersey still has plenty of places that are the visual equivalent of a gruffly-voiced dude singing his heart out, and this video has both of those bases thoroughly covered.

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In an interview with the Associated Press’s Maria Sherman, Gaslight Anthem singer/guitarist Brian Fallon discussed his band’s return from a seven-year hiatus and the process of befriending one of his musical heroes. As for what that’s like, Fallon used the phrase “being friends with Batman,” which sounds about right.

This isn’t the first time these artists have teamed up. Their association goes back over a decade, in fact — in 2009, Fallon joined Springsteen in London for a rendition of “No Surrender.” Sounds like the next time these artists share a stage, they might have something new to play.

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