In 2012, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band announced a tour in support of their new album Wrecking Ball. It would be their first tour without Clarence Clemons, a founding member of the E Street Band who had died the previous June. The tour took the band to New York City for two nights at Madison Square Garden: April 6 and April 9.
For area Springsteen fans who were Jewish, this posed a dilemma. April 6 was the first night of Passover. What to do?
As reported by The New York Times, a Long Island resident named Warren Rosen found a solution: He booked a private room at Ainsworth Prime, a restaurant in the upper level of Madison Square Garden, and extended a Seder invitation to Facebook friends of all faiths attending the concert, as well as E Street band members. Matzoh, fruit salad, and roast chicken were served. Warren and his wife Jane created their own Haggadah – A Rock-n-Roll Haggadah – for the occasion, and included an original song, “Matzah Ball,” sung to the tune of Springsteen’s song “Wrecking Ball.”
Jake Clemons, nephew of Clarence Clemons and a recent addition himself to the E Street band, came for part of the Seder and even read from the Haggadah.
The Times article caught the eye of a Museum employee who shared it with the senior Collections curator on staff in 2012. Maybe there were some items from the rock and roll Seder that were worth preserving? The Museum’s Permanent Collection is about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust, and the Seder at the Garden was an example of a contemporary take on tradition.
Mr. Rosen agreed to donate a Haggadah to the Museum—along with his ticket stub from the April 6 concert at the Garden.