How Springsteen found his way to the Village
As Paul Harvey used
to say, "and now ... the rest of the story."
The Village Nightclub in Lancaster turned 60 years old April 17, and I had the pleasure of writing tales about this iconic place for the newspaper.
The person behind the biggest happening in the history of the nightclub had called me. That would be Dana Deiter Murr, who walked into the Village in June 1984 with Bruce Springsteen and members of the E Street Band.
Here is her story of how "The Boss" made his way to downtown Lancaster.
Murr, who was a lifeguard at the time at the Host Town (what used to be the Days Inn on Keller Avenue), said she was a big Springsteen fan.
Springsteen and his bandmates were staying at the hotel while working at Clair Bros. in Lititz, preparing for the band's upcoming "Born in the USA" tour. Murr stopped by his room one afternoon to say hi. (All of the band members kept their doors open.)
She saw Springsteen, but he was on the telephone. The next day he stopped by the swimming pool to say hello and asked what she was doing later that night. Murr said she was working until 11 p.m. He said the band was practicing until about 10:30 p.m. and asked if she would show them around town. She said yes.
Murr went to his room later that night and played the game Connect Four with him for about an hour, while drinking spring water and eating dried fruit. Then Clarence Clemons, Springsteen's longtime sidekick on saxophone, came into the room.
They asked what she had planned for the night. She said a popular local band, the Sharks, was playing at the Village, and she thought Springsteen and company might like the Sharks.
They all jumped into a big station wagon with Clemons driving, Murr in the middle and Springsteen in the passenger's seat.
Between sets at the Village, Murr, Springsteen and some of his bandmates went backstage to meet the Sharks and asked if they could play, Murr said.
Murr sat on the side of the stage when the E Street Band started playing. When they finished, the band and Murr quickly slipped out the back door by the stage exit, where the station wagon was waiting for them.
"I don't know how the car got there, but it was as if they were used to doing things like this," Murr said. "They never stepped outside the boundaries with me. I felt like [Springsteen's] little sister."
Before they left Lancaster at the end of the week, Clemons gave Murr a harmonica. The band told her that if she ever got to Philadelphia for a concert to get close to the stage and they would get her a backstage pass.
She did go to a Philly concert and told a security guard her story, and the guard allowed her to get close to the stage. Members of the band spotted her and gave her a pair of backstage passes.
Murr also said she never had to pay to get into the Village again -- a nice gift for creating a memorable night for the club.
Hall of Fame: Two people with local connections are being inducted into the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the association's convention May 5 and 6 in Hershey.
Paul Quinn, who retired from WGAL-TV 8 as president and general manager last December after more than 20 years at the Lancaster station, will be honored.
Also being inducted is Rebecca Campbell, who has been named Broadcaster of the Year as well.
She was appointed president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group in May 2010.
Campbell was president and general manager of WPVI-TV ABC 6 in Philadelphia from 2003 to 2007.
She worked at WGAL and produced "PM Magazine" in the 1980s.
Staff writer Eric Stark discusses trends and tidbits in broadcast media each week in the Sunday News. Write to him at email@example.com.