A guitar signed by Bruce Springsteen sold for $280,000 last night at the 10th annual Stand Up for Heroes charity show for veterans. Stand Up for Heroes is the brainchild of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff and his wife Lee. Bob was nearly killed in 2006 when he was embedded with US forces in Iraq.
The guitar also came with a promise from Springsteen– who performed for the 10th year in a row– of all “the hot dogs and hamburgers” the winner could eat with him at his favorite New Jersey dive. Springsteen may have also thrown in his mother’s lasagna.
The two guys who bought the guitar don’t play the instrument. But one of them, Dan Rosensweig, is a tech multimillionaire from Silicon Valley. The other is his New York pal, Dan Benton, who just happened to be on a date with “Law and Order” actress Stephanie March.
The last time I saw a Springsteen guitar go for so much was at the 2013 MusiCares dinner. The winner was Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell, who bought it for her sister for $250,000.
The other stars who performed at Stand Up for Heroes in the Theater at Madison Square Garden were the creme de la creme of comedians– Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Jim Gaffigan and Louis C.K. The evening was created a decade ago and still produced with panache and passion by Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox of Caroline’s Comedy Club as the kick off to New York Comedy Week.
Springsteen used to be joined by Robin Williams, an early supporter of the group, when Stand Up for Heroes launched at New York’s Town Hall.
Last night Andrew Fox estimates over $6 million was raised in total for veterans.
Later in the evening, Springsteen and the four comics helped auction off a Harley Davidson motorcycle that had been donated by a local dealer. When the bidding seemed slow, each of the stars offered to donate $50,000 to the charity if someone would buy the bike for $150,000. That did the trick. The comics also promised to eat dinner with the winner, just to get things moving.
Springsteen performed acoustic versions of “Dancing in the Dark,” “Long Walk Home,” “Working on the Highway,” and a couple of others with his usual ferocity. He interspersed the songs with some of his best “dirty” jokes, a Stand for Heroes tradition.
The comedians were all at the top of their respective games. They’re the best of the best, and needless to say, hilarious. “American Idol” star Phillip Phillips opened the evening with the National Anthem, and spotted in the audience were actor Adam Driver, restaurateur Drew Nieporent, Springsteen managers Jon Landau and Barbara Carr.
More on Jon Stewart later today…