In New Jersey the ‘working Joe’ pumps ‘gas’ into gargantuan metal beasts at dusty side-road stations, packs processed cheese in vast, vacant factories, or watches thousands of pills fill vessels on endless conveyer belts… In their spare time they take their kids to ‘Little League’, sup Bud Light, watch the Super Bowl and wear lots of stone-washed blue denim and gingham. I think.
In Stockton on Tees, the ‘grafter’ welds ships together with big leathery paws, smelts steel, or processes violent and harmful industrial chemicals. In their spare time they watch depressing football teams that always lose, drink cloudy bitter, try to dodge getting bottled/glassed as the pubs kick out, and erm, other stuff that sounds like it came out of a Ken Loach film.
Young Rebel Set (Blood, sweat and tears not pictured)
The comparison between these two incredibly accurate and painstakingly undertaken case studies should go some way to explaining the intricacies of how an appropriation of Bruce Springsteen’s everyman rock’n’roll by a gang of heart-on-sleeve, feet-on-ground lads from north east England might pan out.