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Bruce Springsteen performed the legendary "bomb scare" show at the Uptown Theater in 1975.
Bruce Springsteen performed the legendary "bomb scare" show at the Uptown Theater in 1975.

"Are you loose?" Gallery to host Springsteen forum

"Are you loose?"

It’s a famous question from one of the more memorable concerts of Bruce Springsteen’s legendary performing career -- the legendary "Bomb Scare Show" that took place 34 years ago at the Uptown Theater on the West Side.

If you’ve heard the story, you’ll never forget it. If you haven’t, here are the Cliff’s Notes:

Springsteen and the E Street Band had started a concert when police -- acting on a tip -- cleared the hall to search for an explosive device.

During the delay, Springsteen and the band retired to the Pfister Hotel bar, where the bartender served them several drinks and asked "Are you loose?"

When the bomb squad finished its task, Bruce and the band returned to the stage for a blistering set that finished well past midnight and was commemorated in prized bootleg recordings passed among Springsteen zealots through the generations.

At several points during the set, Springsteen asked fans "Are you loose?" -- a question that has been repeated nearly every time he has played in Milwaukee since.

Photographer Robert Cavallo has published a book of pictures from that night entitled "Are you Loose? Springsteen Live at the Uptown Theater."

Several of the photos from the book are on display through Oct. 25 at the Light Ideas Gallery, which is located in the lower level of the historic Marshall Building at 207 E. Buffalo St.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 -- almost 34 years after the famous concert was slated to start -- WKLH morning show personality Kevin Brandt and I will host a forum at Light Ideas with Cavallo and Milwaukee radio icon Bob Reitman, who was the emcee at the famous "Bomb Scare" show and wrote the text for Cavallo’s book. The public is welcome.

Admission is free. For more on Cavallo’s work, check out this story from earlier this year.


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