Bruce Springsteen fans starting online petitions to convince the rock'n'roll icon to add a Perth show to next year's Australian tour should save their posts, tweets and texts. According to promoter Michael Gudinski, they are whistling in the dark.
Since Frontier Touring announced four east coast dates for Springsteen and the E Street Band last week, the company has been inundated with messages from Perth fans desperate for the Boss to visit WA for the first time.
"We wanted to come to Perth, I'm well aware he hasn't played Perth," Gudinski said this week.
The powerful promoter has worked for a long time to bring Springsteen to Australia for his first tour since 2003. It will be of no comfort to fans to hear that a Perth date was initially pencilled into the visit, which currently only includes shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, plus a special gig at Hanging Rock in Macedon an hour outside of Melbourne.
"Believe me, it's for no lack of trying," Gudinski said. "I've been trying to get this tour done for a long time. It's an act that I'm personally a massive fan of."
The promoter said WA fans shouldn't take the freeze-out personally. Adelaide and New Zealand are also missing out, while planned legs in Japan, South-East Asia and South Africa were culled in the wake of a gruelling year of touring for the 63-year-old.
Springsteen has toured extensively since March for his latest album, Wrecking Ball. There have been plenty of extra performances, such as gigs in support of US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and fundraisers in the wake of hurricane Sandy. The Boss joins the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who and many other big names at a New York City's Madison Square Garden for a Sandy relief concert today (US time).
Despite the evergreen rocker seeming indefatigable on stage, even Bruce Almighty has limits.
"There's nothing personal from anyone's camp," Gudinski said. "I really made every effort to make Perth work, but as soon as South Africa and Japan went I knew that (the Australian tour) was in trouble.
"The agent said 'Look, he's not going to do as many shows in that time period', so when all else fell through and Australia stayed in there, I couldn't really complain."
Springsteen kicks off the Australian shows in Brisbane on March 14, with the final concert on March 30 to an expected capacity audience of 17,000 fans at Hanging Rock (with support from Jimmy Barnes and the Rubens).
More concerts are anticipated to be announced for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, but a trip west is logistically impossible, according to the promoter.
"I think the tour is going to sell out like a rocket," Gudinski said. "I reckon I could have got twice as many shows if (Springsteen's management) gave me the time.
"I've seen the show twice in recent months and it's an absolute killer. It's three-and-a-half hours solid. He's probably in some of the finest form of his career. It's the real deal."
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play Brisbane on March 14, Sydney on March 18, Melbourne on March 24 and Hanging Rock on March 30. A pre-sale from frontiertouring.com/brucespringsteen starts 9am today with tickets on sale Friday (capital cities from Ticketek, Hanging Rock from Ticketmaster).