Stars apologetic over town's dissolution
SPRINGHILL â Two of Springhillâs honourary citizens are in the community today to apologize for not visiting sooner.
© Internet photo
U2 frontman Bono and Grammy Award winner Bruce Springsteen probably will not be in Springhill today, but if you thought to read this picture description before our April Fool's Day story, good on ya.
Bono, singer for the Irish rock group U2, and Grammy Award winner Bruce Springsteen walked solemnly through the Springhill Industrial Park during the early morning hours Tuesday, discussing the community that has turned to dissolution to cope with its out-of-control debt. Both were invited to the community â Bono in 2011, and Springsteen the following summer â when touring the Maritimes and offered honourary citizenships as strategic moves to stimulate the local economy, but neither made the pilgrimage. Bonoâs invitation came in light of U2âs cover of Peggy Seegerâs âBallad of Springhillâ in 1987, while Springsteen just happened to be close by in 2012.
âThey were going to name the town after me,â Springsteen said.
âThatâs really something,â Bono said.
Grabbing an early morning coffee, the pair crossed the street to sit on the steps of town hall where just a few short years ago they were officially to be named honourary citizens. By mayoral decree they are, in every sense, citizens of this community faced with losing its township title after its debt grew to $5.1 million.
âItâs ironic. I probably make that in a year and, as a citizen â even an honourary one - I never had to pay any taxes to the town, either,â Bono said.
The issue of retaining services and maintaining infrastructure, however, wasnât far from their thoughts.
âWhatâs up with the town hall clock?â Springsteen said. âAre they going to fix that?â
Maybe if Springsteen and Bono visited the community sooner, they said, their celebrity would have injected some much needed money into the economy and, in turn, created economic spinoffs and new tax revenues for Springhill to use towards its debt. As a supporter of the charity War Child, Bono says he sees a lot of similarities between the townâs roads and those in war torn countries, making it the responsibility of the arts and entertainment community to use their fame to enact change in small, rural, debt-ridden communities like Springhill.
âWeâre more than just artists. Weâre thinkers and problem solvers. If you have a voice, you should use it to create change - positive change,â he said. âImagine what we could have done. We could have rebuilt the wonder-wall at the library, or made a green space of the duft banks.â
Change, however, still has to begin at the grassroots level, Springsteen said, and it takes the working class to take care of their own.
âI hear you can get a helluva donair here. Thatâs worth something,â Springsteen said.
Springhillâs adopted sons planned on hanging out front of the Post Office this morning before watching the Price Is Right with mayor and council at lunch. After supper they were going to go out to the Spot. Already, though, Springsteen and Bono were picking up on the local vernacular.
âApril Fools, bud.â