Editor/Publisher: Shawn Poole
Logo Artwork: Stephen Winchell
Website Consultant: Brian Samelson
Letters To You
My Springsteen fandom began in the early 1980s, just as I was entering my early teen years, and it quickly went "hardcore." Part of what made this development inevitable probably had something to do with growing up in Philadelphia, PA, an area of the U.S. that served as one of Bruce's earliest and most passionate fanbases. His music continually got a lot of airplay on our local rock radio stations, thanks to the groundbreaking and passionate support of folks like David Dye and Ed Sciaky. Almost a decade before I became a fan, they were among the first in the nation to understand how great the best of Springsteen's music could be. They already were sharing the music and their enthusiasm for it with their listeners, many of whom obviously agreed, well before relatively newer listeners like me began coming into their fold.
Eventually, I became a loyal subscriber to Backstreets Magazine, the long-reigning premier magazine (and website) for Springsteen fans. It was a status I maintained as a Springsteen fan until the magazine and its website shut down operations this past February. Becoming a regular Backstreets contributor, as well as remaining a regular reader, gave me some of the best experiences of my life. I got to become part of a community of fellow fans, meet and interview some famous and fascinating folks, gain many deeper insights into the art that I love, and support some efforts and causes that are very close to my heart. Letters To You is meant to be a home for fan-driven writing that informs, challenges, and inspires, for sure, but is also - like the best of what Backstreets offered - non-academic and non-preachy, focusing instead on the passion, the accessibility, and even the appropriate doses of humor and self-deprecation that mark fandom at its best.
So the Letters To You website is an attempt to help fill a very tall order indeed. To do it right will require operating in ways similar to what Bruce Springsteen has done whenever he's created his best work: drawing on the richness of past lessons and accomplishments (by both yourself and others) while simultaneously creating something that's new, different, unique... something that makes sense and feels right for this period. We’ll be featuring contributions from some of Bruce’s biggest fans who also happen to be excellent writers and photographers. Some of us used to contribute regularly to Backstreets and other publications; some of us will be newer voices. But what we all share in common is a continued passion for discussion, debate, criticism, and celebration of an artistic endeavor that appears far from over. We plan to ride this train “till the wheels come off,” good people!
(The above was excerpted from "Welcome to the Letters To You website!")