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10 a.m. freeze-out for a Springsteen fan

My weekend schedule revolved around one thing: being online at 10 a.m. Saturday to order tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s April show at Verizon Center, part of his “Wrecking Ball” tour. I’d like a wrecking ball myself, now that it’s 10:10 a.m., and Bruce’s shows up and down the East Coast are sold out. I was at my computer all morning, so worried I’d miss the stroke of 10. I had iTunes cranked up and my “Tramps like us” T-shirt on. I was so ready. And I was blocked out, apparently by the scalping fiends who scrape up tickets before the rest of us can click “buy now.”

Within minutes of my failed attempt, scores of tickets were up for re-sale on scalping sites like Stubhub.com, most at three and four times their face value. I shouldn’t have been surprised: It turns out that when tickets went on sale for shows in New Jersey the day before, scalpers had overwhelmed the Ticketmaster system. Later in the week, Bloomberg News reported that Ticketmaster claimed that suspicious activity bolloxed the system — preventing loyal fans from getting seats.

My husband tolerated my morning of reminiscing. The years my sister and I, then 16 and 17, saw Bruce at Capital Centre and got in trouble for coming home in the wee hours of the morning. The young Bruce played marathon shows that went on past midnight, past our curfew. But no way were we leaving early. The night my then-boyfriend camped out in a long line in Largo, scoring tickets for Bruce’s stadium tour for “Born in the USA.” Our general admission tickets, 15 rows back from the stage. And all the years since, when we’ve loyally trekked to Fed­Ex Field (where we were told our obstructed view seats were not, in fact, obstructed — because we could see Mr. Springsteen on the Jumbotron.) The year we arrived at the show hours early and the guards let us in for the sound check. The way Bruce played a song a dozen times in that check, making sure every note was just right. The time I was able to get a message to Bruce, asking him to send a hat to a friend who was dying of pancreatic cancer. Our joy the day the hat arrived by FedEx.

I’ve even had letters to the editor published in The Post, praising Bruce or questioning reviews. One year he was dismissed as being for fuddy-duds, so I wrote about that. Another time he was compared to Bob Dylan, so I wrote about that, too. I always loved seeing my name coupled with Bruce Springsteen’s, if only in black and white.

It was always so right — but this morning, I’m feeling wronged.

I’m hopeful that breaks in his schedule around the Washington date mean that he will add shows to the tour. But I’ve little hope of getting tickets to those, either. They’ll be scalped up the minute there is news.

I’d take a wrecking ball to the scalping machines that appear to have hundreds of tickets for sale, most starting at $300 or $400 for tickets in the nosebleed seats. Tramps like us, baby, don’t have that much to spare.

 
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