Bruce Springstone's "Meet the Flintstones" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" as surprise single of the year? When a Philadelphia station played it after simply announcing, "Now the record you've all been waiting for," the phones lit up for hours, with fans arguing whether it really was the Boss or not. The Boss, of course, is Bruce Springsteen, and the record is not the real Boss, just a bunch of Washington and Baltimore musicians doing an uncanny imitation that has become a hit for a small Baltimore label, Clean Cuts. Says owner Jack Heyrman, "It's the weirdest thing I've ever experienced. We normally have to fight to get air play; this record, we don't even have to call anybody, they play it when they get it. It makes them laugh." They're currently laughing in New York, Philly, Baltimore, Washington and Boston; the rest of the country will get the joke sooner or later.
Like Springsteen's recent "Nebraska" album, the single was recorded on a simple four-track recorder, with Tom Chalkley doing the lead vocals, Craig Hankin and Tommy Keene on guitars, Suzzy Shaw on organ, Gabor Lubor on bass, Ron Holloway impersonating (and perhaps bettering) Clarence Clemons on sweaty sax and John Ebersberger on drums, glockenspiel and vocals. Chalkley, Hankin and Eberberger are all cartoonists for Baltimore's City Paper; Ebersberger does a wonderful parody of the "Born to Run" cover on the record's sleeve. Has the boss heard it? Well, probably, since Heyrman cleared it (unofficially) with manager Jon Landau and (officially) with Flintstones' copyright owners Hanna-Barbera.