A film about how Bruce Springsteen’s music influenced the life of a Pakistani-British teenager premiered in Asbury Park on Wednesday night, and it also brought the Boss back to his old stomping grounds to play a surprise set with Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.
The film, titled “Blinded by the Light,” made its New Jersey debut at the Paramount Theatre on Asbury’s boardwalk with Springsteen in attendance, according to the Asbury Park Press. Springsteen walked the red carpet with wife Patti Scialfa and the film’s star Viveik Kaira prior to the screening.
Following the premiere of “Blinded by the Light,” Springsteen and his cohorts made their way over to Asbury’s Convention Hall, where they performed four songs with Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. According to NJArts, the Boss joined the group to play “Talk to Me,” “Sherry Darling,” “Having a Party,” and a rendition of Wilson Pickett’s “634-5789.”
Set for release on Aug. 16, “Blinded by the Light” is based on journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s 2007 memoir “Greetings from Bury Park,” which details how Springteen’s music impacted the author growing up in England in the 1980s. Manzoor reportedly also attended the screening, as did director and co-writer Gurinder Chadha, who previously directed the 2002 hit sports comedy, “Bend It Like Beckham.”
Springsteen, meanwhile, is preparing to debut his own film, “Western Stars,” at the Toronto Film Festival next month. The movie, which shows the Jersey native playing songs from the “Western Stars” album, is another collaboration between Springsteen and director Thom Zimny, who previously directed films including “Springsteen on Broadway” and “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.”