Billboard Bits: Bruce Springsteen, Weezer, Tupac Shakur

News on Bruce Springsteen, Weezer, Tupac Shakur

Da BossBruce Springsteen surprised music fans with a trio of onstage performances on Saturday in his old stomping grounds of Asbury Park, N.J. The Boss started his day with a half-hour solo set that featured him playing a guitar and harmonica during the city's 26th annual Clearwater Festival.

Springsteen played six songs, including "My City of Ruins," marking the song's first public performance since its debut last year during a pair of holiday charity concerts in the New Jersey seaside town. The other songs Springsteen played were "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street," "Bobby Jean," "This Hard Land," "Blinded by the Light," and "Land of Hope and Dreams."

After his performance, Springsteen mixed with the crowd for about an hour. That evening he joined friends Nils Lofgren and John Eddie during their sets at the Stone Pony nightclub. First he played with E Street Band guitarist Lofgren on the club's outside stage, performing "If I Should Fall Behind," "It's All Over Now," "Shine Silently," and "Boom Boom." Later, after watching much of Eddie's set from the crowd, Springsteen joined the artist on the tiny club's indoor stage for a run through "Suspicious Minds."

-- AP & Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

WeezerWeezer has named a "fill-in" for bassist Mikey Welsh, who has taken medical leave from the band after checking into a psychiatric hospital last week. According to a post on the band's official Web site, Weezer has chosen bassist Scott Shriner to fill in during Welsh's absence.

Shriner had previously played bass for Los Angeles-based punk/metal band Broken. He joins Weezer as the group is rehearsing in Los Angeles for its upcoming U.S. tour. The site notes that along with material from its three albums, the band has worked up 23 new songs written since the release of its latest self-titled Interscope/Geffen set, which debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 in late May.

Details have been scant regarding Welsh's illness or when he plans to return to the band. Weezer's latest single, "Island In the Sun," is currently at No. 14 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, while its predecessor, "Hash Pipe," is at No. 6. The group recently shot a second, Spike Jonze-directed video clip for the former tune.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

TupacDeKalb County (Ga.) political leaders joined with the family of Tupac Shakur over the weekend to break ground for an arts center honoring the slain rapper. Organizers expect the Tupac Amaru Center for the Arts to open in March 2003 in Stone Mountain. Shakur's family has lived in the area for nearly a decade.

The center will feature studio space for the performing arts and a gallery that initially will hang the art of Shakur's fans who have sent their work to his mother, Afeni Shakur. An adjacent garden will commemorate Shakur, who was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996, and other victims of violence.

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Copyright 2001 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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