The Labor Day weekend provided many a chance to take one last trip for the summer. For those of us who stayed near home, we could only dream of boardwalks and beaches, so this week let's vicariously visit some faraway places with the help of '80s songs that name destination cities ripe for a visit starting with Bruce Springsteen and Atlantic City.
Atlantic City was a city on the rise in the '80s and leave it to the New Jersey native son Bruce Springsteen to capture the mood of the town in the early '80s with the song Atlantic City. In 1978, the first casino opened up in Atlantic City and started slowly, but by the end of the '80s there were double digit casinos alive with the biggest player being a confident young businessman named Donald Trump.
In 1982, Springsteen recorded the album Nebraska at his home using a four-track cassette recorder. Its lead single Atlantic City painted the struggles of the upstart casino business as a young couple moves to the new casino town only for the man to find work in organized crime. The black and white video also paints a somber vision of Atlantic City that was a few years away from turning into a big tourist draw.
Although Nebraska sold well, the acoustic Atlantic City didn't sniff the pop singles charts in stark contrast to Springsteen's next effort - Born In The U.S.A - that would launch an astounding seven Top 10 singles.
Trump received some of the credit for Atlantic City's rise in the '80s by bringing the championship boxing matches of Mike Tyson and the WWE to Atlantic City. By the '90s, Trump owned three casinos and even had a game show called Trump Card before he eventually sold or lost his stakes in most of the properties.