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Bruce Springsteen remembers Freehold pal who befriended Boss when friends were few

Bruce Springsteen remembers Freehold pal who befriended Boss when friends were few

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Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen attends the 2020 National Board Of Review Gala on January 8, 2020 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Unveiling dedication plaque and renaming its building in honor of former U.S. Representative Frank Lobiondo at 177th Fighter Wings Headquarters in Egg Harbor Township Wednesday April 21, 2021.

Michael Patterson, of Freehold, was a friend to Bruce Springsteen when friends were hard to come by.

The Boss remembered his late pal with a touching memorial Tuesday on his social media.

“A remembrance of my great friend from high school Mike Patterson who recently passed,” Springsteen said. “We had a lot of great times, and he was a good friend back when there were few to be found.

“All peace, Mike.”

Springsteen as a teenager was a bit of a loner and had only a handful of friends in his orbit. The Boss included a picture of the two together at a fairly recent dinner in Freehold. Patterson was 74 when he died April 6.

He was a longtime barber at Joe’s Barber Shop on South Street in Freehold.

“He was a nice guy, and he lived a very simple life,” said Michael DiBenedetto, owner of Joe’s. “He was down to earth.”

Springsteen, 71, would visit him at Joe’s from time to time.

“They grew up together, and they valued each other’s friendship,” said DiBenedetto, also a Freehold councilman.

Springsteen mentioned Patterson in his memoir, “Born to Run,” in reference to seeing guitarist Sonny Kenn for the first time.

“The first Hullabaloo Club we went to was in Asbury Park. I walked in one night with my pal Mike Patterson, and onstage were Sonny and Starfires, featuring at the drums a pre-’Mad Dog’ Vincent Lopez,” Springsteen said. “All Chuck Berry and rockabilly blues, Sonny, a good looking guy with greased blond hair and black Ray-Ban sunglasses, really knew what he was doing. (He still plays in the area today, as cool as ever.)”

Patterson lived in Toms River at the time of his death.

“He valued friendship,” DiBenedetto said.

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