Bruce Springsteen kicked off his Australian tour with a tongue-in-cheek warning about his political influence over national economics.
Springsteen and his E Street Band opened their Wrecking Ball Tour yesterday to enthusiastic reviews in Brisbane, the home town of deputy prime minister and treasurer Wayne Swan.
Mr Swan, named by banking magazine Euromoney as the world’s finance minister of the year for 2011 for his role in steering Australia clear of recession during the global economic meltdown, revealed in a speech last year that The Boss had long been his political inspiration.
He said the US-born working-class hero’s music railing against inequality echoed his own public battle against Australian billionaire mining tycoons who oppose his tax reforms.
But when told at a press conference that Mr Swan had cited his musical idol as an influence on his government’s economic policies, Springsteen urged caution.
“Really? You better watch out there,” he joked. “I’m not sure how good I am with my money. I hope it’s been a positive influence, that’s all I can say.”
Mr Swan is attending the final two-week session of parliament before he releases his annual budget blueprint on May 14.
He has revealed that the annual ritual involves him playing Springsteen’s hit single 'Born To Run'.
Mr Swan said Springsteen’s 1975 breakthrough album, as well as subsequent albums 'Darkness On The Edge of Town', 'The River', 'Born In The USA' and 'Nebraska', talked about the shifting foundations of the US economy before the subject became topical.
“If I could distill the relevance of Bruce Springsteen’s music to Australia, it would be this: don’t let what has happened to the American economy happen here,” Mr Swan said.
He said Springsteen was also the favourite musician of prime minister Julia Gillard.
Mr Swan’s office could not immediately comment on whether he intended to see a concert while Springsteen is in Australia.