Bruce (left) and Douglas Springsteen, 1972
07/01/2014 at 10:00 AM EDT
Here's the Boss when he was just a kid … the Cisco Kid, actually.
At 23, Bruce Springsteen was still a struggling musician back in 1972, when this rare photo was taken with his father on a family trip to Tijuana – one of hundreds of items of Springsteen memorabilia collected at a new online museum, BlindedByTheLight.com
, that went live this week.
Douglas Springsteen, who died in 1998, had a famously difficult relationship with his son, and inspired many of the rocker's most poignant lyrics. Very few photos of Douglas even exist – and this snapshot is a gem.
In 1978, Rolling Stone
published the story behind it. Bruce's mother Adele had suggested the trip, but Douglas and Bruce fought the whole drive down from California. Once in Tijuana, though, things became truly farcical.
"Some guy comes up and says, 'Hey, would you guys like to have your picture taken on a zebra?' " Springsteen recalled.
"Well, we looked at each other – who could believe this, right? Zebras are in Africa. And so we said, 'Well if you've got a zebra, we definitely want to have our picture taken.' So we give him ten bucks and he takes us around this corner, and he's got … he's got a damn donkey with stripes painted on its side.
"And he pulls out these two hats – one says Pancho, one says Cisco – I swear – and he sits us on the donkey and takes our picture. My mother's still got that picture."
Other items on display at BlindedByTheLight.com include:
An early address book with phone numbers of bandmates along with lyrics to "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?"
Bruce's first driver's license from California
His 8th–grade report card from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School … with a surprisingly low mark in music
The museum, which celebrates the life and music of one of rock music’s greatest legends, costs $9.99 for a month-long pass.