Springsteen and Scialfa – his E-Street bandmate and wife of nearly 18 years – have had a rough ride in recent weeks. Last Wednesday, Scialfa missed an E-Street Band concert in Boston after falling from her horse and bruising herself (though not breaking any bones). The previous week, a request to seal records in the divorce case that names Springsteen as a correspondent was denied by a New Jersey judge. (After being named in the divorce proceedings, Springsteen defended his marriage, saying he and Scialfa's "commitment to one another remains as strong as the day we were married.")
Scialfa and Springsteen treated each other warmly on the Alice Tully Hall stage, playing a heartfelt rendition of Philadelphia – the Oscar-winning title song to the 1993 film that won Hanks his first Best Actor Academy Award. The Boss then gingerly shepherded Scialfa, who appeared to be moving slower than usual, with a hand on her back as she left they left the stage together.
Toward the end of the tribute, Hanks also showed his love for Scialfa, when he recalled listening to his friend Patti "curled up on a couch with that guitar singing 'City Boy': 'There ain't nothin' in the world like a city boy …' "
Hanks claimed that her interest in city boys would inspire any male to "move to the big city."