(ShopRite – not just a Freehold, NJ grocery, but a venue of simmering, subtextual sexiness)

Bruce Springsteen headlines the Super Bowl 43 halftime show two weeks from tomorrow, and while I suspect time constraints will kill any chance of the The Boss performing his Detroit medley or his cover of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” (it took long enough, but Bruce is finally labelmates with the Lunachicks), this excerpt from an interview with the Observer’s Mark Hagen provides slim consolation.

MH There’s a song on this album – Queen of the Supermarket – about a guy who has a terrible crush on a check-out girl. Where on earth did that spring from?

BS” They opened up this big, beautiful supermarket near where we lived. Patti and I would go down, and I remember walking through the aisles – I hadn’t been in one in a while – and I thought his place is spectacular. This place is… it’s a fantasy land! And then I started to get into it. I started looking around and hmmm – the subtext in here is so heavy! It’s like, ‘Do people really want to shop in this store or do they just want to screw on the floor?'” [laughs]

MH Sometimes it’s about buying groceries, you know…

BS “But maybe… [laughs] maybe there’s this other thing going on. In the States they’re sort of shameless, the bounty in them is overflowing. So the sexual subtext in the supermarket; well, perhaps, it’s just twisted me.”

MH It must be really hard to go shopping with you.

BS “I’m telling you, it’s there! So I came home, said: ‘Wow, the supermarket is fantastic, it’s my new favourite place. And I’m going to write a song about it!’ If there’s a supermarket and all these things are there, well, there has to be a queen. And if you go there, of course there is. There’s millions of them, so it’s kind of a song about finding beauty where it’s ignored or where it’s passed by.”

MH And does Patti still take you shopping?

BS “Yeah, she does [laughs]. Says, ‘Hey – what’s this one about?'”