The relationship between Wayne Swan and Bruce Springsteen is deeper than anyone thought. Crikey can reveal it goes back to 1984 and a particularly colourful incident Springsteen recalled in his song Darlington County:

Driving in to Darlington county
Me and Wayne on the 4th of July
Driving in to Darlington county
Looking for some work on the county line

The pair apparently drove down from New York City (“where the girls are pretty but they just want to know your name”) and hooked up with the local union via an uncle of Wayne’s.

We drove 800 miles without seeing a cop
We got rock and roll music blasting off the T-top singing

The pair come across a girl on a corner, propositioning the young lass with the offer of $200 and the ability to “rock all night”:

Girl, you’re looking at two big spenders
Why, the world don’t know what me and Wayne might do
Our pa’s each own one of the World Trade Centers
For a kiss and a smile I’ll give mine all to you
Come on baby take a seat on my fender

Things get cosy between the Boss and the girl, and Wayne becomes a third wheel. He starts skiving off work and eventually goes walkabout. Not until Bruce is heading out of Darlington county does he find the future Australian Treasurer:

Seen Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper’s Ford.

There’s no mention of this rather seedy incident in Swan’s John Button lecture, to be delivered to the faithful in Melbourne tonight. We’re not sure why.

Peter Fray

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