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Hidden Image in Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ Cover Revived

Columbia Records

The cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s landmark album ‘Born to Run‘ is one of the most iconic in rock history. But no matter how well you think you know it, chances are good you haven’t seen the image hidden within.

No, it isn’t a scrambled picture of Satan or anything (sorry, paranoid rock-hating parents). According to NJ 101.5, it’s an image inlaid in the leather pickguard on the guitar Bruce is holding in the legendary photo: a man standing under a streetlight, being watched from a nearby window.

A leathersmith embedded the depiction into the pickguard and the image eventually wore away — but now it could be getting new life, thanks to Asbury Park, N.J.’s Dave Petillo.

Here’s a closer look at the original:

NJ 101.5



If the Petillo name sounds familiar, it’s not just your imagination. Dave’s dad, Dr. Phillip Petillo, founded Petillo Masterpiece Guitars, and made a career of building, repairing and restoring a variety of musical instruments for artists like Springsteen, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Kiss and the Steve Miller Band.

Dave and his father worked together until Phillip’s death in 2010, and now the younger Petillo has taken on the task of remaking Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ leather pickguard in much more durable materials — phenol, mother of pearl, dark turquoise, gold flake and Tahitian grey pearl.

He’s also reworked the image, adding the words “Asbury Park” and “New Jersey” and updating the anonymous woman in the window by giving her red hair and the initials PS (which of course stand for Patti Scialfa, Springsteen’s redheaded wife). In addition, you’ll see a silhouette of a saxophone-wielding Clarence Clemons in the ground floor window of the building.

And what did Petillo do with his one-of-a-kind masterpiece? He sent it to Bruce, of course — so maybe you’ll see it on one of his guitars as he makes his way around the world during his current Wrecking Ball tour.

Here’s the finished product, featured on Petillo’s Facebook page:

Dave Petillo, Facebook

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