Springsteen & The Wall

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," and the Berlin Wall fell soon after. But doesn’t Bruce Springsteen deserve some credit for the fall of the Iron Curtain?

That’s the rhetorical question recently posed by Variety. Springsteen performed for 160,000 people in 1988 at a cycling stadium in East Berlin and may have ignited the smoldering civilian dissent.

"It’s great to be in East Berlin," he said, halfway through the show, while introducing the song "Chimes of Freedom." "I want to tell you, I’m not here for or against any government. I came here to play rock ’n’ roll for you East Berliners in the hope that one day all the barriers will be torn down."

Reportedly, the crowd cheered wildly. It came a year after Reagan – who by that time had learned to not invoke Springsteen’s name during his speeches – stood in front of the Wall and demanded it be torn down.

It was the first and last major Western artist concert in East Germany, with U2’s 1989 attempt to play there nixed by the government because of the massive political upheaval, according to Variety.

The wall fell November 9, 1989 – just in time for Roger Waters to perform The Wall to a united Berlin.