Think it’s easy to unilaterally adopt a member of a legendary rock ‘n’ roll outfit? Think again.


7. Bruce Springsteen

I didn’t come within a country mile of adopting The Boss without his knowledge or consent. The guy might as well have a moat of lawyers around him.


6. “Little” Steven Van Zandt

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Swing and a miss. Thought I had a Kings county clerk in my pocket, but the son of a gun got cold feet and stopped returning my calls. But that’s bureaucrats for you.


5. and 4. Max & Jay Weinberg

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I tried to be clever and skirt Jay’s whole “already has a living father” thing by adopting these two drummers simultaneously. Serves me right for getting all fancy: the paperwork for that kind of maneuver turned out to be an absolute nightmare, straight out of Kafka. And the processing fees? Forget it.


3. Roy Bittan, a.k.a. “The Professor”

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Got pretty close with Roy, but I failed the home study when my good-for-nothing character references sold me up the river. Rookie mistake on my part. He’ll always be my boy in my heart, if not in legal ink.


2. “Phantom” Danny Federici

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A real tragedy. I’d filed all the right paperwork, greased all the right palms, even had the paint shades and furnishings all picked out for his room, and I’d kept it all on the hush-hush, to boot. But melanoma got to him before I did, and a little bit of light went out of the world.


1. Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez

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Got him, but who cares? He left the band in ’74 and never made it big, so it was about as difficult as forcibly adopting any old schlub. Every now and then, though, Bruce lets my son guest up on stage at one of his concerts, and my heart just about bursts out of my chest.