Bruce Springsteen stunned mourners at newsman TIM RUSSERT's memorial service on Wednesday (18Jun08) by beaming in a special message from Europe via satellite.
The rocker, a longtime friend of the beloved broadcaster, was contacted by Russert's son Luke and asked if he'd be part of the celebration of the late Meet The Press presenter's life.
Springsteen, who is currently touring in Europe, paid tribute to his friend during a show in Wales on Saturday night (14Jun08), after learning Russert had suffered a heart attack and died the day before (13Jun08) - and he jumped at the chance to be part of the memorial service at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Strumming a guitar as he spoke, the rocker shared a memory he had of his late friend from a performance on America's Today show: "It was a little early for rock musicians and I went into Promised Land and I did what I usually do; I was looking in the faces along the front row.
"I always look for that face... that's filled with the music that we're playing, and, as I scanned the front row and got to the left side of the stage, there was a guy in a crisp white shirt and a tie.
"It was Tim. He had on that big Irish smile... and it was beaming like an Irish sun... We were always flattered and honoured to have Tim as part of our E Street Band community."
He then performed Thunder Road, Russert's favourite Springsteen song.
Earlier in the week, Springsteen, who was once booked to perform at Russert's former Ohio college by the newsman, said, "He (Russert) was a regular at many E Street Band shows and I'm going to miss looking down and seeing that big smiling face. God bless you, we will miss you."