The Boss performs the song, which he wrote after the police shooting death of Amadou Diallo in 1999 in NYC, to the slain teenager.
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen is the latest artist to weigh in on the Trayvon Martin shooting verdict and he did it simply yet so eloquently during his Limerick, Ireland show on Tuesday, July 16. The Boss dedicated his classic hit "American Skin (41 Shots)" to the slain teenager. He wrote the song more than a decade ago after the police shooting death of New York City immigrant Amadou Diallo back in 1999.
"I want to send this one out as a letter back home. For justice for Trayvon Martin," Springsteen said before breaking into the song. Just as heartrending as his introduction was how the lyrics of the song, although it was written many years ago, were still very much relevant today, pointing towards the underlying problem of racism metaphorically rendered in the words. "You can get killed just for living in your American skin," the lyric goes.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer wrote "American Skin (41 Shots)" as his way to speak against the racially-charged murder of Diallo by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which hit and ultimately killed the unarmed Diallo. Similar to the Zimmerman not guilty verdict in Trayvon Martin's shooting death trial, the four NYPD officers were all acquitted.
Springsteen first performed the controversial song live on June 4, 2000 during a concert in Atlanta and played it right in New York City in all the 10 Madison Square Garden shows that concluded his Reunion Tour with The E Street Band.
Bruce Springsteen's "American Skin (41 Shots)" live: