Sutcliffe fronted Springsteen money to buy home


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Considering the money he'll earn from his two new albums, it's hard to believe Bruce Springsteen once needed a $500,000 loan from the Orioles' Rick Sutcliffe for a down payment on a southern California home.

Actually, "needed" probably isn't the right word. Springsteen had plenty of money back in 1986; he repaid Sutcliffe two days later. But as so often happens with rock stars, baseball players and other rich people, he just wasn't liquid.

The Boss was waiting on a CD -- a certificate-of-deposit, that is, not a compact disc. It was scheduled to mature two days after the paperwork for his closing was completed, and smart businessman that he is, he didn't want to forfeit the interest.

Sutcliffe entered the picture through the seller -- his good friend, actor Mark Harmon. It just so happened Sutcliffe had set aside $500,000 to purchase an annuity that same week. His agent, Barry Axelrod, suggested the loan. He, too, was close with Harmon, from their days together at UCLA.

Springsteen was so grateful, he chipped in with Harmon to buy a gold Baretta shotgun for Sutcliffe, an avid hunter. "Then when he came to Chicago, I went backstage with him," recalls Sutcliffe, who was then with the Cubs. "They sent a limo to get us. It was pretty amazing."

Unfortunately, Springsteen didn't live happily ever after in his new home. According to Sutcliffe, he lost it in the divorce settlement with his former wife, actress Julianne Phillips.

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