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Bruce Springsteen signs absence note for boy who skipped school to see him

A fifth-grader got his wish when Bruce Springsteen signed a note explaining his absence from school to meet The Boss.
/ Source: TODAY

When you're trying to explain your absence from school, it can't hurt to have a note signed by The Boss.

A Philadelphia fifth-grader has an absence note that he will save forever after Bruce Springsteen signed it during a meet-and-and-greet.

Springsteen signed the boy's note while promoting his new book at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Sept. 29.

Bruce Springsteen and fan
Philadelphia fifth-grader Michael Fenerty got the ultimate absent note signed by Bruce Springsteen during a meet-and-greet with The Boss. Courtesy Mike Fenerty

Michael Fenerty, a fifth-grader at Julia R. Masterman School, cooked up the idea a night earlier with his dad, Mike. The Philadelphia attorney has been a Springsteen fan for more than 40 years and seen more than 160 shows.

RELATED: Bruce Springsteen writes tardy note for 4th-grader: 'He was out late rocking and rolling'

"I asked him, what's the protocol if I keep you home tomorrow?'' the elder Fenerty told TODAY. "He said you need to call the school and send in a signed note. He looked at me and said, 'We should get Bruce Springsteen to sign the note!' We both laughed and then we thought, 'Let's try it.'''

It wasn't a far-fetched idea, considering Springsteen gave a fourth-grader a hand-written tardy note after a long concert in Los Angeles in March. In that case, The Boss wrote that the boy was "out late rocking and rolling."

Bruce Springsteen and fan
When his dad was talking to Springsteen, Fenerty smartly whipped out the folded note from his pocket and asked Springsteen to sign it. Courtesy Mike Fenerty

Springsteen had already been responsible for a tiring day at school for Michael after he and his father attended his concert at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 7.

Springsteen set a record for his longest U.S. concert, playing for 4 hours and 3 minutes on the night of Michael's first day of school.

"As a fan I loved it. As a father, I wanted to kill him,'' Fenerty joked.

Ahead of the meet-and-greet, dad and son typed up a short note to Masterman School principal Jessica Brown written from Springsteen's perspective, hoping they could find a way to get him to sign it.

Bruce Springsteen and fan
The boy's father, Mike Fenerty, is a Springsteen superfan who has seen more than 160 shows. Courtesy Mike Fenerty

Michael was one of the few children in line to meet Springsteen, who lit up when he saw the boy and brought him up for a hug and a high-five, his dad said.

The elder Fenerty was then talking to Springsteen, who he knew socially in the 1980s, when his son pulled the folded note out of his pocket and asked him if he could sign it.

"(Springsteen) says, 'I gotta read it first. That's how I got in trouble with my first contract,''' Fenerty said. "Then he says, 'I hope you don't get in trouble!''

The father and son then stopped in the law office of a nearby colleague on the way back to school and made a photocopy of the note that they gave to Brown.

"When I talked to (Brown), she jokingly said, 'I think I can only excuse Michael's absence if you turn in the original note,''' Fenerty said. "I told my son and he said, 'I'll take my first detention.'''

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.