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Flashback: Taylor Swift Mashes Up Bruce and Bon Jovi at 2011 Jersey Gig

Taylor Swift emerged from a long performance hiatus on Saturday night when she inducted Carole King into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and she kicked off the night with a synth-pop rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”

“I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know Carole King’s music,” Swift said. “I was raised by two of her biggest fans, who taught me the basic truths of life as they saw it: That you should treat people the way you want to be treated, that you must believe that you can achieve whatever you want to in life, and that Carole King is the greatest songwriter of all time.”

Swift has been paying tribute to her heroes since the earliest days of her career. After all, her debut single was called “Tim McGraw.” And her early arena shows were packed with covers of songs by the likes of Gwen Stefani, the Beach Boys, Justin Timberlake, Green Day, and Britney Spears.

She often used the cover portion of the night to honor local heroes, which is why she played Britney Spears’ “Lucky” in Bossier City, Louisiana; Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in Detroit; and Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” in Vancouver, BC. When she came to Newark’s Prudential Center in July 2011, she couldn’t seem to pick between Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, so she covered them both. Here’s video of her truncated takes on “Dancing in the Dark” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.” In the fan-shot clip, you can hear a Swifty freak out when she realizes what she’s playing.

This is the only time Swift has covered a Springsteen song in her career, and they’ve never played together, but we’re holding out hope that she’ll bring him out for “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),” “I’m on Fire,” or “Thunder Road” the next time she hits the road. They’re two of the greatest stadium acts on the planet, and it’s long past time they finally rocked one together.

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