Bruce, Billy Joel, and even Barbra Streisand kept us busy for a long time. Michael Jackson probably paid off a quarter of my mortgage through overtime pay for Thriller and Bad.
Things slowed down badly for the plant in the mid-2000s. It was hurt by the advent of the iPod and dwindling DVD sales, and it stopped making Blu-ray discs.
When the layoffs began, the word from human resources was that I wouldn't be able to keep my job unless two veteran workers retired. One of them happened to bear a striking resemblance to the king of rock-and-roll, so to stay on the payroll, I needed Elvis to leave the building.
The first thing eliminated was our sick days, and raises became contingent on a series of evaluations. Next to go was the paid lunch break, which was hard for people working 12-hour shifts.
The plant occasionally resembled a high school when business was slow. During one midnight shift, an employee occupied himself by drawing a coworker's portrait on toilet paper. We did anything we could to keep ourselves going overnight.
Naturally, many of the older people who had been with the company a long time tried to hang on, holding out for better times. The alternative would be adjusting to a much lower starting wage with a new company - assuming you could get a job once you were over 50 and reentering the market.
Those with families didn't expect them to adjust easily. One of my best friends from the plant has four children, three of whom are autistic. Life wasn't easy for him even when he knew where his next paycheck was coming from.
As layoffs mounted, the company's insistence that employees were their No. 1 asset began to ring hollow. I finally decided to take a buyout in 2008.
Springsteen is over 60 now. The plant lasted longer than it had any right to by constantly reinventing itself. Records became CDs became DVDs became PlayStation games.
Some people are saying the music died in Pitman last week. But a lot of songs were remade and remixed over the 51-year life of the plant, and - brutal economy or not - people can be remade, too.
I hope the former Sony employees soon find the extended-play version of their careers, now that they can't be found in the darkness on the edge of town.
Bob Holt lives in Wenonah.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.