Rocker Bruce Springsteen helped to raised $250,000 (£166,670) for wounded U.S. veterans on Wednesday (06Nov13) by auctioning off the guitar around his neck at a New York benefit gig.

The Born to Run legend was among the line-up of performers at New York Comedy Festival's Stand Up For Heroes fundraiser at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, and he even tried his hand at a few dirty jokes after funnymen Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Jim Gaffigan all kept their acts clean.

Walking onstage, he said, "I'm puzzled. I think this is the first night of comedy for a soldiers' audience where the entire night went by without anybody telling any dirty jokes. I don't get it. I can't let that happen..."

After landing a few laughs with his sex jokes, he performed a trio of songs, including a cover of Suicide's 1979 song Dream Baby Dream and his rock anthem Dancing in the Dark, and then invited fans to bid on his acoustic guitar.

He even offered up a free one-hour lesson and invited the winning bidder to attend a recording session at his New Jersey home, pushing the final figure up to $250,000.

The figure helped swell the night's charity figure to $750,000 (£500,000). The cash will help aid injured servicemen and women through newsman Bob Woodruff's Stand Up For Heroes organisation.

British rocker Roger Waters also performed at the annual event, taking the stage with a band of wounded warriors for renditions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come and John Lennon's peace anthem Imagine.