Hold on tight, stay up all night...

Something about the warm weather makes me want to listen to Bruce Springsteen. Maybe it’s because I’m from New Jersey. There’s something magic (yeah, I said MAGIC) about driving along a Jersey highway (and Lord knows, we have enough of those here) and hearing the opening strains of "Thunder Road" or "Badlands" or "Rosalita" or "Born to Run" or any number of other songs. Your heart gets a little lighter, you roll the window down a little further, and you push the accelerator a little harder. And you sing A LOT louder.

(To clarify- I’m referring to the Bruce of the 70s. Young Bruce. The liberating, confiscating Bruce who wanted to be your man. The one who found magic in the night. The one who knew everything would be all right as long as he had his guitar and his car. And Mary, of course. [Or Wendy or Rosie or Sandy …] By the time Born in the USA came out in 1984, the disappointment that started creeping in on Darkness on the Edge of Town and the River had really taken hold. The glory days have passed you by, the jobs ain’t coming back to your hometown ...)

But I haven’t always accepted Bruce Springsteen as my personal Boss. In fact, I used to slag him off to everyone who would listen. For one, I didn’t want to be a Jersey cliché. You admit to liking Bruce Springsteen and the next thing you know, people are making “Which Exit?” jokes. And those jokes have never, ever been funny. (But there’s no use denying the Jerse. It’s far too powerful.) Secondly, Springsteen is utterly devoid of irony. And, as I am a part of the Arched Eyebrow Generation, I find unbridled sincerity unsettling. So I resisted. But after awhile, I stopped groaning every time my friend Jason put on the Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle. And I started including "Rosalita" on mix tapes. (Or "Atlantic City," if I was feeling contemplative.) But, I told myself; I’m not a Fan.

So. Summer 2003. Tour dates are announced. Jason had an extra ticket to the first night at Giants Stadium; did I want it? Hesitantly, I accepted. Visions of drunk, middle-aged accountants doing the Courteney Cox dance filled my head.

And you know what? There were plenty of drunken middle-aged accountants. And there were parents with their teenaged children. And aging hippies. And hipsters. And bikers. And everyone was singing along to every song. And everyone was doing the Courteney Cox dance. And everyone was happy. I was completely unnerved. And then Bruce looked over at Little Steven. And he nodded. And the band launched into "Rosalita." And there was no use fighting it anymore. I opened my mouth and sang along.


Blogger d said...

me & my mom were watching a springstreet concert on tv & we both turned to look at each other during a particularly energetic number, in a "he's not bad" way. then my mom said (in spanish) where's the girl? I had no idea what she was talking about. I think I got it the next day.

I too, have a case of bruce denial. I'm working on it. & any day now, I expect a bruce mix from a true blue fan (ahem). it's not the boss' fault. I blame gym teacher ray, one of the many people that would drive me to school when I was a kid. he would blast born to run every freakin' day & pump his fist out the window. so naturally, I equate it with yonkers & that oh no! school feeling.

5:16 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger punk ass g said...

Embrace the Boss. He's honest and he's sexy! Yes, I said it, SEXY! And every single one of you who's ever been to a Springsteen concert joined right on in with schoolgirlish glee, (yes, I said it, GLEE!), when they turned on all the lights in the stadium for Born to Run! And those of you who have never been are missing out. I've always said, I don't judge people from other states who don't like Bruce, 'cause they just don't know. And anyone from NJ who doesn't like Bruce was probably born in another state.

11:31 AM, April 27, 2005  
Blogger RRoses said...

D, the mix is coming...l SWEAR!!!

5:28 PM, April 27, 2005  
Blogger d said...

all I know is someone needs to fill me in on this angel eyes song...which album? what period bruce? question marks?

11:22 AM, April 28, 2005  

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