I like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. A lot. Let me rephrase that. An awful lot. It was always in me though it took a long time to come out. My first experience was at a Chicago concert in Philly at the legendary Spectrum in Philadelphia, a very very long time ago. Bruce was the opening act. I don’t recall much from that show but I do remember that the sold out crowd that night did not want the guy to leave the stage. And I remember thinking, “who are these guys?” It was as if the folks in the audience were not there to see the main act but who was opening for them. The experience never left my mind.
Years later it was a movie that pushed me closer to the E Street edge. It was called “No Nukes” and was one of many concert films of the day. This one had a host of rockers like Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and of course, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. There is a scene backstage with Browne as he is walking down a hallway and all you can hear is the audience screaming “Bruuuceeee” at the top of their lungs. Again I asked, “Who are these guys?” And then through the power of that movie and the performance of that band on screen I was hooked – really hooked.
There was an intensity from each band member that I had never seen before. A synergy between Bruce and Clarence Clemons and Little Steven Van Zandt that spoke to the love and friendship they seemed to enjoy. They looked like they were enjoying themselves more than I was watching them. That hasn’t changed some thirty-odd years later. Even after countless shows it hasn’t changed. So now it is a part of my life. The music. All of it. I listen to them almost every day. It has guided me and at times kept me company through some dark moments. It has inspired me, made me think and most importantly reminds me of the compassion we should have for our fellow man. I was taught that by my parents. Bruce just reinforced it. In the words to his songs and in all he stands for. I don’t always agree with him but I think he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Here’s a clip of the Boss getting the Medal of Freedom Award this week.
“One sunny mornin’ we’ll rise I know, And I’ll meet you further on up the road”