Today is the 60th birthday of my personal poet, Bruce Springsteen. Yes, he is 60-damn-years-old and he looks better than ever, in my opinion. But more important, he sounds great and his songwriting is as fresh, vibrant and relevant as it was over 35 years ago when he first came on the rock & roll scene. I have my high school boyfriend to thank for introducing me to his music way back in the ’80’s. Luckily I married someone who is as big a fan of the Boss as I am, because that would have been a deal breaker.
Bruce Springsteen is a musician who has grown. I wish for everyone to have a songwriter to follow all of your life. Especially one who will mature with you. It is a true gift and delight in my life for which I am very grateful.
I have been to not nearly enough of his concerts, but I remember each one vividly. I sat on the second row of his Tracks tour when my first daughter was four months old. I was breastfeeding her and I had never been away from her. I was recovering from food poisoning and had to put a Ziplock bag in my purse in case I threw up. I was that determined to go and it was completely worth it. His intensity and energy cauterized any germs that were left in my body and I was healed!
He doesn’t tell all the stories that he used to in his concerts. The Born in the U.S.A. concert was over 4 hours. His shows have the same atmosphere and side effects as a Southern tent revival. The music builds until you are in a crazed state, you find yourself standing up for 3 and half hours straight, eyes focused on the man in the center, you feel fevered. You start to feel like you want a shot of liquor or a deep kiss. And the Boss pushes you and all of the audience members until you are hoping he will just stop so you can rest your 40-year-old feet. He finally leaves the stage and you are spent: a wringing-wet-rag-of-a-person, still wanting more.
Don’t believe me? Spend some time with him. Thank you, Bruce Springsteen for giving me food for thought, a personal soundtrack and some fine memories for more than 25 years of my life. Happy Birthday, man! I have included some of his lesser known songs that are my favorites along with some interviews that you all will enjoy.
1. Proof of the Poetic
Listen, really listen to these words and tell me that is not poetry. I dare you.
2. Valentine’s Day
This one is for my friend Bob and his new little daughter, Norah.
3. When I’ve Lost Faith in the World…
I play this song over and over. On a bad day, I feel restored, or at least that I can face the world a little bit. Of course, it helps if your name is Jane. The audio version is better than the video.
4. Let Your Light Shine
Watch and listen to Springsteen and the Sessions band remake the Sunday School classic, This Little Light of Mine. You will be uplifted!
5. Fresh Air
Terry Gross has a dream job and this interview with Springsteen proves why.
7. Got 52 Minutes?
Watch the Boss open up to Charlie Rose. This interview was done in 1998, before 9-11, before the E Street Band got back together, before George W. Bush was president.
(If the above photo is yours, I will happily credit you! Just let me know who you are!)