Bruce Springsteen’s birthday is this week (September 23rd). He’ll be 62, a boomer. In fact, I would argue that “The Boss” is now the “Boomer in The USA.” (picture that famous blue jean butt shot, only now he’s wearing relaxed fit jeans). Bruce Springsteen is OLD. Before you judge me, hear me out about this difficult birthday.
I love Bruce Springsteen just as much as you, probably more. I lined the walls of my hallway with his album covers, in chronological order. Judge me.
I remember all the details of my first Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band concert. It was life changing, on several levels. It was December, 1978 - I rode 6 hours with two buddies across the barren winter landscape of Southern Kentucky to Carbondale, Illinois. One of the guys had dined on Krystal burgers the night before, the other was had a nasty rattling cough, not exactly a journey through paradise. But once inside the arena, none of that mattered. Once the lights went down and the opening notes (Badlands) hit me, I was smitten. He actually opened that night with (High School Confidential) a Jerry Lee Lewis cover, but it was (Badlands) that connected.
So when I picked up my smart phone this morning and saw the reminder about Bruce’s birthday, the years unexpectedly hit ME. 16 shows, 1,000’s of smiles and 2 face to face meetings, my life in Springsteen years. I can count all the blessings and heartbreaks in my life and notate them with a Springsteen song as the soundtrack. Judge me.
Bruce’s birthday! I should be in a celebratory mood. But funny thing about birthdays, unlike most things - you don’t get better at them the more you do them. The years have a way of wearing away the surprise and shine. The sugar frosting high doesn’t thrill as much.
This year, as I always do on his birthday, I’ll play a Springsteen track. What to play? I’ve been stuck on (Meeting across the River) since long-time sax player Clarence Clemons passed from complications of a stroke on June 18th. But, that track is not the right note, not the right tone,…because Bruce Springsteen is OLD, and I need something to assure me that I’ll get there too!
Photos by George Lindsey & Piano Piano