The thought of going through high school in the 70’s or college in the 80’s without knowing who Bruce Springsteen was seems quite impossible to me. He remains for me one of the more interesting musical figures in my life. I cannot say I am his most avid fan because that would imply that my music collection would include his entire catalogue. I do not have even half of his entire catalogue nor do I want it. Of course, if you want to buy it for me then please knock yourself out. I will say however that the music I have is wonderful and meaningful.
One of the great things about the movie Dazed and Confused is that it captures so nicely what going to high school in the 70’s was like. The fact that the movie is about a high school in Texas only makes it more relevant to me. It certainly captures what high school life was all about. During football season life revolved around Friday night games whether you attended, played or were belonged to the band or drill team or even a cheerleader. Saturdays were something else. There wasn’t really a lot of discussion of what we would do. Sometimes there might be a party, sometimes you might break the monotony up by going to a movie. Maybe you were lucky and actually went out on a date. Regardless, invariably you ended up driving around, whether doing an official drag, or cruise spot or something like what my school did which was mostly piling into a car, driving around and listening to music. That meant, 8 tracks. Most groups who hung out with each other had their go to selections. My group always had the Cars, Journey, if we were smoking weed, and I am not saying we were, it was the Outlaws Green Grass and High Tides, and it most certainly included Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. It was a universally loved song and I am betting that like me and my group part of the magic was figuring out during the pause when that count would start….1, 2, 3, 4 and the ensuing laughter at missing it or boasting that you nailed it. Forty years later when I hear that song, I still do the same thing and laugh when I miss it and rejoice when I hit it.
In my senior year 80-81 Springsteen released The River, a double album I bought on vinyl and still have. I went on a double date to see him live that year and its still one of the greatest shows I have ever seen. That girl was so special to me, still is. I remember sitting on her floor in her room and listening to that album which was why I asked her to go in the first place. That entire album makes me think of her and that amazing concert.
College life was all about the album Born in the USA. The album has not held up well to me. In fact, the album wore pretty thin in a very brief time, but I still love the title track and Dancing in the Dark. Bruce lost me with the album Tunnel of Love although I have that album. I was content to let Bruce stay as a beautiful memory and then I saw the documentary The Promise which was actually about the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town. I wanted to follow up on that documentary and went back and bought Darkness. I had never heard the album in its entirety before and it was instant love. The album is my favorite from Bruce Springsteen.
So, I developed an interest in Springsteen’s later albums mostly falling in love with the albums The Rising, and Magic. It just seems that for every stage of my life Bruce Springsteen has been there and its impossible for me not to think how wonderful that is because I can say that about so few artists. If you have never seen the Bruce Springsteen show that he did on Broadway then I highly recommend it. You will find yourself laughing, crying and just loving every single minute. I saw it on Netflix but I am not sure if its still there. If it is then the show is very much worth your time.