Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bruce @ 60

Bruce Springsteen turned 60 this week.

A marker of time noted by many including none other than Brian Williams on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News. Perhaps a fitting tribute for a man who was introduced to the world through dueling covers of Time and Newsweek. Still, Bruce is the only "Next Dylan" to have matched the hype.

I found Bruce in high school when I traded an LP of Queen's Jazz to a friend for an 8-track of Born to Run. (Best Trade Ever!) From the opening harp of "Thunder Road," lights flicked on where none had existed. My life had changed in a chord change. The next week I went out and bought his first two albums and signed up for the journey. Bruce didn't disappoint. It continues to be a great ride.

As an artist, he has always pushed himself to greater limits and musical exploration through the years. Not always successful. I still find Devils & Dust dreadful. However, Tunnel of Love and Lucky Town have grown to become beloved additions to my collection after an early dismissal.

His music is true. The shows, even now, are blissful 3-hour marathons testifying to the power of rock n' roll. I've had the pleasure of seeing Springsteen and the E Street Band perform several times and each time they deliver on the promise of rock and roll. The promise of passion, rebellion, freedom, faith and community - with a thundering beat. Just as when they started out along the Jersey Shore, Springsteen and friends remain the World's Greatest Party Band.

For your listening pleasure, Bruce explains how he chose rock as his profession during the legendary 1978 Agora Ballroom concert in Cleveland. It is a Big Smile.

Growin' Up (Live)” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (mp3)

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