Bruce Springsteen – The man, the music, the magic

26 Dec

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He’s The Boss. They are the E Street Band. We are The Fans.

And for the last four decades, on highways and byways, alleyways and train tracks, by planes, trains and automobiles, it’s been one hell of a ride.

So, does it matter therefore how Bruce Springsteen became The Boss, or why the mighty men and women came to be known as the legendary E Street Band? No, it doesn’t.  At the heart and the core of this journey of endurance has been this – it’s been a collective effort, with the companionship between Springsteen taking the wheel, the E Streeters riding shotgun and the legions of fans crammed into the backseat.

This is something the man is forever grateful for, an utterly rewarding and fulfilling career, from “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J” (January 1973) to “High Hopes” (January 2014), with worldwide album sales in excess of 120 million.

“I’m thankful that I have a dedicated, faithful audience that’s followed along with me a good part of the way. It’s one of my life’s great blessings—having that companionship and being able to rely on that companionship. You know, “companionship” means breaking bread with your brothers and sisters, your fellow human beings—the most important thing in the world! It’s sustained my family and me and my band throughout my life.”

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In the 1960’s, Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen got that first peek under the hood with a second-hand acoustic guitar bought by money saved up from paint jobs. Then he started tinkering on a Kent, a Christmas present from his mother and for the first time the youngster could stand what he was seeing. The engine properly purred into life with a Fender Telecaster, bought after signing with Columbia Records in 1972. Various models have since been added and discarded, with Springsteen making more than good on his promise of “I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk”.

Speaking the language of rock and roll to their “brothers and sisters” is what the man and his band of magical music makers know how to do best. It’s making that connection through the power of this unique ministry that has created a devoted following across the globe, underlined by nothing short of spiritual I-have-seen-the-light-experiences.

These familiarities of the millions of devoted followers have moved and moulded and changed with the times. Case in point – in the 70’s it was the tapes of the bootleggers Bruce called upon at his shows. Today it’s the famed request signs, hauled from city to city, country to country, and continent to continent.

Despite these wondering ways and racking up the miles, Springsteen himself always returns to the one place he calls home, music.

“But I’m looking forward to continuing my adventure with my friends and exhuming a few more of those mysteries and seeing where it takes us all.”

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And his friends have become our friends, the fans’ friends, that is the legendary E Street Band. We can name each one, cheer when new faces are added, cry when stalwarts are lost. It’s almost like we are all in the band too, and that’s a rock and roll thing, according to Stevie van Zandt. He should know, he’s one of the mighty men of this gang. (The E Street Band is finally getting recognition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 when they get the Award for Musical Excellence. Springsteen was inducted as a solo artist in 1999.)

Springsteen never wanted to be rich or famous or happy for that matter, he just wanted to be great. The accolades accumulated in a recording career spanning 40 plus years are testimony to this complete commitment to his craft. That’s all he’s ever had, all he’s ever lived for.

It’s in this being just Bruce Springsteen, by speaking to the heart and not the head, that he’s making that connection. It’s in this acknowledgement that ordinary people, folks like you and me, pay with blood, sweat and tears to be delivered from the eternal and everlasting power of rock and roll. He calls it a cooperative thing, wanting to grow together, becoming part of people’s lives.

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“You’re the reason that I’m out here right now, and that I’m going to push myself till it feels like my heart’s going to explode…

I want to get as far in your soul as I can, and I want to shake you and wake you up as intensely as I can and wake myself up in the same process…”

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One Response to “Bruce Springsteen – The man, the music, the magic”

  1. s0und0fmusic December 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Reblogged this on s0und0fmusic.

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