Tag Archives: Bruce buds

A lifelong affair

28 Jul

A year ago today I stood under a blue Irish sky. Before me, a stage of possibilities. Behind me, a brother and sisterhood. Within me, a heart of anticipation.

I was in Kilkenny to rekindle a fire. I didn’t know. It was a long absence, 14 years. Would I be able to stoke the ambers once again?

I needn’t have feared.

As they made their way into the open one by one, it started to flicker and glow. Pretty soon it was a raging blaze.

I can remember it as if it was yesterday.

“Good evening, good evening Kilkenny! I want you to raise your voices. I want you to clap your hands. I want you to join us in the celebration of the eternal, everlasting, ass-kicking, unifying power of rock and roll! Alright, here we go… This little light of mine…”

  1. rollingstone.co.za/opinion/item/2726-fans-like-us-baby-we-were-born-to-follow

That night Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band set of a year of the most magical of experiences. My wild-wild ride started in Kilkenny on the Emerald Isle, swept down to Cape Town at the southern tip of Africa, up to Johannesburg, all the way across the Atlantic to US soil and Atlanta, Sunrise and Tampa.

It’s been a roller coaster of delight with Bruce buds and E Street fans, old and new, you all know who you are. The queuing, the lists, the roll-calls, the thirst, the hunger, the sun, the rain, the heat, the cold, the blistered feet, the lack of sleep, the running, the standing, the sitting, the waiting. And then you do it again, and again, and again… I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It may only be rock and roll, but it sure feels like love. This is a lifelong affair.

Where words fail, pictures speak…

28 July 2013: Kilkenny

springsteen_kilkenny_28 july 2013


26 January 2014: Cape Town



bruce_26 jan 2014 (42)


28 January 2014: Cape Town

bruce_28 january 2014_liryn de jager (16)


29 January 2014: Cape Town

bruce springstreen_29 january 2014_liryn de jager (10)


1 February 2014: Johannesburg

bruce springsteen_1 feb 2014_liryn de jager  (4)


26 April 2014: Atlanta

springsteen_atlanta_26 april 2014 (18)


29 April 2014: Sunrise

springsteen_sunrise_29 april (11)


1 May 2014: Tampa

springsteen_tampa_1 may (26)





An open letter to my fellow Bruce buds

9 Feb

bruce buds

Sunday morning, it is raining, a soft drizzle, a mist blanket hovering, visibility murky. That is the world outside. On the inside nothing could be clearer – the sense of community, of togetherness, of a shared experience that cannot be rivalled. And I am part of it.

It is something that is hard to describe with just the right words in the right places, and maybe it shouldn’t even be attempted. Accept it for all that it was, and remember that for a moment, it was the authority of music that stopped time, that created an invisible but at the same time unbreakable bond. Between the Bruce buds who is a radio presenter and long lost sista’ from Ireland, a doctor from Philadelphia, an oil and gas man from the United Kingdom, a brother from Germany, a burger eating lass from London, an abled-spirited soul from Italy, a throng of other locals and citizens of the world, the list is endless. No names needed, you all know who you are… That’s another thing; you don’t need to know a thing about someone, not even what title or term they answer to, if they belong to this club, that’s all you need to know.

I am reflecting…

A week has passed since Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band mesmerised me and close on a 100 000 people for the first time on South African soil, and I’m suffering from the Bruce blues, badly. Does it mean he changed my life in such a way that I am now ready to shave my head and join a cult? No. But through the magic and mystery of his musical genius he has brought something so, mmm (now I’m struggling to find just the right word…), profoundly intense that it needs to be harnessed and harvested, collected and cultivated. If I have to give it a name and put a label on it, let’s call it being Brucified.

Yes, the man at centre stage and his jolly sidekicks use rhythm and rhyme to take a hold on mind, body and soul and to hang on for dear life, not letting go for nothing. However, it is about so much more than this. Like The Boss himself has said, and I couldn’t agree more: “Treat it like it’s all we have. Then remember, it’s only rock ‘n roll.”

Looking from the outside in, it may indeed seem like a strange, strange world to those who are not privy to this unique life and lingo. One that consists of lists and roll calls, of carefully constructed signs and sun-kissed skin, of much sought after wrist bands and set list lusting. And don’t forget thrown about comments like “Do I have a B tattooed on my forehead?” and “I will have kids when Bruce stops touring”.

But it’s exactly through the ass-kicking and everlasting power of rock ‘n roll that ties are created, the ties that bind. Friendships are formed, for life; experiences are shared, forever; it will be all and nothing, now and always.

The last words should undoubtedly belong to the man responsible for all this. From Bruce Springsteen’s lips to our ears and our hearts, I say thank you, Bruce and the E Street Band, and thank you, Bruce buds…

I don’t even know why, I don’t know why I made this call
Or if any of this matters anymore after all

But the stars are burnin’ bright like some mystery uncovered
I’ll keep movin’ through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother