Bruce Springsteen has made some awesomely entertaining music. I think it’s called Stadium Rock when Springsteen and his longtime partners the E Street Band would unleash tsunamis of energy that would flood entire stadiums. Their shows are legendary epic events which have been rocked faces off for decades.
But Springsteen the songwriter, that’s beyond entertainment. He has an uncanny gift for reaching inside and seeing what’s there.
When he spoke of restless youths stuck in blue-collar ghettos of New Jersey suburbs dreaming of a freedom they only ever got a fleeting taste of when they jumped into their muscle cars and floored the pedals, shit, even I got it, and I was a Ugandan university student who was scared to drive.
When he spoke of how those dreams were broken, when he spoke of how something rose from the wreckage to defy its own doom with the mere but the glorious act of merely surviving, I got it.
From Born to Run to Growin Up to Nebraska to Lucky Town to Human Touch to Born in The USA to Darkness on The Edge of Town to Promised Land to Jungleland to No Retreat No Surrender to the sublime Thunder Road to Into The Fire to Worlds Apart to When You Need Me to Back In Your Arms to I’ll Work For Your Love, I got it. The songs this guy writes set a tuning fork in my own soul resonating.
Now, you may not feel the same way about Bruce Springsteen. Millions of people around the world have, for forty years, but, as always, that means there are millions more who haven’t. As I said about Michael Jackson, if your music is strong enough to be loved, it is strong enough to be hated.
But I hope if you don’t feel this way about Bruce, you feel this way about some singer somewhere, or some writer, or some painter, or someone.