It was the mid- eighties, and in my Country -Uruguay – Democracy was returning. I was entering my teenage years and I thought I could change the world, I was proud, happy, confident.
I can’t remember exactly when it started, if it was in 1984 with Born in the USA or in 1985 with USA for Africa, but I perfectly remember where and because of who it started.
It was at my friend’s Giselle house, she was mad about this american rock’n’roll singer. At home, in those years we basically did not listen to North American music, and anything that came from the USA was looked upon with suspicion. But there was this man standing tall on his stage, showing his muscles and shouting, with this voice so different from the ones I was accustomed to, telling things I did not understand yet.
My friend was completely in love with him, translating for me all his lyrics, together trying to understand all the deep, hidden significance, not always succeeding. And in that way I let myself be carried away to Bruce’s world, and his music entered my life and had been with me till today.
In 1988, we were in the stage of full teen-fandome, and we heard about the Amnesty show that would have led Bruce -among with other great artists – to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to end the Human Rights Now! Tour. We
thought it was a sign of fate that for the first time in, well, FOREVER, he would have been so close to us, “merely” just about a thousand kilometres! But we were 14 years old, and the world was very different then. Teen girls didn’t go out alone, didn’t decide what
to watch on TV, nor where to go on vacation and much less went alone to rock concerts of NORTH AMERICAN singers. It
was impossible to think that we could have the opportunity to go to a
rock show in another country, but when you are 14th you think big, and nothing seems really impossible. So we asked our families, and I
remember the exact moment when we told our parents; we had conjured to have the support of our older brothers, who anyway wanted a chance to go too. And I don’t know how, I still don’t know
how, but our parents said “yes”. Of course not immediately, there
was the economic problem too. Now I think that maybe the fact that it was a festival promoting the Human Rights movement had influenced their decision, plus the region was living a cultural rebirth moment, and a celebration of political liberty too.
So, October 15th 1988, after a long, whole night on a bus, traveling from Montevideo, we arrived in Buenos Aires. That day a great part
of my affective and musical life was defined, living such an experience in your teenage years leaves a mark in your soul, and mind, forever.
And since it had been a real religious experience, I kept all the
possible memories of that day: the ticket was always hanged in my
room’s wall and I even kept the clothes I wore that day.
From this point on Bruce became the music of my life, I studied English with passion to understand all of his lyrics, I like to say that we grew up together, I became older and he was always there with me . The themes of his lyrics evolved, and I realized I wasn’t going to change the world, in the end. I felt in love, then married, one of his songs playing in the background, I named my son Bruno, to honor him. Time passed, life went on, and little by little, year after year, I lost the faith on the possibility to see Bruce again in my life. Then, one day the rumors started, the articles talking about the chance that he could actually come back to South America, I started to dream again.
Since the day I read an interview with Steve Van Zandt in June, 2012, where he said that the band should return to Argentina I started the countdown, not only to see him again after 25 years but I also felt that, month after month, day after day I was losing years to return 14th again, because that’s how I felt inside. You cannot possibly understand me, if you have not dreamed for 25 years to see another concert of his, to be again at a Bruce’s show. And, for all the dreams I’ve had, I could never really imagine what I finally experienced.
One year before the actual date of the show, when rumors started,
I met on the Internet an Argentinian group that had started a petition asking Bruce to come back to Argentina, then I befriended the people of a Latin America fan club called “Greetings from Argentina” and that’s how I get to meet
ten Uruguayans that are now my Bruce buds, my real good Bruce friends.
What was generated among all these persons, Argentinians, Uruguayans, Chileans, Venezuelan, Peruvians, all waiting for the big
news, connected via Facebook daily, hour after hour of waiting and dreaming, is something I’d really like to see in a book. So my personal dream of 25 years had come to an end, it had become
something even bigger, not only I was dreaming for me now, but for all my friends, all these persons who had waited for years, out there with me. That’s quite a connection, it’s a love shared in a circuit, and therefore later, when the show came, my happiness also embraced theirs all.
The concert took place on September, 2013, I was in the first
row, and I remember it by moments, something like my “entire life
flashing by” I was also so moved looking around me and seeing the same expression on all my friends face, I knew which particular song each of them was expecting, and then seeing their faces when it was played, their love for Bruce in that moment, I still have goosebumps remembering.
And the good thing is we maintained that friendship even after the show, what we lived together in those days in Buenos Aires is another of the great gifts that Bruce has left us, one for I’ll be forever thankful.
The show, all in all, was a huge, gigantic bonus track for me, because the day before I had the chance to greet Bruce in person. I had never dreamt to actually meet him, that was beyond my dreams.
The night he arrived into town we froze outside the hotel but he didn’t
show up. I had with me the vinyl of “My hometown” and the ticket
from the Amnesty show, my treasure. The next day we waited for
hours and finally he appeared. When I saw him coming towards us I
couldn’t believe he was real, that he was actually THERE. I had to
make an effort to understand that this was Bruce in front of me, I was too overhelmed, my brain was overloaded! In the hours spent waiting for him I thought that given the chance to actually see him, I would probably faint, and certainly become mute.
So when he was next to me I only passed him the ticket through
the fence silently, trying not to embarassing myself. He started
to automatically sign it, and then from somewhere in the outer space and totally calm I began to talk to him, telling him that He was holding my treasure, my ticket from his one and only show I had the luck to see, 25 years ago. He answered “Really? I can’t believe it!”
and then, tenderly, he passed his hand through the fence and
caressed my face.
I was in shock, my brain utterly shut down.
He looked at me, then again at the ticket, and said “Wooow, this is
amazing”, as if he thought strange, in a way, that he could have fans loyal to him, in a place he had quite never visited.
I came back from heaven and told him that I couldn’t wait for him 25 extra years, and asked him to come back soon. He laughed, with
this big and sincere laugh we all know (I made Bruce laugh! how wonderful is that?), then he signed my vinyl too and left. I turned
back and saw my husband smiling, we hugged so very close, and cried.
After a while I looked at the ticket, he had drawn a heart with
exclamation marks under his autograph.
My treasure of 25 years was now sporting a heart drawn by Bruce, talk about giving a sense to your dreams!
Greetings from South America, all you Bruce fellow fans!