Back to the roots

1-sottIn 1985 I was seventeen and missed what could have been my first Bruce’ show, I lived too far from the town where he played to have permission to go, I was in school with the summer session exams and no friend of mine was going. Still, my life changed anyway, I remember the desperate search for the bootleg after the show, a vinyl one with lots of imperfections that anyway was able to satiate my desire to understand, to live a little what that concert had been. I still have that bootleg and when I listen to it it’s always a great emotion, even if it’s old, scratched, with audio flaws and the set list order rearranged to get space for the whole show in the various discs.

So I dedicate this one to everyone who in 1985 saw the lights of that stage for the first time, got on the Bruce bandwagon at that show and have never got off. Bruce was in tour with the Born in the USA circus, lots of gigs, also overseas, and many lives changed from that moment on. For most of them it was the beginning of a love affair still wondrous now, 30 years later, a story made of immense hype building pre-shows, mad runs, boring lines, miles and miles of traveling, planes, hitch-hiking, sleepless nights, more boring lines, bad sandwiches, warm beer, cold rain, red lines on the head for the sun, wristbands, rollcalls, pits, blood brothers, promised lands to reach, dreams to follow, serenades in New York City, thunder roads and backstreets, Sandy, Candy, Rosie and lots of Mary, no restreats, glory days, changes made uptown.

Talk about the love story of a lifetime!

PS. Love the piece with Clarence, what a couple!

 

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Burning love for the F** die hard

firenzeThree years ago, in Firenze, Italy, one of those magic shows occurred. One of “those” terrific, wonderful, once-or-two-in-a-tour concerts, in which everything can happen, and happens: pouring rain during the entire show, a friend of mine losing forever not one but two mobile phones, Bruce choosing a Burning love sign (and you know, Bruce playin’ Elvis…), another friend of mine dancing in the rain at the end of the field, all the members of our group scattered somewhere in the pit, Bruce opening Darlington County with Honky Tonk Women (and you know, Bruce playin’ the Stones…), and the Apollo Medley and The river, and it’s raining like forever, and I’m tired, and I’m hungry, and my neck is froze, and my nose is froze, and my ears are froze, and my toes are froze, we began with raincoats and such but at the end we are simply drowning, and still he’s playing like a man possessed up there, and tomorrow he plays another show and we have to drive for like 5 hours and I’m like No, no more, why am I doing this at 44 for God’s sake, and then he calls Twist & Shout and a perfect stranger just alongside me dressed in a pink waterproof jacket turns towards me and asks laughing Should we dance? And let’s dance, by all means!

firenze2Because suddenly I remember WHY I’m doing this at 44, it’s the power of rock’n’roll, and that man upstairs, drowning in the rain just like us, laughing while providing the redeeming power of his music, calling at the very end ONE MORE FOR THE FUCKIN’ DIE HARD fans, and starting Who’ll stop the rain, because nobody will stop that, but still we do not back down.

So, can you be completely soaked and free and truly truly happy? of course you can, it’s a Bruce show!

do you have any pictures of yourselves under the deluge for Bruce? share some with us!

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If we are here, they are here

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This a picture so very special to me. My grandma and my father, and me in my mother’s lap. We are all smiling, happy in the summer, no worries in our world. It’s really tough to accept that half of that picture is missing now. Still, I have this picture, this simple image of a small happy family in the seventies, with all our life in front of us.

You understand a parent’s love also in their desire to see all their children’s dreams to be fulfilled. It was spring 1992, and my mother had a son fixed on this american rocker from New Jersey,  who was not coming overseas since 1988… I don’t exactly remember how, but I do remember that she went through a lot of trouble to get me two tickets for my first Bruce concert, pre-internet era, living in a relatively small town. But in the end my mom ended me my tickets, it was one of the great unforgettable joys of my life, and I remember that she was so happy for me, just because I was happy for a dream come true, I still have no words to explain how special she was to me because she tried with all her heart to fulfill a little kid’s dream. That’s how mom loves.

Ten years later it was my turn to bring my parents to a Bruce ‘s show, me in the field with my friends waving happily back at the upper sections where they were seated.

It’s true that they don’t die as long as we love them, and in this, they’ll forever live with me.

 

 

 


Those romantic young girls…

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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!

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