Tolling for the aching ones

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It’s July 19th, 1988. Bruce is already a worldwide famous rockstar. He’s been asking for years to play in East Berlin, and finally they give him approval. He’s there with the E Street Band. The unmissable bootleg it’s called Behind the wall, and is not so astounding, as sound. But you don’t listen to this one for the audio; you hear out the emotions of that day. He opens the show with Badlands, not Tunnel of love, discarded even if it’s the tour album title track. He needs something more than a ride on a tunnel to love, to speak to this crowd.

You imagine the smiles of those kids in that evening, their yearning for freedom and desire to express themselves all compressed in one shout to the sky with their fist raised in the air: Born in the USA. Each person lost in the crowd, yet together. 180.000 people, probably more.  With that first shout, Bruce greets them. It’s good to be here, he says, and that he likes to imagine for them a future with no barriers, then starting Chimes of Freedom.

The Wall would fall one year later. I like to think that some of those kids gathered a little courage and strenght to fight for their freedom from this day too.