Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now

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There’s this one first show in 1985 that I missed, and I’ve never really passed over that trauma. I’m not saying that I sit home mulling over my loss, but to be honest there’s always this tiny sense of sadness when I think about it. Because it was the first show he made in my Country, you see. And I was young, and simply that pain never completely goes away, that’s about all you have to say on youth. It sticks in your heart.

I really tried to convince my parents to let me go, I tried to wear them out with tears and criyng and silent treatment but it did not work, I was only 14 years old and for them sending their baby daughter to a rock show equalled to offering me to Satan himself.

So I tried to run away from home to go to the show, they caught me and we did not talk to each other for months, really.

And well, what can I say, I really really really tried hard to be there, but regardless everything, I wasn’t there. And regardless all that happened… I would try again!

 

Quite enough

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I enjoy Bruce as topic of general conversations, if someone brings him on and said someone is at least remotely competent on the subject. If he’s like Oh yeah Bruce Springsteen, the guy BOOORN IN THE UUU EEES EEEI (by the way, why is it that every time they mention BITUSA they try to sing it to you? why? do you think I’m not knowing the song? do you think you are singing it so well? Jeeez), anyways, if he’s some moron like this, I don’t even engage in this topic. But, you know, in normal talks, if some new co-worker says Oh I like this song, I really like Bruce Springsteen, I can share something with him/her. But usually I’m not the one who picks up Bruce as subject of casual chats, nor I’m trying to educate or convert someone on this hot topic of mine. Not anymore, I mean. When I was younger I made cassettes, compilations, suggestions, ’cause I really felt sorry for those who were missing Bruce in their life. I felt it was some kind of mission, oh My God I have to save you from your musical ignorance. But now, after so many years, I’m not trying anymore. I have my friends, my Bruce-buds, my history. I’m done with the religious militance. Like Oh yeah I know some Bruce Springsteen’s songs, I think I even have a couple of CDs at home.

-Which CDs?

– Oh I think Born to run and Darkness.

-Ok so you have at home Born to run and Darkness, and you don’t like Bruce Springsteen. You have THE ROAD open in front of you, and you still are here talking to me like he’s some kind of XF novelty. You know what? I’m out of here, you are on your own.

And then there’s LOVE

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Today is my mom’s birthday, and even if she’s no fan at all, I’d like to thank her on this page. She never tried to tear Bruce and his music apart from me, she never tried to call me out of this strange passion she did (and does) not understand. When I was a teenager and began to bring home Bruce’s vinyls, she just asked a couple of times So who’s this? an american right? mmmh, ok. And then another time she asked Is he a good guy? (like he was someone I could actually date, or take home to meet the parents!), is he taking drugs? is he violent? and when I said Yes no and no, that was it. She never raised the question again.

My parents let me go to my first Bruce show when I was 14 years old, and you know how they say, 14 years old in 1985 was not like 14 years old nowadays, that in a way is surely true. I asked my mom lately if that was in fact a big decision in my family, because I don’t actually remember any particular discussion on the subject. And she said Well, we were not happy, it was another era. You didn’t have cell phones, you had no way of controlling your teen (not that you can actually “control” them now, just saying) when far from home, sure it was a big decision: a girl, just 14, in another town, to a rock show… But your father said She wants to go, she’s not a baby, plus she’ll be with a couple of friends. And I said myself  You have to trust your children, sooner or later. You raise them, you try your better to warn them, to raise good human beings not too stupid. The rest, in the end, is up to them. And God. I spend the all evening praying until you came back home, screaming in the back yard BABY WE WERE BOOORN TO RAAAAAAAN waking up all the neighbors.

There was one time at a school meeting with parents, and I heard my friends’ mothers saying that their daughters were bat crazy about this strange new band called Duran Duran (!!!) and my mother said Well mine is crazy about an american rock singer… it’s just the age talkin’, they will grow up out of this. But I didn’t grow out of Bruce. And though she had to assist to many many many years of extreme fandomness on my part, she never told me Ok it’s time you understand that adults don’t spend all their money to travel around the world for rockstar concerts. She just complained a bit because she was worried I was not saving some money for my retirement fund (as if…), but for the rest she just says You work, you earn your money, you spend it on what makes you happy.

And many many years later there was this big advertisement sign for a Duran Duran Reunion (My God the horror) and all my co-workers were again bat shit crazy again for a night, you know, just that night: because they didn’t live their passion during the years, they grew out of it, and it was ok for them to re-live for few hours their teen years.

So the next day I was there to my mom’s for a cup of tea and I told her See? I’m still here, Bruce and vinyls and rock’n’roll and everything. I loved him then and I’ve not changed like all my classmates did, in this passion.

And she said Well there’s love, you know… and then there’s LOVE.

 

 

Guilty, your Honor

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Without Bruce Springsteen’s music my life would be easier. Yes. I’m serious. And it’s not a “better – worse” question.
Before bumpin’ into the crowd’s roar at “Born in the USA”, followed a few minutes later by a “father vs. son” speech introducing “The River”, music for me was just, you know, entertainment. Fun. Dance floors and easy-listening.

After those few minutes, I realized that some kind of music can change lives: it will become a lifetime companion, it will never betray you, if you let her into your heart. Your life will change, and in better.
Ok, and that’s the positive part. Problems start to arise when you start thinking “Wow, if music make people feel better that way, and I wanna try to make people feel better, well, I can try playin’ music!”. That’s when things get complicated.

Because you have to deal with doors slammed in your face, relationship failures, nights spent awake driving in the cold, broken backs carryin’ guitars, amps, drums, just some examples.
But hey, there’s a few rewards, if you’re lucky enough. It’s your dreams, and life at large, and your audience’s dreams, and life at large, that melt together when you’re on stage.
And you, and them, you all feel better. And believe me, if doesn’t matter if there’s only one guy or millions in the audience. (ok, I have to admit I’ve got a better experience in the one-guy-option…).
And if you’re luckier, this happens also when you jump off the stage.
So, for all this and all what I’m dealing with since 1994, there’s only one man you’ll find guilty.
Bruce Springsteen.
I hope now you’ll understand what I mean when I say “easier life” a few lines ago, and maybe you’ll also find an answer to the “better – worse” question.
I got a pretty good idea about it.