Bruce is the reason for everything in my life, in a way.


I got this tattoo as a way to show how Bruce inspires me. His music is what I always turn to when in my life I need something, wheter it’s to have fun, or to get away, or simply just to be.

Waiting on a sunny day is my family song, is me singing with my children. Working on a dream is what you do to have a dream fulfilled: you work. My dream was to be a firefighter, and I’m one now! It’s always important to have a dream, it keeps you alive inside.
No surrender it’s my song for my friends, it’s about friendship, for me.

So, that’s my tattoo, the three circles of life: Family, job and friends. And Bruce, who is the reason for everything in my life, in a way. And I’m sure in many of yours, too.

Sometimes in the blessed name of Elvis, you just let it blast!

I think we all agree on the low musical judgement, regarding the 92/93 world tour with the band of misfits en route. But I have to say that I was 16 at the time, it was my first show ever, and I have fond memories of the concert per se.
I remember me and my friend arriving at the big queue, two mommy’s sweethearts in jeans and bandana on the wrists meandering at the half of the queue, a guy from the security telling us to go back at the end of the line and one girl in queue saying Well if it’s just the two of them… Imagine something like this happening to one of us today? bahahah.
And so we entered, and waited, and waited.
I barely knew he had a new Band, that was not THE Band. But I onestly thought I would never see the E Street on stage, and that was the first time in my life I was going to see Bruce, and I was beyond excited. I remember the crowd in the parterre waiting for the show began to sing the Glory Days chorus, I’ve never heard that on the next tours.
I liked the opening with Better Days, to me it was one of the best opening ever (not beating Tenth Avenue, ok). Bruce soo young, smiling, lively, bouncing all over the stage. We think now he has energy on stage, and he does, but those days… well, younger crowd, younger band, and younger Bruce. With a black shirt with paramecium, long hair, and big big smiles, just happy to be onstage again.
And me, well, I was already on nirvana, I was so happy!
Born in the USA, that was the second song I was waiting for (ok, again, I was sixteen!), but when it happened I thought it strange, the drums not quite beating the right “beat”, Roy overflowing at the synth, it was too weak, too…blah.
I really liked Local Hero and Darkness, not so much If I should fall behind, I thought it lame, at the time. Nothing compared to the ’99 version, anyway.
57th Channels was good, with that intro “No justice No peace”, but besides that I thought it was a song with a meaning, with the video on Rodney King riots in LA, and all those channels and nothing worth watching, and our inability to be satisfied no matter what abundance we have. And how about if we shut it down and talk to each other, what a concept! I thought it had a strong message, but after that tour it simply vanished… he only got it back a little in Livin’ in a future, I think. And anyway that line: sometimes in the blessed name of Elvis, you just let it blast! is a really good one.
I really don’t remember a single moment of The river, my first The river, I want to kill myself right now.
Living proof was a really powerful one, I think because Bruce really felt for it.
My hometown was great, and Badlands was a blast: the crowd was goin’ crazy, beer flying everywhere, fists rising at the sky, jumping and shouting. A great one, with any band.
Leap of faith, that’s another of which I don’t have any recollection at all: and it’s one of those few songs for I’ll offer a relative to the altar of the Gods of Rock just to have a chance to hear it live, now.
Man’s job. Ok, that was my favourite of the two albums: at that time I was dating a girl older than me, and I listened to that song thinking it was about the work a real man has to do to be with an older woman. I know I was just deluding myself, but you read in a song what you want to read in it, sometimes.
Roll of the dice, too long, really, did not care for it.
Lucky town, a nice one, I really like this one. I think it’s a great rock song, very underrated in Bruce’s career.
Gloria’s eyes. Cover me, Brilliant Disguise, Real man, I don’t have any memories, complete fog.
Tougher than the rest, Patti on stage with a miniskirt, ended the song with a kiss.
Thunder road, I don’t remember it, not a second. How patetic is this?
Light of day, WOW, just WOWZA. That was the first time I hear of this song, but such energy, Bruce unleashed on stage…Great rock’n’roll moment.
Human touch, I honestly have to say that is not such a bad song as many fans think, in my opinion. Maybe it’s also because it’s the title track of one of the weakest albums of his career, but the song alone is good, for me.
Then Glory Days, Working on the highway -choosing a girl to dance onstage with him- and Bobby Jean (not a bad triptych, considering, ehn?): a lot of singing, and sweating, and rock’n’roll in full blast.
Hungry heart. I know there had been timid signs from Bruce’s side to try and sing it in a soul version, but as far as I can remember we anticipated the chorus, and it ended with him givin’up the choisters and he sang the old version. It’s funny because I think in general he does onstage what he actually wants… but in that tour, with Hungry Heart, it was like the crowd said: Ok new band, 4 years without a show, no Clarence, and you want to change H.H. too? No way! You sing it how WE want it!!! bahahah.
My beautiful reward, that was strange, ending a show with a slow piece, but it was actually beautiful. And anyways he didn’t end it: he remained onstage to annouce Born to run, and the crowd went crazy: people crying, shouting, girls tossed in the air, hats flying, my backpack opened while I was jumping spilling everywhere the contents, and I did not stop to collect any of them, someone even estinguished his cigarette on my pack! (at those medieval times you could smoke in a sports arena!). I am fully aware of the fact that really, today, that Born to run version would be easily classified as ugly, to be kind. But we were completely happy at that time, I went home on a perfect cloud of happiness and joy.
And so, what can I say… I know, that was not a great band, nor a great tour, in the history of Bruce’s tour. But I have really great great concert memories, and, well, let’s say that sometimes I wish it was ’92 all over again.

The influence of a good teacher can never be erased


Dear Bruce, I decided to write you since I did an English exam and I promised I would do it if I passed it. Well, everything went all right and now here I am to pay my debt with you.

It was in college that I really began to discover and appreciate you, to go beyond the easy listening of some of your songs, because I began to think about the lyrics. I had never studied English at school so I could hardly understand your songs, their words and their deep sense. I was taught my first steps in English by you and your music. It was a strange way to learn a foreign language, but I can say that it worked well: reading the words, translating and listening to the music were useful excercises! My life since then has gone in the direction I loved and I wanted: I am 46, I am a teacher, I teach Italian and Latin literature, I am a wife and a mother. And your music, your songs, your words have always been there with me. I did my journey through life with your music as soundtrack.

Recently, I decided that it was due time in my life to study English, for personal and professional reasons. Your example, your guide have been precious for me: when I did my English exam (just yesterday I had the results) I spoke about you and your music and I could use many words and sentences remembering your songs! The good result in English I had is dedicated to you, Bruce Springsteeen’s name is on it! My favourite songs of yours have always been Thunder Road, Born To Run, and Atlantic City: but it is really impossible for me to choose one: I love all of them. At school I’m thinking about doing a sort of thesis about your songs and/or to give my students some exercises of analysis of your songs as if they were poems (because, well, they actually ARE poems)

So, here I am: thank you for your help, Bruce, thank you for your job and your music. Just thank you.

Your fan, Rita (and thanks to my English teacher too 🙂 )

A man doesn’t wear rock’n’roll t-shirts


Do you remember that time when you picked my t-shirt from the floor, you wouldn’t give it back to me saying -laughing- that I was a grown up now, I was no kid, no more, and a man doesn’t wear rock’n’roll t-shirts? when you said that you would have preferred so much more to enclose my wrists in a fine shirt? Like they do in the movies I love, you said: they kiss, they pant, then to avoid censorship the camera moves to the ceiling, shadows, fade-out. Next scene, he is putting on his shirt, sometimes even before the briefs! And you laughed.

and I told you that I managed to wear a shirt myself, sometimes. And a nice one, a serious one too, not that polycrome shit worn on a t-shirt, and in any case could you just leave me alone on that, thank you very much?

Anyway yesterday I entered the classroom, I stopped on the doorway, and looked at the guys. They all had a shirt on, an “adult” shirt no less. All of them, laptop, mobile, jeans, shirt. I look down at my chest, and I see my old Born to run vintage t-shirt, a bit faded, worn just to the right point.

I look at my fellow students, all those shirts, all of the crapping them.

When I wear my shirt, do I lood adult, man, experienced as you do now?

Did you make arrangements in the night to come here dressed like men, did you set a whatsapp group in the night? and all of the same colors, all those light blues and whites, no stripes, button down! Aren’t you uncomfortable for a whole day in class? do you iron those things by yourselves? is there a dress code in college that starts somewhere in the middle of the semester and I lost the memo? And everyone is looking at me, eyes fixed on Bruce and Clarence.

But do you know even a fucking thing on Bruce and Clarence? do you even know who Clarence was? Just ask me, since you’re looking at him with so complete and utter fascination!

I’m sweating, I seat in the back of the classroom, and I look at them again, each and everyone of them. Maybe it’s envy, who knows, maybe it’s something inside me that I don’t understand yet, but screw them.

All of them, and you, even you, oh yes, even you.