This wild bunch of incurable rock’n’roll romantics

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In the end, you don’t jump on another plane to join one more queue just for the music or the personal statistics on songs and concerts seen. You move to the next show, and you answer to the very same question co-workers and relatives pose you each time, “But haven’t you seen him ten times already?” (and these are the same people who each friday order in the same restaurant the same burger year after year after year, not to mention they spend their vacation for ten or twenty years on the same place in the same month, just sayin’) for one very good reasons. Your friends, the Bruce buds you meet right before or after the show, they are not part of your everyday’s life, but they are IN your life much more than some old faces you have to see in your day every ten minutes.
You see them tour after tour, and this is goin’on from years now, you joke on the growing of your potbelly and kids, and on the receding line in your hair.
Your beards can be greysh, ok let’s say they are more grey than any other color, but you look around during the show and you see your friends jumping and laughing like ten or twenty, or thirty years ago, this wild bunch of incurable rock’n’roll romantics, and you love them just like they love you.
And that’s why you do it, not just for Bruce and the Band.

 

That first time you are among other Bruce fans, and you feel home.

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In 1995 Bruce announced the Solo Acoustic Tour, that would have arrived in Europe in spring 1996. That was pre-internet era, and pre-cell phones too: we did not know in advance the dates of the shows or the locations, let alone the day of the ticket sales. You just have to ask directly the shops (or you could phone them, but the clerks had this peculiar trait to never answer the phone, a tradition that they still maintain in this new era), and so from February to March every other day I showed up after work into the three main record shops of my town, and asked if they had some news on Bruce’s shows. He was playing in theatres, you know: theatres with a maximum capacity of two or three thousand people, I knew it would be almost impossible to catch a ticket.

One of the first days in March one of the clerks, we had come to recognize each other during my daily visits at his boot, greeted me with a big thump up, saying Hey girl you’ve made it! we have the official dates of the tour, and we’ll sell the tickets tomorrow! He said they’ll have about 80 tickets, no more, 2 tickets limit for each customer. Considering that everybody would have bought two ticket, I just had to stay in the first 40 people, and I would have had my ticket. It seemed just too easy to be true.

There were 4 or 5 other fans there, they were already preparing the queue to wait till the next day, so I hanged with them till the evening, then went home to prepare a backpack to sleep that night outside in the street (in March, don’t forget). At midnight there were about 10 people outside, so it really was manageable, we took long turns to go home for a few hours each. The next morning the crowd had raised in number, there were about 100 people out there, the clerks opened the shop, and said that they had bad news, the management had decided to postpone the ticket sale for two other days. It was Wednesday, and they would have to sell on Friday.

So I was there, already queueing from 20 hours, and I had to decide if Bruce was worth continuing for other 48 hours or so. What do you think?

I got that friggin ticket, three days and three nights in the street. Maybe some other day I’ll tell the whole story of those cursed hours on the pavement of a city, in March.

But I want to tell this: all my other friends told me I was crazy, and I had to made up some lies for my parents, because they just would not have understood. I did not have many Bruce buds, at the time, I just knew two other people who liked him, we discussed his records and stuff, we even attended the 92/93 tour together, but they were not really hardcore, they loved him like they loved Dylan or the Stones, and in fact they were not queueing there with me because it was “too much”. My collegues at work thought me strange, his music was already my life but I had nobody to connect with in that sense.

And you all know, I presume, Bruce’s story who for the first time in his life felt his image in the mirror tolerable only when he saw himself embracing his guitar.

Well, that moment, for me, was there among other fans, real fans like me: it was intolerably cold and hard and trying to stay there for three days and three nights. But it was the first time in my life I felt home, among other fans who got me, really got me and my passion for Bruce.

 

 

If there’s Bruce’s music, you do.

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Like most of you, Bruce’s music entered my life when I was a teen, and stayed with me during the times that shape your character, the hard times when you begin to understand that life will, and eventually would, kick you down.

I’m a musician, my first instrument of choice were the drums, I’m a Conservatory graduate, I played all over Europe and America, and Bruce’s music was there with me, in my walks on the beach, during my car travels, before going to sleep.

Then my life moved in another direction, I had to stop playing. But I was not satisfied, I wanted to do something, I wanted to go back playing on stage, with something compelling, powerful, that kept me alive both on stage and in my everyday life.

Bruce was on tour in that year, it was 2012, and while I was there seeing him singing and laughin under the rain I decided that if I had to go back on stage I had to it with him, and I started the project for my Bruce’s cover band. It’s a constant, endless work, that never will have an end, because we play the music of one of the best prolific artist in the world. And it’s amazing, just playing this music is a gift. I’m grateful for my band and my friends in this travel, they’re the best people I could ever have with me.

But there’s also a better thing, one I didn’t know could happen to us. During these two years I’ve met a lot of people, of course, and some of them came back to see us, and some came back at every show. And with them came this special connection, we all love Bruce’s music, it’s an essential part of our lives, and when we sing together this bond runs very deep. It’s fantastic, and unique, and I never feel alone in this passion, no more. Sometimes they write to me, or we speak after a show, and it’s so good to be a part of a human chain of values in most cases lost for the rest of the world. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true: you don’t bring your families and children to each rock show you attend, but if there’s Bruce’s music, you do. That means something.