All my life, I fought that fight
The fight that no man can ever win
Every day it just gets harder to live
The dream you’re believing in
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Promise (NYC, 78)
Before, there was the rock’n’roll dream, the youth, the grand opera romance of Born to run. And then, on June 2, 1978, there was Darkness on the edge of town. And that was it.
Darkness is where the characters of the first albums ended up, where everybody’s life sooner or later ends up: to the hard truth that life will never be easy, and you’ll not find a way out escaping in a car in the night, or with a romantic dream with your girlfriend. You’ll be scared, you’ll be angry, you’ll probably be alone for most part of it, and you’ll have a hard time tryin’ to figure out what is the meaning of all this. If there’s a meaning, even, and if there isn’t, how can I stand it?
In this album you’ll find the stories of the defeated, the men and women stripped bare of all their possessions and affections: loved ones, homes, works, hopes. But, in most songs, they not have lost their willingness to fight back. And in some lines that stay with every Bruce’s fan for all of his/her life, you learn that no matter how hard or bad things get, you can fight back because you still have your soul, a determination not to go down with a fight, because you want to be happy, it’s your right.
When I have reached low points in my own life, Darkness on the edge of town is an album that I still listen to because it offers more answers and hope than any form of therapy would. It gives me inspiration, a sense of great determination, it makes me company on my road through life.
And, last but not least, they are beautiful songs.
This is an excerpt from a book our fellow fan Mark wrote. Quoting the author:”Finishing the book helped me get through the sad loss of my Mum last year”. Hugs and positive thoughts for our friend out there, I’ll post in a few days some other lines.
“I remember a sign at a Bruce show that I attended recently, a lady in the crowd holding it in her hands: “Thank you for making our lives better”.
On reflection I thought how so right this person was, and how much Springsteen has brought joy and passion to me and helped me along with the thousand of others get through life.
I guess my life would not have been much different had I not attended a Springsteen concert but I certainly would not have had so many great moments and, along with so many others, he and his band have made my life happier as a result.
I have always loved his music dating back to when I was a kid at school. At the time it was Darkness and The River, albums that were released when I was seriously getting into music. In those days albums were the big vinyl records and nowadays I still miss the beauty and excitement of buying a fresh new vinyl album. You used to spend time admiring the cover and the artwork before even playing the record and you just don’t get that thrill with CDs. Anyway I think I actually bought the earlier Born to Run album a bit later on.
However it is his live performances that have inspired me the most. They are like a drug; a shot in the arm that keep you going through the daily routine of life. I seem to have a permanent smile on my face every time I either listed to him at live shows or watch them back on DVD. If I am lucky I see his live shows once a year but it is enough to inspire you and make some sense of purpose in this crazy world we live in. There are so many sad tragedies and travesties in this life it can get you so down. So I only mention this as going to a Springsteen concert takes you away from all this, your troubles, worries, inner demons that sometimes dominate your thoughts and lifts you up to a sense of hope (a land of hope and dreams!). You are given a new shot of life and adrenaline by someone up there with his band giving it all he’s got creating such happiness and energy in the crowd.
I am just a normal person (Nothing Man) who hasn’t done anything spectacular with their life. I am married to Tracey, we have a very happy but unspectacular life together but it works for us. We go out a lot together and enjoy having a laugh either in or out at concerts, pubs etc. There’s many a time in the winter weekends we sit on the sofa with some beers and play the live Springsteen DVDs singing as if we are there at the event (much to the annoyance of my moaning neighbour. “Your bass is booming through into my house Mark!) I’m lucky to have a wife who shares the same enjoyment and interest as me. Often I hear of friends and colleagues who go out drinking with their mates and then back to the wife. With Tracey I have both a best mate and wife!
No one deserves to be alone all through their life but there are people out there who do. That’s why you need some inspiration and outlet. Music is great for that. It makes you feel better and good about yourself and Springsteen and his band do it better than anyone else in my opinion. As with most people you never amount to much but keep this world ticking over. Perhaps this is why Springsteen touches our hearts so much. To me he stands for the normal working man. I have read one biography of him and numerous articles and what impresses me so much that a person so gifted can be so down to earth and somewhat reserved and humble. There are so many arrogant people in the world who bewilder and depress me but this is one personality trait that he never demonstrates. The reason he has lasted in the business is that he is devoted to his art, looks after himself and keeps his feet on the ground where as some nowadays seem to become instant divas. Springsteen no doubt has all the talent but to produce such great song writing and powerful live performances, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order for them to have such fun on stage and inspire fans like me to keep coming back time after time. There appears to be no artificial side, no falseness to Springsteen. What you see out there on stage is likely to be the same person with whom you could share a beer with and have a normal conversation. It doesn’t matter what your political allegiance is or where you come from, I am guessing he treats everyone the same. He represents the decent, honest and hard working person no matter what sex, colour or religion they are. His concerts bring a real unity or a more appropriate word; harmony to our hypocritical and somewhat cruel world. His songs are about normal people in situations struggling through life and this is why his concerts are such a inspiration to us. They take you away for a few hours from your normal existence and make you feel real, young and full of life!”