Thank you for making our lives better

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!”

Ma.

A story of… drifting testicles

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I’m from Germany, and I’ve been a fan for many many years. I met the man himself  personally in 2005, I was just parking my car outside the arena, when I saw people running towards a fence. I grabbed my copy of Nebraska and started running. And there he was, standing at the other side of the fence and gave autographs for about 15 minutes. A lot of people asked him for requests. One wanted to hear Backstreets but Bruce just showed his hands and said, “Those are not the fingers” refering to his “restricted skills” at the piano. When he was near me I asked him to play “I wish I were blind”. He stopped, looked me right in the eye and said “That could be an idea” I was overwhelmed and nearly forgot to give him the Nebraska album! But he signed it and even shook my hand.
At the middle of this great concert he sat down at the piano and said ” Alright, let’s see how this goes. I got a request for this one from somebody out back. First time, I’ll give it a shot. I haven’t done this one in a while. Let’s see.” And then he started to play one of the most beautiful versions of this amazing song and all I thought was “Allright, now I can die”.
On December 13th 2007 me and my girlfriend were at the concert in Cologne, which is her hometown. I waited for a song that was suitable for the occasion and when the band played “Because the night” I made my marriage proposalto her. For sure I’m the only guý who had to yell at his proposal, but she said yes and we are happy and have two great kids, and we settled on the name Frederick as a second name for our boy.j3j5
And finally the Concert in Hannover. We had a couple of signes for our three shows in Germany but I decided to go for Drift away and Roll of the dice. The first request said: “I’d give my right testicle to hear Drift away” and the other one had a picture of my two year old daughter with a dice. Bruce saw the request that offered my testicle and took it. I was more than happy with that, but kept the other sign up. He stoped singing and looked at the sign with my little daughter on it and started to laugh. He took it as well and went back to the middle of the stage. After finishing the song he took my sign for Drift away and made some jokes that he would play it if he didn’t have to see either my right or my left testicle. I could live with that! After the encore break Bruce came out and brought the sign with the picture of my little girl and another request for Roll of the dice build out of a dustbin and some dices. Although I would have wished for a full band version I was totally satisfied with the beautiful solo acoustic version of Roll of the dice!
I think I’m damn lucky that I got three requests played. I’m looking forward to the next tour and I already got some pretty good ideas for some weird signs request!
A big hug to every fan out there!
j4

Sea of heartbreak

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Everybody’s life is different and unique, and so is the kaleidoscope of emotions that Bruce music gives us. I can’t say in a few lines what Bruce has been in my life, but I’ll try to tell a few words about what he meant to me in a very important period of it. He was able to lead me to a person who has changed my life, and he was able to give me strength to overcome my fear of falling in love, and he was there in everyday’s difficulties, such as distance, age gap, or the simple missing of my man. I like to say that in that period I was on a Thunder Road, that later became ours, and Bruce was there to celebrate with us when we realized one of our dreams: this is one pic of one of our better days. He has been the soundtrack of my love story, the most beautiful, the purest, the sweetest I have had, up until this day.

Now it’s over, and Bruce will be forever the one who gave me the courage to react, because, of course, it’s no a sin to be glad you’re alive. And every night, coming home, I can take a shower, and then still try not to surrender. His determination and words of love and truth are a constant reminder of who I am, even in the darkest moments, and most important, of who I want to be. For this, because his rock’n’roll saved my life, I have to thank Bruce.

Good night, it will be alright Jane…

One last chance to make it real

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-What’s your favourite song?

Thunder Road.

-Why?

Because… Because it’s THUNDER ROAD, man.

Do I really have to explain WHY it’s Thunder road?

Ok, seriously. It’s the message of  hope that song still has for me, after all these years. The idea that there is always a possibility, anyway and anyhow in your life, no matter what.

As Bruce said in VH1 on that interview: “Thunder road is my invitation to a long and earthly, very earthly journey. Hopefully in the company of someone you love, of people you love, and in search of a home you can feel a part of. Good luck and good evening”.

Now, do you get WHY is Thunder road my favourite song?