I went to my first Bruce’s show with my father, who at that time worked driving around as a boiler maintenance man. I did not know the song Factory yet, and my father did not work in a factory anymore. Still, I knew he raised from bed early in the morning, way before me, and that he came back in the evening when I was already showered at the end of my school day and the table was already set.
Later on in my life, during one of those nights out we used to have together sometimes, he would have asked me How are you? and how’s grandma? Are you studying? girlfriend, is she still that girl you used to date? and then You are not that young anymore, you have to get your head together, understand?
And then he would have asked me about music, “Did you see some good show? But, you know… was it good like the Springsteen’s one we saw together? remember? Jesus, that was amazing, the best”.
Some other years passed by, and I’m watching Springsteen and I, the part where the English guy after years of night shifts and hard work was able to afford a “Springsteen vacation” in New York for the Madison Square Garden shows in 2000. And while he speaks there’s Factory as a soundtrack, and he begins to tell how he won the lottery with the Men in black who gave him a front row ticket, and meanwhile those words are flowing, through the mansions of fear, through the mansions of pain, I see my daddy walking through them factory gates in the rain; factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life. It’s the working, the working, just the working life.
And here you have Bruce talking about his old man, and my old man, and he doesn’t even know me, but he gets it. The struggles, and the respect, and what their life had been, this morning drive to the factory, every morning, for another gloomy day, trying not to bring home to your kids your rage, your angst. He understands what was that kept our fathers going through all the painful days and nights of hard work in the factory, what kept that English man goin’ on, what will keep me going on, eventually. We’re just all trying to find our way through it, already knowing that some of us will not come to a successful end. But you still do, because that’s what’s life is all about.
“I’ve just made my husband listen to Kitty’s back in Rome… and now I’m fobbing him off with the studio version, just under the pretense of catching the differences, you know… Me thinks he’ll not think straight at the end of all this!”
“It’s 8am and already I’m saying Today also will end. That’s a bad feeling, just want to run away from everything and stay alone! I prepare for work, today is bad. I know this too shall pass, it always will, but sometimes it’s like being dead inside. Put my earphones on, switch on my Ipod, the music starts, the volume is high, I want to be completely isolated. I get on my bike, I start pedaling, off to my work place… Bruce is alive out there, the anxiety begins to unravel, maybe it will not be a bad day, maybe even something good could happen. I can do this!”
“I know, I’m probably tedious and dull, but I just can’t help it. Everytime I stop, I’m thinking about my son, and of when his Long walk home will begin. He’ll come back, right? Tomorrow it’ll be 16 months…more or less 920 since I’ve hugged him.”
“Today I have to hit the road with a collection of samples for some customers, traveling with my aunt who accidentally is also my partner. What do you think, do I fire off all Brisbane 2014 at the highest possible volume? That’s a way to travel, dont’ you think? And a good day to all of you people!”