This is my family and friends, heading together to a Bruce’s show, so perfectly happy. Love, family, friends: in many ways, this is what Bruce brought to us. I am so thankful. Bless you, your friends, your Bruce buds, and families.
I had the banner idea in 1993, when I was 22. I know it’s kinda a teen-silly one, but what can I say, I guess I’m an incurable teenager inside.
I just thought that Bruce speaks to me everyday, in a way or another, so why not trying to tell him something, somehow?
So, that’s it, the banner. In 1993 I wento to a cold and rainy show, I was up up up far away in the higher part of the stadium, seated in what appeared to be the geriatric section. At a certain point of the evening the fog began to come in. So I was there quite miserable, submersed in fog, Bruce a tiny dot, light years away from me. There, in that moment, I decided I wanted to tell him something. And of course I had the idea and I was quite satisfied with it, but logically I decided to act on it just a day and a half before the next show. In this case, you know there’s just one person who can help you: MOM.
Mine, she didn’t even blink at the idea of writing in ginormous letters a message for a rockstar; she went in the attic and began to ransack the linen trunks, and when she found something we could use, she started to hem. Because, right, you know, what’s a good banner without a proper rim?
I provided the waterproof (wise choice, given the course of the future shows) paint, we spread the sheet with its lovely hem on the pavement of my parents’ living room, and my mother and me got to work. We pondered, measured, tried a first draft with a pencil. Then we started painting, under the haughty monitoring of the house cat. Who, at the end, decided to take a closer look, and jumped right in the middle of our work of art: if you look close enough, you’ll see his pawns smeared on the sheet.
As for the words, I had no doubt whatsoever. I just wanted something simple, clear, and real, in my language. Something easy enough that given the remote chance Bruce will ever get an eye on it, he’ll understand. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, given the chance, I’ll have a million things to say to him, beginning with Thank you. But I think my message sums up quite effectively how I feel.
Back to 1993. I folded in my backpack the banner, fresh of laundry and ironed (!!!), and off to the concert. And since then, it has always been there with me, tour after tour. It’s my ritual part of the show, and I like it, even if I don’t think Bruce really ever sees it.
I arrive at the show, take it out of the backpack, hang it; around me smiling faces watching what I’m doing.
It’s not that big, the letters irregular and a little faded, the sheet worn out from years of exposure and travel. 1993-2013, quite an anniversary.
During the years, I’ve seen the Sign Industry develop and build up: really outstanding signs growing into pyrotechnical requests, technological boards, puppets, inflatable rafts, control panels with LED.
But I stand by my old banner, with my mother’s hem and my old cat’s paws, with all the years we have been through together, and the words I want to tell him: Bruce doesn’t read it, but I tell him anyway, every time we meet.
So there’s this pleasant game in which you choose 3 words to describe what Bruce means to you, and well, you have a whole bunch of Love-Faith-Happiness or Family-Life-Hope selection, and it’s all very good, and true. Then you remember Bruce at the Madison Square Garden, Reunion Tour, hand in hand with all the E Street, singing Blood Brothers and trying hard not to cry, and well… I fucking dare you to explain in 3 words what Springsteen means to you, in that moment.