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.