Prove it all day, every day.

I think that everyone here agrees on saying that Bruce’s music helps us to get through the struggles of every day life that we all face. He’s here for good times, and bad times, and that’s ok. Yesterday I went through some thoughts scattered on FB in the last six months, nothing big, you know… Just a simple life. With Bruce’s songs in the background.
“I took a time off morning from work, I absolutely had to do something for that pile of laundry to be ironed. The heat was killing me but it had to be done. So I took Houston ’78 and put it on… That Promised land is sensational…Prove it all night has no words to be qualified…Racing in the streets… I keep ironing and folding… Jungleland. My husband comes rushing from the other room at the first notes. The fever, Fire… Well, I’ve finished, the laundry chest is empty, I didn’t even notice… That was a great way to spend a morning!”
“This is for my son, who decided to take his Thunder road. He’s leaving in a month for New Zealand, a whole year without him, so happy for him…But it hurts so much, staying here, working hard, trying to build a better world for him too. But it’s right, you take your Thunder road, son. Spread your wings and fly.”

“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!”

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Somewhere, across the border

sabri

In 1996 I was having a hard time in my life, a deep, depressing personal crisis. I felt lost, troubled, and very lonely. There was nothing in my life that could take me out of the void my life had become, a void that was both inside and around me. I was surrounded by people, faces, words; but I had absolutely no connection with them. I did not even cry, for it would have required energy, and anyway it would have been useless.

I had a ticket for a Tom Joad’s concert, and I decided to go. I entered that theatre and listened to Bruce talking to me for two hours. The show was magnificent, but I had that lump in my throat that was not leaving. Even there, my depression was overshadowing everything, and also that was terrible to me, because if not even Bruce was able to rise me from my state, I feared nothing really could. And I didn’t want that.

At the end of the show he began Across the border. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s such a sweet song, both in lyrics and melody, and suddenly I felt myself dissolve in tears, and every cold black hole in me beginning to warm. I began to cry, because those words, those WHAT ARE WE WITHOUT HOPE IN OUR HEARTS were fundamental to me in that moment. I know that the poor emigrant most likely will not find a real Promised Land at the end of his journey: but that’s not the point. He has faith he will do it, and that’s what matters. I went out serene for the first time in months, no fears, no black holes, the pain stilled. I was not healed, but I knew I would have done it, I had hope, and that’s the most important grace in life: to have a light in the darkness of your desperation.

I’ll always remember that moment, one of the most moving in my life, bound to an absolute beautiful song.

Summertime blues

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A moment in a Bruce show you’ll never forget

In 2008 I was in Milano, San Siro.

Now I’m going to spare you the details of how that was my first Bruce gig (not to mention my very first Rock Concert ever) and yeah, some #rocknrollbaptism I got.

I want to spare you all the same old stuff about how much I had dreamt of the day, since first becoming enthralled as a teenager with his Live 1975-‘85 —  my first Bruce and the one I knew by heart from obsessive listening.

I’ll also spare you my missing the 2003 San Siro date out of effing shyness (although, perhaps, this I’m omitting out of deep deep shame) and the 2007 Assago night despite a desperate late attempt to tickets.

And I’ll spare you the joy, the packed stadium, the widespread excitement, the dream-come-true feeling I was pervaded with on that Wednesday night, June 25th, 2008, when I was there.

Having spared you all that, I can swiftly come to the point.

He came onstage.

And me, I was waaay up on the second floor. He looked tiny in the distance. Bruce came onstage and I remained breathless for a good minute or more, repeating to myself and to my friend next to me: «I can’t believe he is there, he is real, he REALLY DOES EXIST». Then he spoke Italian, and I melted.

As he opened with Summertime Blues I was still enchanted with his presence and at the same time struggling between recognizing the song, concentrating on his every movement and accent so to record even the slightest detail, and just letting myself go and dance… This excruciating moral dilemma slowly evolved to choosing the last option as songs progressed to Out in the Street (and that «Andiamo, Milano!», like it was a matter of life or death), Radio Nowhere and Prove it all night.

I was already on the n-th cloud, but I had no idea of what was coming to me.

None.

And it’s hard to put to words, but you know it when it happens to you. It’s that little something that might… that could… you know what it can do if you let it.

That one, long blow in the harmonica. The Promised Land.

My heart bloomed in my chest. I felt home. That, was the moment.