Fridays are always best with the Boss

Friday, June 18, 2010
Poor man wanna be rich. Rich man wanna be king. And a king ain't satisfied 'Till he rules everything.
It's true, I have been a bit of a Springsteen kick lately. And you all know my feelings about the last two songs on Born to Run. Maybe if I could explain my feelings about Bruce. The first album I heard from The Boss & The E Street Band was Darkness On The Edge Of Town. It was the spring of 1979. My friend's big brother put it on his turntable and it was a revelation*1.
And the kids round here look just like shadows always quiet, holding hands. From the churches to the jails tonight all is silence in the world As we take our stand down in Jungleland
I know the word revelation is overused, especially when discussing music, but I can not think of a better word to describe how songs like Badlands and The Factory hit me. It was a blow to the gut. These songs of Americana, the good, the bad and the ugly rang as " the truth of it all" for me. I never knew that a songwriter could be a storyteller before then. After that? Everything changed. The singer/songwriter became the hero and the teller of truths.
I strolled all alone through a fallout zone and come out with my soul untouched. I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, but when they said, "Sit down," I stood up. Ooh... growin' up
Growing Up was the soundtrack of my rebellious youth. Even more so then The Clash, The Dolls, Iggy & The Stooges or The Ramones. Maybe it's because prior to the family relocating to Portland Or., I lived in rural farming communities. Bruce's early work exhibits a certain lower middle class angst that fit well into the communities of the American west in the 1970's.
Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find. Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line.
The Boss brought me the whole wide world. A world of winners and losers. Of broken hearts and hard fought triumphs. A place where fast cars, gangsters and their victims where real. Where choices have consequences, sometimes fatal and always heartbreaking. A place where you began to see outside the narcissism of your youth that there is always somebody, somewhere who may have it worse.
Put on your best dress baby And darlin', fix your hair up right, Cause there's a party, honey, Way down beneath the neon lights
So on Fridays, when I have had a long week, I put on some Springsteen and I know everything is going to be okay. The songs become little time machines, awakening introspection with memories of the past and the present with visions of the future. At the end of the day, Bruce's songs are slices of your life, my life and everyone else. He is singing to us and about us.
Bruce Springsteen - Jungleland (Live in New York 2001)

*1. This wasn't my first and only "revelation". Looking back at it some are kind of fun. Like the first time I heard Rush, 2112. That was a revelation. Neil Peart's drumming still is. Top Five Musical Revelations?
  1. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Darkness On The Edge of Town
  2. Van Halen - Van Halen. Eruption? Amazing. Talk about a great intro for a guitar virtuoso.
  3. The Clash - The Clash - I'm So Bored With The USA & Career Opportunities are two great songs. When I heard this album, I realized right away I was hearing greatness. Seriously.
  4. Guns & Roses - Appetite for Destruction. Everybody says grunge was the death of Hair Metal. I disagree. Guns and Roses were the antidote to the increasingly cartoonish metal scene. Appetite For Destruction was a musical enema for rock n roll.
  5. The Rolling Stones - Some Girls. Beast of Burden opened my eyes to the Stones. Sticky Fingers is my all time fave Stones album, but Some Girls was the first album of theirs I ever owned.


  1. Anonymous3:55 PM

    You know I love the Boss. Love. Him. And you already know that the song of his that will take me right back to my growing up days and leave me in emotional ruins is "The River". The last live version I saw of that is so full of bittersweet emotional gets me every time!
    The Mrs.


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