Sunday, February 1, 2009

"It exists..."

Having grown up on the Prairies, I (unlike many Torontonians or southern Ontarians generally) will admit to a certain amount of patriotic affection for & interest in the Canadian Football League, particularly its annual championship game (also known fondly as "The Grand National Drunk"), the Grey Cup. I could care less about the NFL or the Super Bowl. But dh & I will be watching the halftime show tonight because of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.

I had heard vaguely of Bruce -- "Prove it all Night" was one of my favourite songs in the summer of 1978 -- before I met dh, who was a huge fan. The nickname on the back of his university residence floor T-shirt was "Bruuuuce." We don't remember exactly when or how we met, but it was the fall of 1981. I was a third-year arts student and he was doing a pre-master's year in immunology (which he later abandoned for MBA studies). I lived in an all-girls dorm, he lived on a guys floor in the co-ed residence next door, and our two floors partied together a lot that year. They were a great bunch of guys, & my friends & I used to go over there often just to hang out with whoever had their door open & a few cold beers in their fridge.

I can remember standing in the doorway of his room & asking him, "Who's the good-looking guy on your wall?" (poster) & him saying, with a mixture of patience & "duh," "Bruce Springsteen." Oh -- figures. After we fell madly in love & then had to split up for the summer, I bought all of Bruce's albums to date & played them endlessly. Over the years, Bruce has remained a constant in our lives. After a few tense moments yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to head out fo the day, we put his greatest hits CD on in the car, & our petty argument melted away as we reached for each other's hand & sang along.

Anyway -- I was reading an interview with the Boss in today's New York Times, & there was a quote that gave me the chills (in a good way), & I wanted to share:

He continued: “A lot of the core of our songs is the American idea: What is it? What does it mean? ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Badlands,’ I’ve seen people singing those songs back to me all over the world. I’d seen that country on a grass-roots level through the ’80s, since I was a teenager. And I met people who were always working toward the country being that kind of place. But on a national level it always seemed very far away.

“And so on election night it showed its face, for maybe, probably, one of the first times in my adult life,” he said. “I sat there on the couch, and my jaw dropped, and I went, ‘Oh my God, it exists.’ Not just dreaming it. It exists, it’s there, and if this much of it is there, the rest of it’s there. Let’s go get that. Let’s go get it. Just that is enough to keep you going for the rest of your life. All the songs you wrote are a little truer today than they were a month or two ago.”

He said something similar in the cover story of this week's Rolling Stone.

Have fun tonight, Bruce! -- I know dh & I sure will. And thanks for all the memories.


  1. thank goodness it exists! we'll be watching halftime too, but only that!

  2. A lot of people feel hope for the first time in a long time....

  3. I love Bruce, too, but I'm just sort of getting back into him lately. He was on heavy rotation in my house when I was growing up, but then I got all indie and refused to listen to anything I considered mainstream. Thank goodness I've grown out of that kind of silliness. But he is amazing, and the halftime show last night - AMAZING! I was just blown away and I literally had chills. That is how rock 'n' roll is supposed to be.

  4. I love how music can transport you to another place and time so effortlessly.

  5. Some of my taste in music was greatly influenced by the guys I dated. :0)

    Though, I can't say I ever really cared much for Bruce. I can relate to the powerful pull of music and memories though.