The amazing long-term relationship of Bruce Springsteen with the members of the E-Street Band is one of the things I really admire. I have not read anything nasty, degrading or plain negative that one of them has said about Bruce or any of the other E-streeters. On the wonderful recreation of Darkness on the edge of town in the old theatre it struck me again: The solid wall of support they form behind him, with Clarence and Stevie like two pillars of strength by his sides. And that makes me think of his moving eulogy for Danny Federici: “ … every night at 8p.m. we walk out on stage together and that, my friends, is a place where miracles occur … old and new miracles. And those you are with, in the presence of miracles, you never forget. Life does not separate you. Death does not separate you. Those your are with who create miracles for you, like Danny did for me every night, you are honored to be amongst … After a lifetime of wathcing a man perform his miracle for you, night after night, it feels an awful lot like love.”
I also think about Stevie van Zandt leaving at some stage, but returning and staying. And the way all of them returned when he called them in after something like twelve years of not playing together. That, in my mind, is dedication, commitment. And surely love.
Now you hung with me when all the others turned away turned up their nose
We liked the same music we liked the same bands we liked the same clothes
We told each other that we were the wildest, the wildest things we’d ever seen
Now I wished you would have told me I wished I could have talked to you
Just to say goodbye Bobby Jean … (Bobby Jean)
And:We busted out of class had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school … (No surrender)
And of course Blood brothers:
We said until we died we’d always be blood brothers
Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away
Makin’ a fool’s joke out of the promises we make
And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray
We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay …
PS. This was, of course, written months before we lost Clarence, with no idea of what was to come.