Happy birthday, Bruce

65 3Dearest Bruce
Please open your heart for thousands and thousands of sincere good wishes coming your way today.
May this be a peaceful day and the start of a great new year.
May there be sunshine wherever you are. And if not, may the clouds be enfolded in thick, heavy silver linings.
May your redheaded woman be by your side. And may things be really good between the two of you.
May your children shower you with love and care today and always. You made them a priority from the very start. In my mind it is one of the greatest gifts one can give your children.
May your dear mother be spared to you for many years to come. We love her, because she believed in you when nobody else did. (Except maybe you yourself. That’s one of the many things I have learned from you, this believing in oneself. I am doing my best.)
May you be surrounded by good, real friends. May the E Streeters never be far away. May you always remain blood brothers.
May the creative juices never cease to flow.
May your health stay as good as it apparently is. Please, please continue to look after yourself really well. And do consider skipping the crowd surfing. We do love it, but we love you more.
Please consider another tour. But first consider your health.
Please consider another album. Could be anything you want to do. We will be grateful. Except maybe rap. 🙂
Please consider to visit South Africa again. I don’t think you have been to the Kruger Park. But firstly come to Cape Town again!
Thank you for another year of giving freely to your fans. We treasure the example of love, energy, passion, some good solid common sense, creativity, joy and deep humanness that you show us.
Please be with us for a very long time to come.
With lots of love
The fans

Johannesburg: 1 February 2014

HandeOn Saturday afternoon six formidable women (Yes, I include myself! 🙂) packed themselves into a sexy silver 4×4, turned Wrecking Ball up real loud and got ready to grow young again. As we went barreling along the highway way above the speed limit, I felt like I was living dangerously for the first time in my life. (Yes, I know that’s a bit sad, but so be it.)

Of the dangers of Johannesburg I did not see anything. I saw thousands of excited people streaming into the beautiful stadium affectionately dubbed The Calabash and groups of friends preparing boerewors on gas fires and drinking lots of beer. I saw diehard fans from Europe who had spent the day in the African sun for that treasured place right in front. I experienced a level of anticipation Continue reading

Cape Town Night Three

Born in the RSAI have made various interesting discoveries, mostly about myself and mostly not very positive, during this show.

Firstly I need to feel at home, even in a crowd of strangers, to really enjoy myself. Unfortunately I could not really relate to the fans around me, simply because they were no fans.

There were clearly more young people in the audience that the previous nights, which is good, as Bruce has surely made some new fans. The fact is, however, that many of them did not know the music and they did not care. (Of course I was more than willing to share my great knowledge of all things Springsteen with anybody acting vaguely interested. :)) They were there to have a great time and they had just that.

Of course Bruce always delivers and they were surely in for a few surprises. Probably firstly that he is so OLD. Secondly that one can be old AND stunningly sexy. Thirdly just the sheer energy that he exudes. Fourthly the frequent Continue reading

Cape Town Night Two – 28 January 2014

Met Pete Seeger 1Last night I felt like an experienced fan. Gone were the anxiousness, the jitters and the fear of the unknown of Sunday night. In was the heady feeling of something great drawing near. I knew the venue, how the process of entering is handled (although they made some changes), where I like to stand, what to expect of the audience.

Of course I knew what to expect of Bruce. Has he ever had a bad show Continue reading

Cape Town Day One – 26 January 2014

Belville-VelodromeNabyWhen I was privileged to see Bruce Springsteen in the UK (Sunderland and Manchester) in 2012, I never thought for one moment that he would ever come to South Africa. Well, for that matter, when I became a fan in late 2009 I never thought I would see him live.

Bruce his proved me wrong again and again. He taught me to dream and to work for my dreams. This enhanced my writing career, but most of all my personal life. So I, not an adventurous traveler, in 2012 managed to find a dear friend to guide me through the terrors of the level of public transport we only dream about here. Aged only a few years younger than Bruce, I made it to the pit in Sunderland – and survived to tell Continue reading

Another year is over!

Onlangs kitaar hoogI have really neglected this blog during 2013. But I have not forgotten my readers. And I have certainly not forgotten what Bruce has done and still is doing for me.

The dream of an e-book about handling depression with the help of Springsteen music has brought me to the point where I had the courage to announce it to kindred souls worldwide and to start the Facebook page Fighting depression with the music of Bruce Springsteen. This has brought me into contact with lots of wonderful people. It is precious when you share your pain and your victories with me.

Of course the greatest joy of my year was the announcement on 1 November that Bruce is coming to South Africa. I cannot describe my joy. I am extremely grateful that I can (more or less!) afford to attend each and every one of the four shows. Of course I am totally scared about handling four shows in GA in a week. I had a knee operation during the year struggles to get fit again. Another problem is that only for one show I will be among real fans. For the three Cape Town shows I will be with three different people, only one of the being a bit of a fan. The other two will be there because they love me. I am grateful for that, but also quite stressed. I laugh a little at myself, but I am very apprehensive that South Africans will not really know his work well enough to understand and appreciate the shows. If I catch one soul complaining about the length of the shows, I am certainly going to do something to him!

Thank you for popping in here. Thank you to everybody with whom I can share the depths of my struggle with depression, as well as the joy and strength I get from the music of Bruce Springsteen. I feel privileged and humbled by the contact with Bruce fans and depression fighters from all over the world.

And as always: Thank you, Bruce!

Great new documentary for Bruce fans!

Dans met maA few years ago I – being a lone fan in a country where Bruce’s work before and after Born in the USA is little known – to my delight discovered Julian Garcia’s Springsteen show Groove it all night on Home Grown Radio NJ.
This led to numerous exhausting nights, as the time slot was for me in South Africa between 3 and 5 in the morning in winter (if I remember correctly) and between 4 and 6 in summer. Only true fans will understand somebody doing this!

By the time the programme was discontinued due to the barrage of Springsteen activities 2012 brought with it, I had luckily also discovered Tom Cunningham‘s Bruce Brunch on 105.7 The Hawk (which falls right in the time when ordinary South Africans take their Sunday nap). 

Great was my surprise when I received a message from Julian yesterday (on the saddest Valentine’s Day South Africa has had in some time, due to the Oscar Pistorius tragedy) that he has been busy working on a documentary about people who had been Continue reading

Speak your mind – without the fear of stuttering!

Bruce fans, please allow me this one non-Bruce post!

Or maybe it is not a non-Bruce post, as it has a lot to do with changing your life if you are not satisfied with it.

And with perseverance and lots of hard word.

Things we all know are important parts of the Springsteen magic we all love.

So please allow me this little ode to my brave son:

Most of us often find it difficult to speak our mind, even without having a Continue reading

A new dream!

I am happy to report that Bruce’s name has been mentioned by the top promotor of shows in SA as one of the possibilities of the future.

I also know this as a very thin branch – but I have grasped it with enthusiasm and good faith.

Most shows in the recent past have been in Johannesburg and Cape Town – the first being the home of my friend who travelled with me to Sunderland and Manchester, the second being about ‘n hour’s drive from my home.

As always, dreaming about a Springsteen show has filled my with joy and a feeling of being young and full of life.

PS. Thanks to the unknown artist for the wonderful sketch!

Can’t stop dreaming!

Yes, I have tentatively decided to be there when and if Bruce tours again.

That was a good start after torturing myself for some time with the idea that I should stop right here. I have seen him twice and that should be enough.

Well, of course it was not enough.

So here it is, black on white: If and when he tours again, I will try to attend some shows again. Preferably more than Continue reading

No surrender? Not always a good idea …

As I am listening to the tracker from Gothenburg, Sweden, I can gladly announce that I have surrendered … 🙂

For a painful month I have tried to persuade myself that I have seen two Springsteen shows in my life, that it was a great, great blessing – and that it was enough.

It was a terrible month. (I must add that other factors attributed to Continue reading

When the dream turns around and bites you in the back (or maybe the butt)

Yes, I am very much for dreaming.

I have been doing it my whole life long.

But only much later in life I started dreaming with a purpose.

Yes, I can publish a short story in a magazine. And many more.

Yes, I can publish a romance novel. And many more.

Yes, I can publish a romantic novel. And a few more.

Yes, I can decide to see Bruce Springsteen if he tours again.

And I can do it. And experience a level of Continue reading

Looking back 1: 18 May 2011 – A lifelong campaign to see the Boss live

In my country the idea of huge live music shows in stadiums is only just settling in with recent visits by the likes of U2, Neil Diamond and Roxette. For a middle-aged (hate that word!) woman it is fairly weird to have a desire to attend something like that, unless it is somebody like Neil, who was on his height of popularity when you were young. I am also aware of the fact that Bruce will most likely never come to SA. I am still amazed Continue reading

Looking back: Where it all started for me …

This post was written about two years ago. Nothing has changed since then. Except my growing respect for the man.  And my continuous gratitude for what he is doing for me.

I have alwyas had a pretty nice life, full of good things and fun. I have a beautiful family, I live in one of the safest places in my troubled country. But for the last twenty of more years I have struggled with depression. There were many good times, but the darkness was always hovering on the edge of town. And often it invaded the town, it ruined its buildings, it hurt its citizens.
Recently a few things came together in my head. I did a course in life coaching, which gave me wonderful Continue reading

Facing the fear

I was raised in fear.

No, not fear for my life or my possessions. Lucky me.

But mostly fear of the unknown, the fear that something will go wrong somewhere. My dear old mother was a worrier. She worried constantly about everybody in the huge family. Will the one who is travelling have an accident? Will the one with a cold get pneumonia? Will the one doing an exam fail?

Of course her worry was born out of love. And of course life sometimes Continue reading

Experiencing the Eagles

My first experience of a rock show in a stadium was something I will not easily forget. Unfortunately this has more to do with the pleasure of spending some time in beautiful Cape Town with my youngest son, being pleasantly surprised with the organization of the public transport (not something that South Africa is great at) to the Cape Town Stadium and Continue reading

The first time!

OK, OK, I know it was only on video. And it froze every few seconds. But in between he was there. Alive, attractive, passionate, natural, genius. Loud and clear and articulate on the audio stream.
What an amazing experience to really SEE him, really hear him.
I am just a total goner. This man is such an inspiration to anybody trying to do anything creative.
Better days for me, indeed!
Thank you, Boss!


Wrecking ball lyrics – Land of hope and dreams

I have always loved this song since I got to know it on DVD. Only recently have I heard that it specifically references to people coming by train from Central America to the USA to find a better life. Of course I can really relate to that, as South Africa is the host to thousands and thousands of Zimbabwians and also many from the DRC, who hope to find a better life here. Unfortunately most of them are too poor to come by train. They often have to walk, and often through national park areas where lions are one of the many dangers. And tragically few really find a better life here, because my beloved country is too busy struggling with her own overwhelming problems (especially poverty, unemployment, the Continue reading

Book: Darkness on the edge

The second book about Springsteen that I read on Kindle, is Darkness on the edge: Tales inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen, edited (2008) by Harrison Howe.

The idea to have short stories written on the base of Springsteen songs is of course brilliant. And very logical, seeing that most of his songs are just perfect little short stories with (often) a great beat. And those who do not tell a story, usually paint such a clear picture that Continue reading

Looking back: We take care of our own

As I played and replayed We take care of our own during the past week – and became thoroughly addicted – I realized with sadness just how applicable the song is to virtually any human situation. Yes, it is very much human nature to take care of our own, often to the disadvantage of others. Through the ages individuals in a position of power have been looking after themselves first, exploiting those under them. While Bruce surely thought of America while writing it, I cannot help but think about my own country when listening to the song. When you move around here you can also be fooled by appearances, as you can be fooled by the music to think of this as an upbeat and positive song. But below the exterior there is much more. Below the surface (and not always below the surface) in Continue reading

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

When is it time to let go of (part of) a dream?

I was not raised with confidence, but with fear. Of course, today I can totally understand it. My dear mother was married when she was nothing but an innocent teenager to a man 25 years older. I will never know, but I do believe there was some financial compensation in it for her very poor parents. Not a question of hard cash changing hands, but probably an advantage in her family’s quest to acquire their own piece of land.
My father died when I was a preschooler and my only recollection of him is of an old and very sick man. But he must have been totally besotted by Continue reading