A 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
Sometimes I miss my boring life-before-Springsteen.
I really don’t like all my emotions when these dates just start to roll out.
Joy, nerves, joy, anxiety, joy, fear, joy …
Should I try to attend a show? Should I spend the money and take the stress?
Should I wait and hope he comes here?
What if the man totally overworks himself?
What if … a hundred things … I am not even going to think any further.
One can only stand Continue reading
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
About ten days have passed and I seem to have lost the essence of the show experience. I find it difficult to remember detail about any of the songs. As dearly as I would have loved to catch time in my hands and hold it, to hang on to the essence of the experience, I could not do it. It is over. It is gone. I will have to find a way to deal with the sense of loss that threatens to overwhelm me at the moment.
But I can see myself very clearly on both nights. In Sunderland in the pit, absolutely overwhelmed by the mass of people pressed around me (have read that somebody said he has Continue reading
Unfortunately I cannot post while I am still travelling.
Will be back home next week.
I have so much to say!
What I can say in the minute I have now, is that Bruce has delivered.
As he always seems to do.
Also that I was in the pit and I coped very well.
Also that he is very beautiful up close.
I saw a gentle spirit and a big heart.
And it made me very happy.
PS. Photo proudly taken by myself (Sunderland).
On this wonderful trip through Ireland and Scotland – on my way to my first ever Springsteen shows – I have encountered depression quite unexpectedly.
One of the reasons for this has to do with the lack of opportunity to really immerse myself in the music, as I have become used to.
At home Bruce’s music has become integrated into my whole life. I usually go to bed with either The Promise or 18 Tracks, I work on The Rising, BTR, Darkness, The River. For some reason I often have Backstreets on repeat while I am hurriedly preparing to go out. I daily work out on any of the live concert DVD’s.
For others this looks like obsession. For me it has become a way to help me handle life.
My family – although I love them dearly – are not fans. On the trip there has been only opportunity for short indulgences into Springsteen music. There was no privacy and no me time.
After two weeks I have realized that the music is loosing its power for me, because I do not absorb enough of it. I even started to find it difficult to remember why I REALLY am on this trip.
The tour is over and we are stationed in Edinburgh at the moment. Today’s Bruce Brunch on The Hawk helped a lot to make me feel part of the Springsteen community again.
The dream is alive again. And Sunderland is drawing near. 🙂
Tomorrow the journey begins.
If all go well the roads of Ireland and Scotland will eventually lead us to England.
And Sunderland and Manchester.
And a dream come true.
I will try to share here when possible.
Thank you to everybody who understands what this means to me.
PS. Thanks to the unknown creator of the collage.
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.
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 this girl to leave his fiancée of several years and marry my mother. For those days it was certainly a very unacceptable thing in society. Certainly he was – for those days – a good husband to my mother. They raised a large family and when he died, she was left with enough to go on.
And go on, she did. Of course, today I can understand how difficult it must have been for her. She did not have any experience in managing Continue reading
Of the many things I have learned from Bruce, the idea of striving for a dream is certainly one of the most prominent. And where is a better place to start than at the dream of seeing him live?
After much thought (and a few tears) I have decided to let the Norway part of the dream go. Painful, but necessary. But today, thanks to a dear friend (whom I have met exactly once), we got tickets for Sunderland Continue reading
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
Screaming through the Springsteen community is the following short note from the official Springsteen website: (It was gone and has just come back on again – maybe due to overload??)
Please, please … If it’s true, I might be able to make it to a show … or even a few … Am feeling a bit silly, because long term fans who have seen scores of shows might not understand my feeling of jittery anticipation. Or … thinking about it – they might just understand perfectly!
Since Bruce and his work became part of my life towards the end of 2009, he has lost quite a few important persons in his life.
Through death, I mean.
Could be he has lost some to life also. As we all sometimes do.
None of these losses has stopped him in his tracks.
I am sure there were private moments of despair. And maybe Continue reading
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
And we’re here … Then they’re here!
Thank you to friend of Blogness Dom, a.k.a. @spoilsports
Yes, miracles do happen – it just did for me!
People who know me are aware that I am not a morning person. I am especially bad with surprise phone calls early in the morning. And my pet hate is people who call early on a Sunday morning and do not identify themselves.
Well, this morning I made an exception. Because the caller was Bruce Springsteen himself. And of course I recognized his voice immediately, after his call last year when he offered me a prime seat at his show in Cape Town. This time the news was Continue reading
These photos show why he is such an inspiration to me. Willing to take chances. Trusting the hands beneath him. Living in the moment. Giving his all. Having fun. (And probably just being a stubborn Continue reading
At the first listen We are alive seemed to be a rather weird song. Quite gross, to be honest. (If you don’t agree, just read the last verse.) Beautiful lines about tragedy and death set to a jolly little tune which makes you want to dance. Although Bruce is a genius at setting heartbreaking lyrics to catchy tunes and driving rhythms, this song seems to go too far in that Continue reading
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
Rocky Ground is one of the very few songs on Wrecking Ball that I do not really like, and which does not seem to grow on me. It is difficult to say why, as quite a few reviewers see it as one of the best songs on the album. Which shows that a song being good or bad does not always have that much to do with how it touches people.
Maybe it is because personally I am moving away from the old beliefs with which I have grown up. Bruce’s music generally speaks so clearly to me because he usually seems to concentrate on the power of a Continue reading
You’ve got it certainly sounds a little out of place on the album at first. But of course, if your mind is open, it grows on you. I am at the moment listening to Tracks, and I think it would have fitted perfectly there. A nice song, nothing wrong with it, but not with the same power as the previous songs on Wrecking Ball. And maybe that is the reason for its inclusion, just to break the tension.
As a writer of romantic novels, I assume the it to be that elusive something that attracts a person to another, that something that you cannot really explain. The quality that makes you fall in love with this person and not the other, although the latter might be Continue reading
One does not have to know anything about history to recognize the scenes painted in this song. I can only marvel at Springsteen’s ability to paint a verbal picture.
I agree with the three-minute review on Blogness where they say it is at once the album’s angriest song and also its most jubilant. Like in most Springsteen songs the shimmer of hope Continue reading
This song came as a bit of a surprise after Easy Money and Schackled and drawn, as it brings a complete change of pace. Which I later realized, fits perfectly into the bigger picture of the album as a whole. Personally I think one of Bruce’s many talents is to fit heartbreaking lyrics to feet-stomping melodies, and in doing so he makes it more accessible for ordinary folks (like me) who are no music pros, but just enjoy a nice, catching melody. Of course then the lyrics creeps up on you and before you know, they have you by the throat.
This song made me cry the very first time I heard it. It seems to be a beautiful pledge of love and commitment, something a groom Continue reading
I can see an old workhorse patiently trudging along. Or an old man with a solid work ethic handling a hard life the only way he knows to – by hard, honest work. He has never learned about working smarter instead of harder. And would probably despise the idea. He takes immense pride in his work and probably despises guys with soft hands and desk jobs (the bankers?) But if hard work does not solve all his problems, he is at a lose Continue reading
In my head I can see the couple on their way to go out, just like any of us would. See to the pets, put on something nice to wear, prepare for a nice evening out. But of course there is no fun in this song, only heartbreak.
My favourite lines:
There’s nothing to it mister, you won’t hear a sound
When your whole world Continue reading
Although I am only a few years younger than Bruce, this is my first experience of the release of a Springsteen album. And yes, that is really sad … 🙂 I honestly think my life would have been better if I had been on board since the early years. Not that I had a bad life, not at all. But with all this positive energy, all this passion … could have moved mountains! 🙂
So tonight (after a long day without internet access) it’s time to search for the first released song as promised on Backstreets. And of Continue reading