I don’t really have a huge platform to confess my love for Bruce Springsteen, but I did want to share something I wrote about him and where I was when he came into my life in 2012 on his 70th birthday today because of how his music has affected me and so many others lives. Thanks for reading & Happy Fucking Birthday Bruce! May you continue to rock on for another 70 years :).
Ramblings of a Springsteen Fan-
Never before have I felt this urge to write down how an artist’s music affects me. Sure I have obsessed over my fair share of bands. The Band’s “It makes no difference” is still one of the most beautiful and seriously heartbreaking songs I have ever heard, you want to hear the pain and suffering of losing a loved one…phew. Or any number of Beatles albums that I have obsessed over in the past. And I thought I had it bad then.
Not until that one night I really heard Jungleland did it all click and that’s when I became a Springsteen fan. I had first heard Jungleland while driving home from San Francisco to San Jose. I had heard on the radio that Clarence Clemmons died from a massive stroke and they played that song as a tribute to him if you didn’t know he has an EPIC saxophone solo in that amazing song. I had only heard half of the song though and thought… I’ll listen to the rest later. Time passed, summer ended. I had always really thought the song Thunder Road was a beautiful song, but you know you hear so many songs that are beautifully written and they all kind of get mushed into that, “now that’s a good song” pile. It wasn’t till about a month ago though that I was really introduced to the Boss.
Many people don’t know that I moved back home to help take care of my father who has ALS. If you don’t know what ALS is, look it up and hope it never happens to you. Along with that whole problem, is my mom, who I feel like every day is her last straw and she just might finally lose it, although that has yet to happen. Needless to say… I need some siblings to help here. I also left my home in San Jose where all my closest friends are, who by the way has really shown to be some of the most amazing people I know talk about being there when the going gets tough. High five me for picking my friends- Kelty, Alex, Louie, and Sal when I emotionally vomited on you that one night ☺. And to make matters worse, my boyfriend of six years leaves me right as I take my first steps into this mess. I don’t know if you have ever lost your best friend before, but it’s probably the worst feeling in the world… makes sense why there are so many songs about heartbreak.
Fast-forward 5 months of that, I am stoned lying in bed wanting to hear some epic music. I wasn’t in the mood for anything though. Then I remembered hearing half of Jungleland that one day back in the middle of summer and I thought I would give it a shot. Now I am sure that the pot really enhanced my listening experience but… thank god it did. From that great opening violin, full of mournful sorrow, to Bruce’s voice coming in soft with that upbeat piano. I mean fuck I don’t even know if this is making sense but it was such a fucking amazing moment in those first 30 seconds. For the first time in months, this sweet, sad, epic song made me feel hopeful. A hope that I felt had been drained from me and I didn’t know would ever come back. And as the song continued to play, it only got more breathtaking. “Just one look a whisper, they’re gone” and BAM that sax comes in. Oh my god. Fucking AMAZING. God I am listening to it right now. It’s like I can feel the blood rushing through my veins. That sax solo replays the whole song again and all of Bruce’s beautiful worlds are played before you like a movie. You see the words come to life in your mind and it’s the most beautiful thing when a song does that.. God so FUCKING AMAZING. I can’t stress that enough. As soon as the song finished I sat up and googled “Jungleland.”
I read a beautiful article about the friendship between Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemmons, I read review after review about the song and how critics called it one of the greatest songs in rock n roll history, I read theories about what the song was about, I read what the song was about, I watched numerous videos on youtube, and I read those lyrics so many times.
The line that blew me away that night, among well the rest of them, was the first line after the sax solo, “ Beneath the city, two hearts beat…” pure poetry. Two lovers hiding from the world in the shadows of the city, trying to getaway. It’s just …blows me away.
So after that, I started googling born to run. Born to run has quickly, in days, become one of my all-time favorite albums. If not my favorite.