Sunday, February 1, 2009

Then You've Seen Me, I Always Leave With Less Than I Had Before

It's no secret.

Jo loves Springsteen.

Not in an obsession, "Guess when the Boss's birthday is?" sort of way. But he's my favorite poet of all time.

Yes, I said poet.


Bruce has a lot of exposure lately, probably too much. Like Rachel Ray, he's frickin' everywhere. He has a new album out. He sings the title song for Mickey Rourke's comeback movie. He sang for Barack Obama at fundraisers and at the inaugeral concert. And tonight he sang the halftime show at the SuperBowl.

If you've ever seen a one-trick pony, then you've seen me.

Except Bruce is not a one-trick pony. He gives you that impression at first. Believe me, I didn't always adore him. I thought "Born In the USA" (the album) was a shouting match when it first came out. I didn't hear "Born to Run" for the first time all the way through until 2006. I was slow on the uptake. Bruce hooked me with "The Rising," and then I had to excavate him from my past and listen to all of his songs all over again. And by 2005 he had a pretty extensive playlist.

But it was like coming home.

I suppose listening to a boatload of Springsteen albums isn't everyone's cup of tea. I suppose tonight's SuperBowl performance didn't do it for everyone either. There were times where, I'm sure because he was hopping around so much and had to cram so much music in twelve minutes, where Bruce sounded winded, pushing out the words. They were his words though...

Strap your hands 'cross my engines!

But I have seen Bruce in concert and I have loved Bruce in concert. I have been hearing Bruce all my life and listening to him for four years. He has a calming effect on me, his lame sense of humor makes me laugh, and he never assumes he is brilliant. He's like baseball players used to be--anyone can sing these songs, and only he does. Anyone can write these songs, and only he does.

But when our President says "I ran for President because I couldn't be Bruce Springsteen," then I don't feel so entirely alone. It helped calm some of the hurt when some people who are my "friends" on Facebook take an entire impression of Springsteen based on a 12-minute drunken football party and think that he's professionally over.

Then you've seen me/I come and stand at every door/Then you've seen me/I always leave with less than what I had before/Then you've seen me/I can make you smile when the blood it hits the floor/Tell me friend, can you ask for anything more?

My mother always said when I didn't want a dish that she loved and hoped that I would too--"That's okay, then there's more for the rest of us."

Tell me friend, can you ask for anything more?

Always, Bruce. I will always want another helping of the music...dream of life.

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