Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Boss

Growing up as a kid I always fancied myself a bit of a nonconformist. If someone was zigging, I was zagging. Don't misunderstand: I wasn't exactly James Dean, but I did try my best to go against the grain.

Nothing was bigger in New Jersey during the 80's than Bruce Springsteen. Ok, maybe the hair on the high school girls at Paramus High School was bigger, but that's a story for another day. Everyone back then was into the Boss and looking back at his body of work, these were his halycon days. So naturally, I hated Springsteen.

I never really identified with either his music or his working class, blue collar appeal which I think then -- and now -- is mostly a clever marketing sham. I mean, let's face it; the dude hasn't exactly lived in Asbury Park for a while. Instead, he's in a mansion in Malibu if I am not mistaken. I can tell you with authority that Malibu ain't Jersey. But I digress.

One of my favorite memories of high school was going to the Meadowlands where 60,000 people were going to see Springsteen at Giant's Stadium -- while I walked with a couple of my delinquent buddies in the opposite direction to my favorite haunt, the racetrack. But I do recollect people telling me that I couldn't fairly render judgement without seeing a live Springsteen show. I kind of scoffed at that statement and never saw a show -- until a few years ago in Chicago, when my man Diamond Bill Z dragged me to a show. And it only took a few minutes before the lightbulb went off; his appeal truly is due to the fact that he's equal parts showman and musician. And I also confess it was one of the best shows I have ever seen.

And so, I have grown to like him over the past few years. I can't say I'm his biggest fan, but I part of me is definitely making up for lost time. And listening to his earlier work even makes me at times wistful for New Jersey.

I write all this because as some of you know, he released a new album yesterday, which I just bought. I'm writing these words and listening to song number three and the only thing I can think at the moment, is: boy, can high school kids sometimes be stupid.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

You know, he's opening his tour in San Jose.

Crazymamaof6 said...

excellent story with a great moral.

i totally laughed at the end!