Those memories come back to haunt me…

“I’ve got two extra tickets to see Bruce Springsteen tomorrow. Do you want them?”

Although i’m getting older, there are times when my reflexes still respond quickly – and i snatched those tickets up in a nanosecond.

Mr. Springsteen provided the soundtrack for my high school years, as well as the words that rattled around in my head through my transition from ‘lost girl’ to ‘over-achieving engineering student’ and on into my reincarnation as ‘wife/mother’.   If it hadn’t been for one line in “Thunder Road”, i might never have found the glimmer of hope that allowed me to begin that transition.

“ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY! When can i pick them up?”

Managed to snag the tickets on my lunch hour, and make the quick turn around after work to cover the 60 miles between here and there. i drove like a maniac efficiently, we found a decent parking spot, and had enough time to pregame with a flask of whiskey in the car before heading into the arena. Just us, and 15,000 fans, navigating wickets and stairways to get to our seats in the rafters. Even though we were in the nose bleed seats, we had a great view of the stage.

No opening act. The show started at 7:45pm, and Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band played for three and a half hours without a break. He worked through the set – seeming to gain energy and intensity with each song.

Four decades worth of material at his disposal, it wasn’t a surprise that he dug back in the archives for a few. “Badlands”…

“You’ve got to live it every day….. Let the broken hearts stand as the price you’ve gotta pay…”

Words written as a young man. Belted with the same intensity he had as a skinny street punk. Now in his 60’s, that line is just as powerful. Maybe more so…

2014

It was a surprise when i heard the band start up the intro to “The River”. Not one of his pop hits, but the title track to the album that ushered me into the first significant transition in my life. i looked at Studley. “Holy shit! The last time i saw him live was on tour for ‘The River’. That album. THIS song! Jesus… that was in 1980.”

The man sitting next to Studley leaned forward “I know! It was over 30 years ago! I remember it like it just happened! It was only yesterday…”

Mr. Springsteen began to sing…

“I come from down in the valley, where mister, when you’re young… They bring you up to do like your daddy done…”

“Maybe not yesterday,” i said to the distinguished-looking gentlemen to our left. “But just a few weeks ago…”

The man and i were both tripping back in time. Transported by an audio memory…. Feeling the song as we had at 18 years old.

“You look like you could have just left school… like you’re still there.”

As he said that, i caught a brief glimpse of a boy with feathered hair, black concert t-shirt hanging from the skinny shoulders that would fit him better at 50… Made me wonder if he was seeing the dumpy lost-girl with stringy hair, acne and plastic framed glasses as big as her forehead….

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true? Or is it something worse?”

Bruce_Springsteen_-_The_River

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* The first photo was taken by my friend during the concert.  He had much better seats – which is why he offered up the extra tickets…

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24 thoughts on “Those memories come back to haunt me…

    • They were great seats! i don’t do ‘big arena’ concerts often… usually you can’t feel the energy, or the sweat, in such a venue. i felt every droplet of sweat that left his body!

    • i don’t do ‘arena’ concerts often. i’ve fallen in love with small venue, festivals, and other ‘up close and dancing’ events…. this one was worth it. He looks better today than he did at 30… Sexiest underbite in rock and roll!

    • i honestly can’t remember the last time i went to an ‘arena’ event…it might have been an outdoor thing that i went to, just because my gal pals from childhood invited me, and i’d pretty much go anywhere with them… Buffet would be another one to see live…

  1. Bruce is a performing fool. That man cannot stay off the road or, the stage itself, for that matter. He gives you your $$$ worth. If you haven’t seen it, try to find a documentary called “Springsteen & I.” It’s a bunch of fan testimonials about how important Springsteen is to them. That sounds like a LAME idea but it’s hilarious

    I’ve missed your posts, dear. I hope you’re well. Hope sonny is doing well.

    • He was clearly working through some shit on that stage. And did it again, and again, and again…. it seemed therapeutic. He GAINED steam as he performed. Didn’t lose a joule along the way. Following the tour, he apparently switched up his closing number on later dates – the acoustic version of “Thunder Road”…. the one that makes me weep…. the one i sang to my children as a lullaby…. i’d have had to be carried out of there on a stretcher.

      Will have to see that flick… i get it. all of it. Studley? Appreciates the artist, and the music, but he doesn’t have the same ‘mark’ on his soul. But the guy next to him did…

      Life is really good right now, both kids are fine, and i’m living a life i never imagined… just really fucking busy this month.

  2. Bruce has been in my life since before I was a teen.
    I didn’t “get it” till I WAS in my teens ….. then we became inseparable!
    I get it.
    (You’ll love the movie!)

    Lucky lady …. 🙂

    • It makes no sense, but i feel like he and i grew up together… i will definitely track down that documentary. And yes, i know that i am a lucky broad…. no complaints!

  3. Sounds like a night to remember. I’m mostly a blues gal, but can feel the love for Bruce. Have missed your posts.

    • We all have our musical DNA…. amazing how it can connect the heart, soul, mind and body…. Really wish i was up for writing more – tons of material, and a few updates in the trailer park i need to post. i’ve just been ridiculously busy – even for me! no idea when it will slow down…

  4. Last night i went and saw Ohio’s finest exports Guided By Voices, towards the end of the show when i was good and drunk i moved up front and then before i knew it my friend ambushed me and i was up on top of the crowd like i was 16 again, singing away and telling the damn kids to put me down, i felt young and old all at the same time, quite a laugh, my friend just sent me video he shot of me bouncing around right before i went down, no worries i was unscathed, you can’t take me anywhere.

    • YOU? Crowd surfing? Oh, hell, i’d love to see that video! GBV is pretty amazing – and cool that they’re touring! That feeling of young/old is weird. For me? it’s more like i’m feeling like i’m living and dying at the same time. i’ve got to catch up on my blog reading – just been slammed at work, and after lately… May, she is a busy month!

  5. Only arena concerts I ever attended were Grateful Dead… That is an amazing experience. Bruce Springsteen was unknown to me for some reason until I was in my 50s. I don’t have the connection that you all seem to have but I DO love his stuff when I hear it.

    So I went to the interwebs to read the lyrics for Thunder Road and wondered which line it was that carried you through? Several memorable ones in that lyric.

    So glad you had such a grand experience.
    Lets hear it for driving “efficiently”!!!

    • “You ain’t a beauty, but hey, you’re alright….” The fact that those words could be uttered by a man…. gave the lumpy troll-girl hope that some day, someone would be able to appreciate me…. even for a night…

    • You saw Janis? Whoa! That is awesome! Have you ever tried to imagine how she might have evolved if she hadn’t died? Would she have gone on a health kick at some point (as did Mr. Springsteen) and get all buff and muscled? Yeah…. i can’t see that happening either… But god, she had some pipes….

  6. Rock concerts! Talk about bringing back memories, sugar. We saw Jimi Hendrix TWICE at different venues. The Filmore West back in the day when dealers walked the line offering their “wares.” The next time was in L.A. at the (now closed) Olympic Auditorium where joints were just passed down the row and no one cared. I think I may have to put some music on RIGHT NOW! xoxoxoxo

    • Jimi! Oh, hell! That would have been phenomenal! i do remember the day when ‘puff, puff, pass’ wasn’t a big deal at any show… can’t imagine that now. Well… pretty sure there is a bit of that at outdoor festivals…

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