Let’s Take A Moment Day 191

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Bruce quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today is one of those days I am most thankful for. It was 71 years ago today that Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen came into the world and began his ascent to become The Boss. His poetry, music, intellect, soul & heart changed the world as a whole but my existence especially as I was someone who needed a place to reclaim my hope and faith. He gave it back to me and more with every note he sang and every word he wrote. And he continues doing that today. His latest album, “Letter To You” will be released on October 23.

During his VH-1 “Storytellers” performance, Springsteen said his “Born To Run” album was an invitation to his audience to join him on his pilgrimage.  If that was true then his follow up, “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, was about letting us see even more of the truth behind the songs and life itself.  This album did not contain a block party feel good song like “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”.  Instead it had the clash between Adam & Cain, the mind numbing soul robbing existence of factory life, people living with something that they just cannot face until they “cut it loose or let it drag ’em down”, fearing the moment you finally get something you need because then “they send someone to try and take it away” and our hero in Candy’s Room instead of at the screen door watching Mary dance across the porch.  By the end of the first verse of today’s song when Springsteen asserts himself with the line,  “Pretty soon, little girl, I’m gonna take charge” all I could think was I am ready.  And swoon. 

And he does just that in today’s song by showing us how to take control of the uncontrollable moments in our lives.  It is my favorite from the album and another life lesson about how buying into what everyone tells you is the meaning of happiness is never going to work for you if you hear a voice inside you telling you there has to be more.  You just have to be brave enough to close your eyes and jump into the unknown for that proverbial leap of faith.  With Bruce, nothing seems unattainable.  He has proven that with all he has accomplished in his 50 year career. And with the sage words below I try to remember and live by everyday.  Happy birthday, Bossman.  May you see 100 more.  And thank you for everything.            

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
“.

Bruce Springsteen in 1978 photographed by Frank Stefanko. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “The Promised Land” (1978, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 120

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Thoreau music quote

 

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

We are now at the four month mark of the pandemic.  Four months!!!  One hundred & twenty days.  And some states-namely California, Florida & Texas-are seeing a staggering increase in new cases that are breaking the records set only three months ago.  It is just too much to bear.  I am clinging tighter than ever to what makes me happy as opposed to what is going in the world right now.  And what makes me the happiest is music.

It has always been in my life and I have loved it since I was a young child.  But my intense love affair with it began the first time I heard the “Born To Run” album in its entirety.  I was compelled to buy it after hearing two songs on the radio.  One was “Backstreets” and the other is today’s pick.  I only heard half of this one that day but it was enough to show me it was a party set to music.  I may not have been invited to it, but I was welcomed in and asked to stay.  I learned about the history of the incredible band and how “The Big Man”, Clarence Clemons, came to join them.

Once I started going to Springsteen’s concerts, I discovered this was one of the highlights of the show and it led to the band’s introductions.  It also became a moment of reverence and reflection after Clemons passed away in 2011 to keep his memory and his presence very much a part of the band he meant so much to.  And to the legions of fans like me who would never forget how he & Springsteen encouraged all the women in the audience to wave back when he sang the line, “All the little pretties raise their hands”.  Sometimes it leaves such a lump in my throat when I realize I will never see that moment again in person, but I am so incredibly grateful I had the chance to do so many, many times.  And out of all the times I did see it, in addition to the hundreds of clips of this song recorded live that are all over YouTube, one of my favorite performances of this song was when he & The E Street Band performed it live at Springsteen’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on March 15, 1999 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York.  Until I attended The E Street Band’s induction ceremony in 2014, that is.

In his speech honoring his band, Springsteen expressed his regret in not insisting his band get inducted with him in 1999.  He told the story of how he and friend/E Street guitarist Steven Van Zandt fought about this but Springsteen, blaming his ego, felt he earned the right to be honored and inducted on his own.  So in 1999 the band stood by him as if nothing happened which showed incredible professionalism, loyalty and friendship on their part.  But with the deaths of band keyboardist Danny Federici in 2008 and then Clemons, Springsteen was heartbroken that they did not live to see that honor (Federici’s children and Clemons’ widow accepted on their behalfs).  Part of his speech in 2014 included these beautiful words:

“We’ve hurt one another in big & small ways but in the end we kept faith with each other.  I told a story with The E Street Band that was and is bigger than I ever could have told on my own…that is the hallmark of a rock & roll band.  The narrative you tell together is bigger than any one you could have told on your own.”

With all the lessons Springsteen has taught me through his music, that was one of the saddest.  But today’s song is still one of my all time favorites.  Now I feel expected to attend the party.  I will always love how much history I have with it and how it taught me decades after first hearing it that we all must learn to live with big regrets, even those crowned The Boss.

When that change was made uptown
And the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city
All the little pretties raise their hands
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half.”

BTR

Born To Run album photos by Eric Meola.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

 

Bruce Springsteen:  “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.