Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Brief History of Bruce (OB)

In this series of posts, we will give you some background on how your three lovely bloggers became Springsteen fans. Third up, OB:

If you were to ask me when I discovered Bruce Springsteen, the answer would probably be, “When I was about 6 or 7 years old.” If you were to ask mewhen I became a fan of Bruce, I would say, “Probably around 14 or 15 years old.” But if you asked me when I became an obsessed Springsteen fanatic, then I can answer, without hesitation, “Sunday July 27, 2003.”

My mother was a Springsteen fan and we had a few of his albums around the house. Born In The USA was the first cassette tape that I really remember listening to. No fast forwarding, both sides, just really loving these pop-rock anthems. The titular song was the first song I knew all the words to and could sing along with, albeit horribly. Along with Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, I was introduced to Bruce at an early age, and can honestly say I did like him.

As I got older though, I kind of just forgot about Bruce and got into harder and heavier music. Bruce was replaced by the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Ozzy Osboune. But when he released The Rising in 2002, I have to say that I was really impressed. I remembered why I loved his music so much in the first place. In December of 2002, I got my driver’s license and would borrow my mom’s car a lot. Most of the CDs in there were show tunes, which I despise. But there was one CD that I could always listen to, Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits. Even though now I think that is a pretty poor representation of his career, both "Born To Run" and "Badlands" still bring back nostalgic feelings about being 17 and driving around in my mom’s car.

But on July 27th, 2003 I can literally say I had a life-changing-experience when I saw my first ever Bruce Springsteen concert. I went with some friends from high school; we had just graduated the month prior and were still about a month away from leaving for college. It was a beautiful summer night in the parking lot of Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. My friends and I were able to sneak a case of beer from one of our houses, we were grilling some hot dogs, and I was pretty excited to see what I thought would be a pretty good rock n’ roll show.

When the lights went down in Giants Stadium and I heard the opening chords of "Downbound Train", I knew this was going to be so much more than just a pretty good rock n’ roll show. I remembered this song from my mom’s Born In The USA tape, but this was so different. Next he kicked into "Lonesome Day" and "The Rising", and I was just mesmerized by what I was seeing on stage. I had a small knowledge of Springsteen songs, but most of the songs that night I was hearing for the first time. Sometimes, I look back at the setlist from that night and get angry that I didn’t appreciate some of the songs I was hearing then, but I knew they were special even then.

Bruce had connected with me! When he sang "Candy’s Room" I was surehe was singing about the girl I had an unrequited crush on in high school. When he sang about “getting wasted in thesummer heat” during Backstreets, I was certain he was singing about me and my buddies in the parking lot just a few hours ago. When I got home that night I went hunting formy mom’s old tapes of Greetings and Born In The USA. I listened to them with new appreciation,and started downloading whatever else I could by Springsteen. The man was a genius and I was hooked. I still had a love for hard rock music, but nothing could top Springsteen.

Nine years later, I’ve seen Bruce a few more times, and now as a fully fledged fanatic, I know and sing along with every song. But I always remember my first Bruce show and the night I went from listening to Bruce Springsteen’s music to becoming a fan of Bruce Springsteen.

OB's Stats
Favorite song: Incident on 57th Street
Favorite album: Born in the USA
Number of Concerts attended: 8
Least favorite song: 57 Channels and Nothing On