I have a confession to make.
When I first heard Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band some time in the early ’70s, I bristled. These were my teenage years when music choice can define an important aspect of the social you. I can still remember, like it was yesterday, being on the playground during lunch in middle school when Gary, a new student, arrived. The first thing I heard about Gary was that he liked Beethoven. This news spread like wildfire around the blacktop and helped place Gary in the outsider circle faster than you can say Beethoven.
Bruce was a poor man’s Dylan. Yea, I was a close-minded teenage music snob who believed that Dylan and Jimi were the pinnacle of music and I wore my love of their music on my sleeve. I thought this was a good idea, a good way to be. Exclusive.
Then I started hearing the music of Bruce Springsteen & Co. out in bars in NJ, where I grew up and still live, where he grew up and still lives. When any Springsteen song came on, any song, people got happy. They danced and laughed together as if Bruce’s voice reminded us that we are all in this together. And everything was going to be all right. That’s when I realized I didn’t like the music of Bruce Springsteen, I loved it.
Bruce dropped his new single “Hello Sunshine” from his forthcoming record Western Stars, due out in June, just the other day. I listened, liked, then loved. Hearing Bruce’s voice is like hearing from an old, dear friend and being reminded that we’re all in this together. And everything is going to be all right.