Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bruce Springsteen!

Gotta love the Boss. Today, September 23rd, Bruce Springsteen, frontman of the E Street Band and all around awesome dude, turns 60. How awesome in Springsteen? He's so awesome that the spell checker on my blog here recognizes his name as a real word. If even machines bow to his superiority, how long before they make him our master, and how long after that can I become a handmaiden to our new Rock Overlord, or Roccovolord?

My mom had a cassette tape of the album "Born to Run" when I was a little girl, but I forgot about it for many years in that murky time when everyone was switching over from tapes to CDs. Just before I graduated high school, Mom bought a truck with a CD player and got "Born to Run" to play in the car.

"Do you remember this?" she asked.

[Braces-sucking sound] "Nah."

"What?! You don't remember "Born to Run"?! Of course you remember "Born to Run"! We played this tape until it died, don't tell me you don't remember Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." This is the album that MADE Springsteen a superstar. Oh my G-d, who raised you? Your father would be ashamed!"

Or something like that.

Then she put it on, and I heard the first chords of "Thunder Road." It was like that Proust passage where he eats a cookie and is transported back to childhood, except instead of remembering when I was a little French boy, I remembered being stretched out on the backseat of our old red Geo Prism, listening to Clarence Clemons' sax as we go through the Kipahoehoe Forest Reserve on our way home to Ocean View. The memory is so strong that I just went to YouTube to hear that song and I now smell the gray upholstery and the ashy, volcanic rain drizzling through the open windows. Of course I remember "Born to Run." I love Bruce Springsteen! He's the voice of my childhood! (Him and Madonna.) has a great article called "60 Springsteen Facts for Bruce's 60th Birthday." Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Bruce has fans in high places. Barack Obama has said that there are “a handful of people who enter into your lives through their music and tell the American people’s story. Bruce Springsteen is one of those people.” He’s also said that he ran for President because he couldn’t be Bruce Springsteen.

7. When the Springsteen’s were living in Freehold, New Jersey, their house was near a Nestle’s factory. When the wind was just right, Bruce has said, he could smell chocolate all day long.

23. In December 1999, the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery was woken up with Bruce’s song “Rendezvous” on the day they were scheduled to rendezvous with the Hubble Space Telescope.

53. Bruce inspires some pretty extreme acts of fandom (besides this post, I mean). Over the summer, JamsBio presented us with “No Retreat, No Surrender,” a “worst-to-first countdown of every album cut in Springsteen history” plus some bonus songs. In all, they ranked and wrote about (sometimes at length) 200 songs. They ranked “Real Man” from Human Touch last and “Born to Run” first.

I still can't embed videos on my blog, but this article also has a bunch of videos, including 2 Sesame Street Springsteen parodies. "Born to Add" makes me smile. How about you?

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