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No Surrender: Bruce Springsteen and Fans Celebrate His 61st Birthday Today!

September 23, 2010

I married a Bruce Springsteen fan, a serious Bruce Springsteen fan, a fan with over 100 shows under his belt, someone who made it clear right away what it meant to go to every show that he could possibly go to. He also made it clear that I didn’t have to go, and unless I could appreciate the show from the depths of my being like him, then I shouldn’t go. Actually, our first show together was a make-or-break deal: if I didn’t “get” it, there was no hope for our relationship.

But I made the cut. I don’t mind that he wears a button that reads “On the 8th Day God Made Bruce Springsteen” or that there’s a picture of Bruce Springsteen and my husband hanging in our closet. I understood how getting it signed by Bruce was important and I helped make that happen a year or so ago.

I’ve also met some of the other hardcore fans, including Ron Wells who wrote the following essay in celebration of Bruce Springsteen’s birthday. I’ve written many other posts about Springsteen on this blog, including one on his birthday last year; you’ll find links to them below.

On September 23, 1949,  there was a Devil in the swamps of Jersey, there was a darkness on the edge of town. People were burned by angels who sold wings of lead.
When out of nowhere a holy man whispered, “Hold on brothers, there’s a light up ahead.”

At this moment, God was drifting in heaven, when He looked down where the E Street boy Prophets were standing, waiting, looking handsome, but hot. When suddenly, from far up above, and heading towards the earth below, the sparks of life flew down upon E Street until there before one and all, stood a man who offered living proof that it’s all right, it’s all right, it’s all righlarge_aptopix_bruce_springsteen

The sights of the sun burst forth in musical notes, blinding all the onlookers with their light until, when everyone was finally able to see, there stood a giant of man who sang, “I believe in the hope that can save me, I believe in the faith that can raise me above these badlands.”

Quickly, the Devil took off, last seen heading for Nebraska, as Bruce Springsteen  held his guitar above his head like a sacred instrument and proclaimed that everyone must show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.

And out of nowhere, out of nothing, the Prophets became his band of brothers and sisters, bonded by blood, surrounding him, until he gave the charge, “No retreat, no surrender!”

The clarion call was heard  ‘round the world, there was dancing in the streets, for now there was a reason to believe that he had a little piece of the Lord’s undying light.

So off he sped, Scooter and the Big Man and the other Jersey Prophets right on his heals, while all the while the little pretties raised their hands, as Bruce and the Band headed for Promised Land by way of the land of hopes and dreams.

‘Cause his train, carried saints and sinners, his train carried losers and winners, and the magical, mystical, music of the spheres, was everyone’s for the taking. No longer was anyone afraid of the fears that were once so real.

For on that day, Bruce Frederick Springsteen, no hero, it’s understood, was born in the USA, born to run, as he led everyone, from mad men, drummers, bummers, Indians in the summer, to teenage diplomats, anyone around the world who cared to come along for the ride, to join him in song and search for their beautiful rewards.

For he had, indeed, brought living proof that dreams will not be thwarted, and faith will be rewarded.

Happy 61st birthday, Bruce. Thanks for 35 years of songs, joy, and inspiration.

Here’s more on Bruce Springsteen:

Hitler the Springsteen Fan Goes to New Jersey to see The Boss

April 27, 2009

And has to deal with GA tickets! The horror! This neo-benshi like video nails planning to attend a Springsteen concert…if you’re a Springsteen fan, especially if you’ve been to shows for “Dream” or “Magic,” you’ll laugh. Enjoy.

Springsteen’s fans: the nicest people

April 17, 2009

You meet the nicest people at a Bruce Springsteen show. Really. It could be Bruce, his music, his philosophy. It could just be that the music makes you feel good and smile more and be friendly. Maybe it’s a shared bond, the communal experience, like being in church with an incredible choir.

Mike Ness of Social D joins Bruce for LA Dream Show #2! +news, review & set list

April 17, 2009

“We’re here with a mighty purpose in mind! We’re gonna rock the house! But we’re not only going to rock the house, we’re going to build a house. We’re going to take fear and build a house of love; we’re going to take sadness and build a house of joy; we’re going to take doubt […]

Review of LA “Dream” Tour Show #1: Fallen Angels in the Darkness Seeking Light

April 16, 2009

LA #1: Fallen Angels in the Darkness Seeking Light
by Guest Blogger Ron Wells

Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost,
I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost,
“I’ll be on that hill with everything I got,
For wanting things that can only be found
In the darkness on the edge […]

Tax Day visit of Joad & Morello to Springsteen LA Sports Arena “Dream” Set List

April 16, 2009

Instead of agonizing over our taxes tonight, The Big Monkey headed down to the LA Sports Arena to hear Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band where he was thrilled once again by Tom Morello joining Bruce on stage for “Ghost of Tom Joad” (photo from last year’s show from; go here to read […]

LA Times on Bruce Springsteen: It’s no dream

April 6, 2009

“There are a lot of ghosts in this place,” Bruce Springsteen told the LA Times Geoff Boucher
as his boots clomped on an ancient staircase at the Asbury Park Convention Hall. It was here in this old seaside venue that Springsteen, as a teenager, watched Jim Morrison prowl the stage and Keith Moon thunder away on […]

Review: Springsteen’s “Working on A Dream” in AZ & so are we in LA!

April 5, 2009

We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say—and to feel—”Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you […]

Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Half Time Show Video Mash Up, Commentary, & Bonaroo!

February 3, 2009

Above is the first 9 minutes: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” then “Born To Run” then “Working on a Dream” and finally, below,  “Glory Days”:

I know millions of people saw the Super Bowl on Sunday. But that also means millions of people (like me!) didn’t–and some of us […]

MUSIC: Springsteen! Radiohead “Weird Fishes” Animated Video! Coachella 2009 Line-up!

January 30, 2009

It’s a Friday musical mash up! Springsteen, Radiohead, Coachella (PAUL McCartney?!), Michael Franti and Spearhead!!

Springsteen’s got 3 songs during his 12 minute SuperBowl Half-time show this Sunday. Take a bet on “Born to Run” any body? Two songs from Working On A Dream? Think he’ll […]

To heal the world, sing songs part 2: Bruce Springsteen’s “Dream” Inaugural

January 17, 2009

Did you know “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen is one of Barack Obama’s favorite songs? (For a version of Bruce playing the song on the street in Copenhagen, scroll down.)

Barack Obama says he admires Springsteen as a man who never forgot his roots. That could be one of many reasons why Springsteen is […]

Happy Birthday: Bruce Springsteen & KCRW’s Nic Harcourt

September 23, 2008

Just wanted to give a shout-out to the two biggest musical influences in our home, Bruce Springsteen who turns 59 today and KCRW “Morning Becomes Eclectic” dj Nic Harcourt. I plan my life around listening to Nic every morning from 9-noon in LA (and on the web), and listen as much as […]

The Big Monkey’s Top 10 Springsteen shows

April 14, 2008

The Big Monkey has been to 100 Bruce Springsteen shows, more or less, since 1981. We’ve been to a few shows together since 2002, and every time, he says, Wow, that was so great, that made the Top Ten! So after he said that about the Tom Morello guest appearance on the Magic Tour in […]

Bruce Springsteen San Jose Magic: review and set notes

April 12, 2008

Ron Wells wrote these notes for friends and fellow fans following the San Jose Bruce Springsteen show Sat. April 5:

Sometimes after a Springsteen show, your mind just wanders off into areas you might not otherwise think about. This happened to me as I flew home from San Jose while staring down at the sometimes desolate […]

Seeing Springsteen after the Show & Anaheim Night 1 in Top Ten of 100 shows

April 9, 2008

The Ghost of Tom Joad was that incredible, the Big Monkey says. This version of the song with Bruce and Tom Morello singing and playing together, and their raw power, put this show (Magic Tour, April 7, 2008, Anaheim’s Honda Center) in his Top Ten Bruce Springsteen shows (he’s seen about 100).
See Bruce almost […]

Springsteen & Morello: Joad Video from Anaheim

April 8, 2008

more about the show later…but here’s the video of one of the highlights!
ok so it doesn’t have the amazing guitar work there toward the end–but you get a nice taste, don’t you? the videographer said on you tube that the camera nozis caught him filming; lucky for all of us he […]

Springsteen & E Street Band, April in Anaheim w/SURPRISE! Morello of Rage!

April 8, 2008

Waiting at the back door, yes he is, the Big Monkey is standing outside the door with about 10 old friends, fellow fans and die-hards waiting for Bruce to come out. The Big Monkey hopes the Boss will sign the picture of them from the Tunnel Tour show back in 1987 (see below).
He just called […]

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