Posts Tagged ‘essential Springsteen’


When people ask me where I’m from, I usually tell them I grew up in a Springsteen song.  It’s much more evocative than clicking on Google Maps.

Because I had a poster of Bruce Springsteen in my dorm room and because I played Bruce Springsteen albums every day and told people I could not complete an English paper without a Springsteen soundtrack, and was obcessively marking off days until the E Street Band came to the Boston Garden, it was safe to assume that I was a huge, huge fan.

But let me be clear. I am a fan of the music. When he got married, a friend asked me if I was upset.

“Why would I be upset? ” I asked.

“Well, I know you really like him,”  she said.

“I would only be upset if his wife tells him he can’t make any more records.”

The first Springsteen song I ever heard was Born to Run on WBCN in Boston. I was getting ready for school and I stopped what I was doing to sit down on my bed and just listen. Bruce sang about hopeless, bleak factory towns like the one I was growing up in.  He talked about wanting, yearning. He was talking to me. (I wanna know if love is wild/I wanna know if love is real; It’s a town full of loser and I’m pullin’ outta here to win; The poets down here don’t write nothin’ at all/they just stand back and let it all be.”)  And because he was Bruce Springsteen, he was living proof that your future can be something more than a union card and a wedding coat.

I don’t think about Bruce as much as I used to, but when I do, I still get a chill, a rush of excitement. The first time I saw Springsteen live was and still is one of the best rock and roll nights of my life.  After the second (or third?) encore, they put the lights on in the arena after one of his shows as a signal for everyone to clear out and go home. Bruce ran back out on stage, grabbed the microphone and shouted “Hey! Turn those lights out! I’m not finished yet!” It was wonderful!  He played for at least another 45 minutes and did songs that he knew were only available on bootlegs at the time like “Because the Night” and “Santa Claus is Comming to Town.” How can you not love someone who asks the same questions you’re asking and writes great songs to keep you dancing and singing while you’re waiting?

“Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.”

So what am I talking about?

This is the essential classic Rosalita video from 1978. This is quintessential Springsteen.

Live version of Santa Claus is Comming to Town—  Back in the day, you could only hear this live if you were lucky enough to get tickets.

Thunder Road – live from the No Nukes Concert 1980

Check out Paste Magazine’s list of 5 must see Springsteen videos.


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