Happy 60th Birthday…

September 23rd, 2009

Bruce Springsteen could get the AHIH Birthday nod because of 35 years of quality rock ‘n’ roll and leave it at that. I could offer best wishes on his 60th for turning the Fender Telecaster into a rock ‘n’ roll instrument, synonymous in rock ‘n’ roll circles with Bruce Springsteen much like Jimmy Page and his Les Paul.bruce_springsteen_3

On the other hand, in 1974 Bruce Springsteen set out to record the greatest rock album ever, and almost succeeded (arguably did) with the release of Born to Run. Three years later he released his most artistically complete work, Darkness on the Edge of Town, leaving possibly the two best songs (Fire and Because The Night, the former become a hit for The Pointer Sisters; the latter for Patti Smith) on the cutting room floor. He also wrote one of those songs that may never go away, Blinded By The Light, made what it is by Manfred Mann. Surely that’s enough for birthday wishes on his 60th.

Maybe I’d say happy birthday because he performed two of the three best concerts I have ever seen, first in 1984, just before he was to achieve superstardom. Dancing in the Dark was on the radio, Courtney Cox dancing on MTV, her first flirtation with fame. The second time was almost 30 years later, in 2003. Performing from a new album, the 50-something Springsteen stepped up for 2 1/2 hours. If a reformed Led Zeppelin hadn’t upended the “best concert I’ve ever seen” listing in 2007, I could say with absolute confidence they would have been the two best shows I have ever seen.

Someone else, I might offer wishes because he wrote the following lines:

brucespringsteenIf dreams came true aww wouldn’t that be nice…

I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul…

The street’s on fire in a real death waltz
Between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy
Man, the poets down here don’t write nothin’ at all,
They just stand back and let it all be…

I got Mary pregnant and man that was all she wrote.
And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat.
We went down to the courthouse and the judge put it all to rest…

We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school…

But it’s a sad man my friend who’s livin’ in his own skin
And can’t stand the company…

On another day I might suggest the guitar solo in Prove it All Night is worthy o, the bass line in Fire, the passionately strained vocals on Born to Run suggest the recipient was worthy.

Truth is, I can’t narrow down Bruce Springsteen’s contributions to one lick, one line, one song, one album. His career has produced a body of work that can only be called significant, much of it among the best in rock’n’roll.

So Happy 60th Birthday Bruce Springsteen, because of the years of wonder you have given me, and because even after all these years, rock ‘n’ roll still seems important to you.

Birthday Wishes, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin', Springsteen is still Boss

  1. billg
    September 23rd, 2009 at 13:48 | #1

    …”struck me kinda funny…seemed kinda funny sir to me…how at the end of every hard earned day People find some reason to believe”…
    Hows that for one line that sums up the Boss !!

  2. September 23rd, 2009 at 16:05 | #2

    Since we’re on Nebraska

    “Hey Ho Rock and Roll, deliver me from nowhere.”

    Pretty much sums up Springsteen.

    You know, since I’m quoting OPen All Night:

    Now, the boss don’t dig me, so he put me on the nightshift
    It’s an all night run to get back to where my baby lives
    In the wee wee hours your mind gets hazy radio relay towers, won’t you lead me to my baby?
    Underneath the overpass, state trooper hits his party light switch
    Goodnight good night, good luck one two power shift

    I met Wanda when she was employed behind the counter at route 60 Bob’s Big Boy
    Fried Chicken on the front seat, she’s sittin’ in my lap
    We’re wipin’ our fingers on a Texaco roadmap
    I remember Wanda up on scrap metal hill with them big brown eyes that make your heart stand still

    Some guys write whole books to tell that much story (then they win Giller prizes, but I digress).

    You know, I could play the Springsteen lyric game all day, he really knows how to paint a picture with just a few words.

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