Let’s get this out-of-the-way right off the top…I realize I’m 53 years old, long past the age some would say where meeting your musical idols, if even possible, should be out of your system.
But Bruce Springsteen is more than just a musical idol to some, myself included. He’s a life’s soundtrack, a jumping off and a safe place to land point when life isn’t as kind or as fair as we’d like it to be. He’s authentic, he’s a storyteller, he’s passionate and genuine, and he’s responsible for a community of fans who have formed lasting friendships all over the world.
So when the opportunity arose to have a chance to meet Bruce during his “Born to Run” book tour, I jumped at it. As one of the lucky 1,200 who snagged a ticket for his appearance in Seattle, I counted down the days, practising (sort of) what I would say, thinking far too long about what I would wear, and hoping upon hope that I wouldn’t:
- trip as I stepped up to meet him;
- faint; or,
- throw up on his shoes.
Thankfully, I did none of the above.
The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle hosted the event and couldn’t have done anything better in my opinion. It was so extremely well-organized that I secretly wished they could run every GA lottery line from now to infinity. The atmosphere in line was fun, people were excited telling their Springsteen stories, and as the line moved inside, Elliott Bay took over with cute, albeit stomach flipping reminders, that we were getting closer and closer to our “moment”.
I had hoped to get a couple of candid photos of my friends Nic and Kathy ahead of me (who, by the way, I may have never met if it weren’t for Bruce), but it all happened so quickly that by the time I had given my phone to the EB staffer and reached for my camera, I was next in line to meet him. He reached out his hand, but I motioned for a hug, quietly saying “I think I need a hug instead”. He kindly obliged, with a quick peck on the cheek (WHAT?!?!) and at that moment, with direct eye contact (he made a point of it), I had my chance to thank him for doing this, for coming out West and for giving us all such an incredible gift. He replied “awww, thank you darlin’” and after another quick hug, I picked up my autographed book and made my way, slowly, out of the store. Floating.
“They”, whoever “they” are, say you should never meet your idols. “They” were wrong.
I don’t know if Bruce will ever truly understand what a gift he has given his fans, this fan, this 53-year-old fan from Vancouver, BC, who as a 21-year-old saw her first Springsteen concert on October 15, 1984 at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, from row 14 center on the floor, and who came away that night transformed…”I got it”. Thirty-two years and 27 shows later (with hopefully more to come), I could never repay him for the friendships he’s given me, but on Saturday, October 1, 2016, I was at least able to say thanks.
Now…I’ve a got a book to read.
Purple Rain set the world on fire, but Prince was more than just that movie or that album, and while I may be slightly more than a casual fan, by no means did I know his entire catalogue or deeper cuts. I consider myself lucky to have seen him in concert a couple of times, including a very intimate show at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver back in 2013, which admittedly wasn’t my favourite show for a few reasons…unimportant now. But looking back now as I try to absorb the news of his death today, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to see his genius at work.
His performance of Purple Rain at the 1985 American Music Awards is the first thing I watched when I got home from work today, and is arguably one of the best performances I have ever seen on an awards show; to this day, it never ceases to give me goosebumps.
Goodnight sweet Prince, you were a guitar God, magnificently eccentric and one of a kind.
What a show. Almost 4 hours of pure joy! For me, one of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a few. It was controlled but loose, static but spontaneous, if that makes any sense. LOL
Bruce’s voice was incredible, and after messing up early on on Crush on You I believe, they just seemed looser, and fed off the crowd more and more. He came to the back 3-4 times (we were in the pit, back rail), picked the majority of signs from there – there was a sign for Incident, but sadly he didn’t take it). And our friend Dennis even danced with Bruce! Was awesome!!
And c’mon, Eddie fucking Vedder joining in on Bobby Jean?!? 😎 My friend Nic and I screamed and jumped up and down like 12 year old girls when Eddie came out. LMAO!
What a special night…glad I made the short trek from Vancouver. If you get the chance to see a show, especial this tour celebrating The River album, go! Ya never know how long this train will be running.
Music is good for my soul. Bruce and the E Street Band even moreso. #TheRiverTour2016Seattle
A link to my pics is here.
I’m not sure why I was so affected by Nathan Cirillo’s death, after all, Canada has lost many service-men and women over the years, including just two days prior with the deliberate hit and run attack on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. While every loss should be mourned, somehow this senseless attack on Cpl. Cirillo at the War Memorial in Ottawa and at Parliament Hill was like a direct hit to all of us.
I was able to listen in to just a small portion of the funeral this morning and was struck with what a sense of loss this really was for not only his family (a sad, unimagined loss), but also to this country. I hope it will spark renewed support of our troops, and of all our men and women in uniform, past and present. I hope we begin to treat our veterans with even more respect and dignity than we already do (and sometimes don’t do). It’s the very least we owe them.
Rest in peace Cpl. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Vincent; with much gratitude, thank you for your service.
30 years ago tonight, on October 15, 1984, the Born in the USA tour rolled into Vancouver and my musical landscape was forever changed as I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live for the first time.
From my centre section, row 14 on the floor seat at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC, it was like nothing I had ever seen before, and to this day, no one IMO puts on a show like Springsteen. Twenty-four shows later, from Vancouver to New Jersey, Buffalo to LA, including two surprise appearances at Light of Day, I’m grateful for the music and especially grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way.
Until the next tour, “no retreat baby, no surrender”. #BiTUSA30 #Brucebuds #EStreetNation #NFS
A year ago this week, my family was rocked with the news that my oldest brother Andy had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. While it sometimes felt like the longest year, the shock of it all still resonates like it was yesterday.
I’d be lying if I said the pain had subsided because it hasn’t, but with each new day, you learn to cope a little better, and in the end, you hope that the memories, the good, fun, silly memories, will surpass the sadness. I hope and pray that my mom continues to be the strong woman she always has been even though no parent, at any age, should ever have to say goodbye to their child; there’s a sadness that I’m afraid probably will never go away for her. I hope and pray that my brother Peter, after time, will be able to erase the images that I know remain. I especially hope and pray that his daughters continue to pursue their dreams in the face of all their sadness; in the past year, one has graduated from University while the other received her Masters Degree and as each milestone passes, I know he is proudly smiling down at them.
How I wish I could turn back the clock to August 4, 2013. You’re missing, Andy. Everyday.
30 “years burning down the road” and the album that changed my musical landscape was released.
While not the best album in his catalogue, Springsteen’s Born in the USA was certainly his most commercially successful one, and it opened up my eyes and ears to his earlier work and led me on a wild ride that thankfully shows no signs of stopping. His music makes me think, inspires me when I seem to need it the most, and has gifted me with friendships that I can’t imagine being without. For that I will be forever grateful and forever a fan.
“I’m ready to grow young again.” ~ No Surrender
We “met” through a Bon Jovi fan club (WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?) but bonded over Bruce, and I will always consider you my forever friend and sister from another mother. I will keep you, your girls, your family & friends, and your fur babies in my thoughts as you begin your journey to rest with the angels. May any pain and sadness you take with you be replaced with the joy and peace you so richly deserved. I will miss your sarcasm and quick wit more than I can say.
This is YOUR song and it will always remind me of our friendship and the strength you had (even if you didn’t believe in that strength yourself).
RIP my beautiful “caterpillar” friend. Love you bunches. xo
Thoughts turn bittersweet as I bid adieu to 2013. While a new year brings new hopes and dreams to be realized, 2013 had its share of challenges and an unthinkable loss that will forever linger.
My wish for all of you, especially my family and closest friends, is to love more, laugh harder, live better and take care of each other cuz this ain’t no dress rehearsal.
Happy 2014 from the West Coast. I’ll get the lights.❤
It’s a different Christmas this year for me and my family. It’s the first one since my oldest brother Andy passed away, and learning to navigate all the traditions and things that we’re used to doing has been an ongoing process.
But the smiles are still important, even more so. The joy of hearing my nephew’s giggles, the surprise in everyone’s eyes as they open their gifts, sitting down at the dinner table on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day to enjoy all my mom’s hard work, then hearing her sigh and finally be able to relax when it’s over. It’s all different this year, but these are traditions that I’ve known all my life and familiarity at this time seems so important.
So while things may be different and forever changed for us, I can’t think of a better way to start the festivities than by wishing all of you who grace my life everyday the very best for a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. Please be good to each other.
Merry Ho Ho!