Meeting “The Boss”

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:

  1. trip as I stepped up to meet him;
  2. faint; or,
  3. 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.



5 comments so far

  1. Moeskido on

    As I said on The Loop: well done, Ms. Sly. We should all be as dignified when meeting our idols. You have my envy.

    • Sly on

      Thanks Moe! 😉

  2. Michael Hurst on

    Congratulations and a very neat story…. !

  3. Beatrice on

    I was one of the lucky 1.200 too, and my experience was the same… well, not exactly as I didn’t get a hug or a kiss but it was still awesome. Great write up, I enjoyed reading it. Cheers from Chilliwack!

    • Sly on

      It was incredible, wasn’t it? 😉

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