Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Boss Turns 60

Bruce Springsteen turns 60 in September, and he's on the cover of AARP Magazine!

But here's why America needs Bruce now more then ever, according to Ariel Swatley at AARP.

1 comment:

Judy H. said...

This magazine cover caught me totally by surprise! My first impulse was to laugh, but then the reality that Bruce and I are BOTH turning 60 this year knocked the wind right out of my sails. Could it really have been 30 years since I turned on the radio and first heard "So you're scared and you're thinkin' that maybe we ain't that young anymore; show a little faith, there's magic in the night; you ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright; oh, and that's alright with me. . ." Little did I know at that moment that there would rarely be a day without Springsteen music for. . . well, hopefully, for the rest of my life.

There is an infectious sense of fun to Bruce's music that makes it hard to resist, but it's the flip side, the deep sense of spirituality, that grabbed me and held on tight all these years.

The Rev. Andrew Greeley, a Catholic priest and author, wrote in 1988 that Springsteen's album "`Tunnel of Love' may be a more important Catholic event in this country than the visit of Pope John Paul II. Springsteen sings of religious realities - sin, temptations,forgiveness,life, death, hope, - in images that appeal to the whole person, not just the head and that will be absorbed by far more Americans than those who listened to the Pope."

A year later, Louisiana novelist Walker Percy, who often wrote
about spiritual issues, wrote Springsteen a letter, praising his "spiritual journey." Percy died in 1990. Soon after, Springsteen wrote a belated reply to Percy's widow that included this statement:

"The loss and search for faith and meaning have been at the core of my own work for most of my adult life. Those issues are still what motivate me to sit down, pick up my guitar and write."

That search for meaning in life, what Bruce describes as the "unknowability of God," is what drives the character in one of my favorite songs, "My Father's House:

Last night I dreamed that I was a child
I was trying to make it home through the forest
Before the darkness falls
I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path
With the devil snappin' at my heels
I broke through the trees and there in the night
My father's house stood shining hard and bright
The branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms
But I ran till I fell shaking in his arms."

It's this dimension of Bruce's music that leads critics, religious leaders, and just plain old devoted fans like me, to want to continue the journey with him.