Hi Everybody, welcome to “Who’s the Boss?”, a new Return to the ’80s series. My introduction to Bruce Springsteen was his “Dancing in the Dark” video. I loved that song, as well as “Born in the U.S.A.” Then I discovered that Springsteen had been around for a while when I saw the episode of Growing Pains where Jason and Mike Seaver bonded over their love of “The Boss” – until Jason embarrassed Mike when they were interviewed by the local news when leaving the concert.
After that, I was only aware of Springsteen’s big hits, and never followed him closely. However, Bruce Springsteen does have an extremely rabid fan base. Some friends of mine are included in that group of people. I had heard that his concerts are incredible, and that he plays for a long time, and usually has no opening act. An amazing feat since I think I only knew about 6 or 7 songs by him!
Then came the Rock Out Loud podcast! I just wrote a whole article dedicated to that podcast, so you can go check that out. Basically, I love all the same music that the hosts, Steve and Kristin, listen to. Except Kristin is a HUGE Springsteen fan. I was thinking that she was just a fan because she is from New Jersey. I’m not sure if this is true, but I think if you are in New Jersey and don’t admit your love for The Boss, then you will be thrown out of the state. However, her passion for Bruce is definitely genuine. Steve and I have the same taste of music, and he was starting to like Springsteen more and more. Around a time that they were talking a little Springsteen, I was hanging with some friends who are Springsteen fans. A day or two later, an idea struck me.
I decided to challenge myself (and Kristin) by seeing if she could turn me into a Bruce Springsteen fan. She accepted this challenge. Along my quest of discovering who is “The Boss,” Kristin is giving me the albums in order of how I should listen to them. For this series, I am going to list each song, and write my initial thoughts as I listen to each song. Then I am going to forward these thoughts on to Kristin. Then she will either agree with my assessment, or let me know if I am missing the point. And if you listened to the most recent (as of this posting) Rock Out Loud episode – “When Love and Hate Collide,” you know that Kristin, thankfully, is not going to be afraid to lay the smackdown on me if I trash any song that a respectable Springsteen fan shouldn’t be trashing. As with most albums that you listen to for the first time, some songs are great the first time you hear them, and some take a few listens in order to grow on you. And a new element here is that Kristin can help me hear some songs in a different way, which may change my opinion. So for each album, I’ll give my initial thoughts, and then let you know if my opinion changed one way or another.
I figured the first album would be Born to Run, or one of his other earlier works. Wrong! There’s a saying that I love – “Go big, or go home.” Kristin shares this same sentiment. My first homework assignment – Live/1975–85. Just in case you’re not familiar with that one (yet), it is a 3 disc live set. I was not expecting that, which is totally awesome! This is going to be more fun than even I imagined! Beginning on Monday, we will take a look into that album. It will be split up into three different articles – one for each disc.
(I can’t get this jingle out of my head from another GOLiverse podcast, Disney Vault Talk – Fun Facts. Woo-ooo-ooo. Say it proud and Geek Out Loud, it’s fun facts)
– Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949, in Long Branch, New Jersey. was raised in a working-class household in Freehold Borough. (Biography.com)
– Realizing her son’s interest in music, his mother got an $18 guitar for the 13-year-old Springsteen. His family’s financial situation was so tight that later when she bought a $60 Kent Guitar for her son, she had to take a loan to do so. (Celebrity Fun Facts)
– The first song Bruce Springsteen learnt to play on his guitar was ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Beatles. (Celebrity Fun Facts)
– In his adolescent years, when the Springsteens were living in New Jersey, their house was near a Nestle Factory. Bruce now reminisces that in those days, when the wind was just right, he could smell the chocolate all day long. (Celebrity Fun Facts)
- An outsider and recluse in school, Springsteen frequently got in trouble at his Catholic elementary school. “In the third grade, a nun stuffed me in a garbage can under her desk because she said that’s where I belonged,” he said. “I also had the distinction of being the only altar boy knocked down by a priest during mass.” Several years later, he skipped his own high school graduation because he felt too uncomfortable to attend. (Biography.com and Celebrity Fun Facts both refer to this)
– Bruce Springsteen is known to his fans as ‘The Boss’, but he is not particularly fond of this nickname. The name comes from the time when Springsteen and his band used to play for clubs in the 60s and resulted from him taking on the duty of collecting their nightly earnings and distributing them among the members. Before that time, he was called ‘Doctor’. (Celebrity Fun Facts)Follow @returntothe80s