Friday, April 08, 2016

The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Sprint Center

I found a lover's rendezvous.

_ and I had only one interest in common when we first met.  Girl-crazy 15-year-olds, we pursued imprudent dalliances with a determination that mystified our less amorous classmates. 

I got some beer and the highway’s free.

We bonded after I introduced _ to alcohol and Bruce Springsteen.  He never got his fill of either. 

I took a wrong turn and I just kept going.

While alcohol has never been more than an amusing diversion for me, _ drank constantly.  My passion for Springsteen stalled with the 1984 release of Born in the U.S.A. but  _ went on to write his senior thesis about the artist’s response to the Reagan era.  He also caught more than two dozen Springsteen concerts.

I’m a rocker.

I dubbed _’s copy of The River on the day the album was released in 1980.  I can’t quite remember what we illegally consumed before and during Springsteen’s 1981 concert in support of the album at Kemper Arena in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, but I recall that it was a massive night.

Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?

We gradually drifted apart, partly because I just couldn’t hang.  It took me a full day to recover after each of the handful of occasions we reunited during his last years. 

The price you pay.

I brought a boombox and a copy of The River to _’s room in a hospice two days before his body gave out.  He was coherent enough to indicate that he appreciated the gesture.

My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room.

The tears that streamed down my face at Thursday’s concert at the Sprint Center, consequently, didn’t come as a surprise.  I cried for myself during “Independence Day” and lost it while thinking of _ as the band performed “Wreck on the Highway.” 

They can’t touch me now.

Had I not been sober and in the arms of the woman I love, I might not have made it through the night.

(Tim Finn wrote a proper  review of the concert. Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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