The Unbearable Banishment: bruce works hard for all that money

Sunday, May 24, 2009

bruce works hard for all that money

Bruce Springsteen could live to be 175 and still not spend all the money he's earned. So why does he do it? Why on earth does he knock himself out the way he does? I pretty much work for the money. Don't you?

I like Bruce but I'm not as fanatical as some. I have a lot of respect for his catalog, and his work ethic is second to none. He's a people-pleaser, that's for sure. Mrs. Wife and I saw his Saturday night show at the Meadowlands Sports Arena in New Jersey. Seeing Bruce in New Jersey is akin to seeing the Beatles in Liverpool. He began the evening with a heartfelt, "Good evening, neighbors!" That's a nice sentiment but I know the area where Bruce lives and I can assure you that I am NOT his neighbor.

It's one of those concerts whereby you don't realize how familiar you are with the material until one recognizable song after another rolls off the stage. The same thing happened to me when I saw the Rolling Stones. I don't have any Stones albums, but I knew the lyrics to just about every song. Bruce, too. You just know his stuff. That's how steeped into our cultural consciousness their work is.

And, yes, he was great. At just past 3:00 hours he announced that, "The turnpike is closed! Nobody goes home!" and ripped into a version of Tommy James & the Shondells Mony Mony that tore the roof off. Just like he promised it would. He's the man.

We got backstage passes. He briefly chatted with Mrs. Wife and pretty much ignored me, which is fine by me. I hate going backstage. I always feel like I have no business being back there because...well...frankly, I have no business being backstage. I was talking to his sister and I said I felt sorry that after working his ass off for 3+ hours, he now has to meet and greet a corridor full of people. She said, in a flat tone, "It's part of the job."

True dat. Meeting a bunch glazed-eyed worshipers after performing to the point of exhaustion might be a pain in the ass, but it beats the hell out of commuting 4 hours a day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's one of the last of an era... and has weathered it all very well. the music evolved - some good, some bad - but he never lost his foundation. as i've said before, that's the sexiest sweaty man in rock and roll.

so. can i use that pic to create a counterfeit pass for his next show?

May 24, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

It's probably somewhat about having a job he really loves, but I would guess that it would be hard to give up the attention too.

May 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous neeeekole. said...

i bet you could sell that. lol

May 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: Feel free to counterfeit. Don't forget to update the date stamp.

Annie: There's no doubt he loves what he's doing. His performances are joyful.

Nicole: I have no idea what you're trying to say. As usual.

May 24, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

Back stage passes! Yankee would be soooo jealous!

About the money thing, most people do work for the money, but there are those rare individuals who work for the work because they love it. I guess Bruce is one of them. Us bloggers are like that on a very small scale since most of us don't make any money off our blogs. Yet we still work hard to put out good material.

May 24, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger mythopolis said...

He tries too hard to show how hard he rocks and how grass-roots he is....personally I am into Bob Dylan's long-standing indifference to crowd pleasing. Springsteen overplays the Jersey thing. Personally, Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" is one of the best 'oldies' I have heard!

May 24, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

Beats the hell out of a lot of jobs. I'm like you with The Boss - certainly recognize his rock god credibility, but by no means am I a superfan. Still, great show sounds like!

May 24, 2009 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Cat: Tell him not to be jealous. Backstage isn’t as fun as you think it’d be. It’s a zoo.

Myth: I’ll take Bruce’s heartfelt desire to give a good show over Dylan’s boring detached indifference any day. I’d never pay good money to watch Dylan mumble through a concert.

AFM: If you saw him perform you’d probably leave the concert hall a bigger fan that you were before the show.

May 25, 2009 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Sid said...

I've never been backstage. I'd love to though.

May 25, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really showing my age here...but I saw Bruce about a month after the dual Time/Newsweek covers at the Opry House in Nashville which has world-class acoustics. It was fabulous, of course--and quite a different vibe from anything else here in Nashville at the time. Like many of the others, I'm not a super-fan, but I do respect him for his talent and hard work.

May 25, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to see him in July for the second time. We defnitely get our money's worth from his gigs !

May 25, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

I have only been backstage to 1 concert. I didn't want to go the concert. I was forced. I swear. It was John Tesh.

May 26, 2009 at 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Nurse H said...

I'm not a huge fanatic either. Saw him once at the Garden and that's enough. I think it's cooler that you got to speak to his sister...she was in one of my favorite movies of all time, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High!!!!"

May 26, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Sid: Backstage is fun. Once.

HIF: Well, if you do the math based on the fact that you were 4 when you saw him, you are in the spring of your life.

LKSN: I wish I were flying out there to see him. It’d be interesting to see how a foreign audience reacts.

Nurse H: Not that sister. His other sister. That one lives in LA.

May 26, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Blues said...

I feel the same way about Bruce, like him, but am not fanatical.

That said, one of the best concerts I´ve been to was Bruce Springsteen. It was so spur of the moment, a friend called me up and said, "Hey, wanna go to Bruce Springsteen right now?" and I said, "ummmm, sure". And it was a smallish theatre and we had amazing seats and it was Bruce and his guitar and his harmonica and that was it. He told a story about each song he played. And it was beautiful.

He´s coming to my city in July and I definitely plan on going.

May 30, 2009 at 7:03 AM  

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