Listening to the Boss this Memorial Day weekend

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I lost interest in Bruce Springsteen after this lp/cassette came out, even though I bought it. Loved everything BEFORE Born in the USA! Sniffed at everything after Born in the USA.

On this lp, Springsteen slipped on a new persona: THE REGULAR GUY. But by trying to sound like “the common man,” the everyman, on this lp – which Springsteen is definitely NOT! – his songs felt, to me, for the first time ever, mundane. His lyrics lost all their serpentine loveliness. The music was straight ahead – not rock n roll symphony. Those intense musical beat poems that I had loved so intensely and got lost in whenever I listened to miracles like Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., seemed gone!  Springsteen was writing basic rock n roll now, trying to go back to rock’s roots. But he didn’t have Chuck Berry’s special genius, so he couldn’t write those Chuck Berry songs. The haiku of rock n roll! Every word the perfect word!

BORN IN THE USA made Springsteen #1 in America – a household name. EVERYONE throughout our great land now knew who he was because they had bought his lp/cassette. EVERYONE loved it. Before this album, it was only people like me and my friends listening to his majestic urban poetry. He was ours! We wrote our college term papers on his DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN lp! I had a friend who saw him in concert 15 times – in the earliest days in Jersey, at the Stone Pony, for cripes sakes! When my friend talked of those Springsteen concerts we sat at his feet, enthralled – as if he were an apostle who had listened in person to Christ speak his sermon on the mount! And he had touched the hem of His garment!!! Bruce was GOD in college towns – especially along the East Coast.

After Born in the USA, even Ronald Reagan connected to the Boss! Reagan tried to pilfer one of the songs off the album (born in the USA) for his campaign theme song. Bruce said knock it off, Ronny! You don’t understand what the song is about, jug head! (Reagan didn’t, but he still became our President. The beginning of the end …)

Listening to my BORN IN THE USA cassette these past few days, I still feel the songs’ lyrics ooze with working class cliches. But I forgot how much I love that masculine Springsteen voice! No matter what he’s singing! I listened to this song five times in a row Friday, while driving around Woo with Jett! Enjoyable!

– Rosalie Tirella