Friday, March 16, 2012

Born in the USA

Why, yes, Eddy Waymon was born in the USA. Austin, Texas to be exact. And yesterday, in our glorious city, we were one of the lucky ones that got to hear Bruce Springsteen deliver the keynote address at SXSW.

I am not a musician. Can't read a lick of sheet music. My musical talent does not extend beyond my taste. But I was moved yesterday. I imagine that the real musicians in the room had to buy new socks after the show because Bruce had knocked theirs off.

I will admit that I didn't expect for Bruce to be so eloquent. I expected an hour of rock star ramblings about "late nights, and buy my latest album, and then there was this one time." I was quickly reminded that he is The Boss. He is a poet. He is a working class hero.

Bruce told the story of his life in music. He started with Elvis, talked about the censorship of his waste down, how just the idea of what was happening below the belt was enough to make a nation uncomfortable and curious and excited. He moved on to Roy Orbison, a cool geek that made heartache and love balance equal. Then to The Beatles, who were just four friends that cleaned up nicely and wrote good tunes themselves. His voice got faster as he talked about The Animals. He said he felt free for the first time listening to them. Then he grabbed his guitar and picked out the skeleton of We Gotta Get Out of This Place. When he started to sing you could almost hear the moment in his life when he was a teenager being transformed by a song. He continued with words about Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, James Brown, The Sex Pistols, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam and wrapped it up by recognizing the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie. He closed by singing a more obscure verse from Guthrie's song, This Land is Your Land, and when he got to the chorus he paused and said, "You know, this is one where everyone is supposed to sing along." So everyone in the room started singing, "... from the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters..."

Throughout the entire hour, my goosebumps had goosebumps but at that moment, tears welled. It was pure magic. Not surprisingly, he got a standing ovation and everyone floated out of the room, smiling at strangers with looks that said, "Can you believe what we just saw?"

A few lucky folks got to see Bruce in concert later in the day but we will have to wait until next month when we trek to New Orleans to see him at Jazz Fest.

Bruce Springsteen was my first concert in 1984 when I was a little girl. Eddy slept through the whole talk but I'm certain that those brilliant words penetrated his brain. He wore his Born in the USA outfit and everyone around us was excited to meet "The Boss' youngest fan". There were signs posted everywhere saying "No photography of any kind" and the teacher in me can't stand to break rules so we have no photos.

BUT I think a few photos of The Boss' youngest fan looking so cool will suffice.

Bruce's tiny butt looks a little chunkier stretched across that beautiful belly.

 If you have a spare 50 minutes, and you love music, listen to the keynote address here. It rocked.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, Eddie is so awesome in his onesie! And your telling of Springsteen's speech is wonderful. I'm going to listen to it tonight. Thanks for sharing!


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