My life with Bruce Springsteen: A Boomer, a twentysomething and a teen swap stories
When Bruce Sringsteen last visited Tampa, it was during halftime of Super Bowl XLIII. He returns on Saturday for a show at the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets $36-$98. Get them here.
To celebrate, we asked three writers — one 60 years old, another 29, and one 17 — to reflect on what makes Bruce their Boss. Here's a taste of what they had to say.
The Baby Boomer: When Jeff Klinkenberg first saw Bruce Springsteen in concert in 1978, "he played as if his life depended on it," writes the 60-year-old Klinkenberg. "And perhaps it did. At one point I remember thinking: 'This isn’t just a show. This guy wants to be here as much as we do.’ It was loud in there, between the guitars and the drums and the piano and the organ and the sax and the cheering, and I could understand few lyrics. But it didn’t matter. The darkness, the passion and the humor was in music that managed to sound new and old at the same time. I had never seen a performer — I had never seen anyone — with that kind of energy. He was getting real, real gone and bringing us along for the ride."
The Twentysomething: "My musical tastes have always leaned toward the modern — Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Third Eye Blind — but to this day, Thunder Road remains one of my top five all-time desert-island songs," writes 29-year-old Jay Cridlin, your humble Soundcheck editor. "I used to sit at our piano with a portable CD player and clumsily attempt to plink out the opening notes. Just that one line — 'You ain’t a beauty, but hey, you’re alright' — is imbued with more real, honest love than most songwriters can scrounge up in a lifetime."
The Teen: "Although he turns 60 this month, he rocks harder than most," writes 17-year-old Jacob Stewart, a Gibbs High School student. "I usually would disagree with those who suggest that there is something wrong with my generation. But on Springsteen, I’d have to agree with the older generation. If there is anything wrong with us, it’s our lack of Bruce."
Photo: Associated Press.