The Boss and me

To The Opinions Editor SMH

Bernard Zuel’s article, “Bruce Springsteen live: a trust exercise in the age of Trump” SMH 8 February was a wonderful tribute to an ageless, troubadour. I was prompted to write the following personal account of my history with the Boss

The concert on Tuesday night was brilliant.

Of the three Springsteen concerts, I have seen over the past five years, each one is better than the last. Perhaps, because there is the thought, that this one; may well be the last.

That Bruce is getting older and this Bruce is running out of time, a withering brain disease is slowly catching up with me

I didn’t feel all that well before last night’s concert, I was tired and everything was just a bit sore, I felt even worse on the way home in the crowded train.

After almost three hours of the Boss, it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

I had just spent a night with a hero, a humble hero in many ways.

For a guy who has achieved what he has, he carries success like an old comfort blanket, he still has fun with the old team and Patti is always there.

He is quite ordinary, but he is also extraordinary, he is a hero I have lived with and believed in, for over thirty years and he has never let me down.

He has infiltrated my family to the extent, that even when my two youngest daughters were half a world away, they went to see him in London in 2010. There was no prompting from me, they just wanted to, and they told me about it afterwards.

My youngest daughter Kate tells of her big sister, surging to near the front of 100,000 people in Hyde Park.

“It was like she owned him, Dad” 

Every road trip, when the kids were kids, was accompanied by one or other of his CDs.

The “Jersey Girl” track died from overuse and was replaced, it was the hairbrush anthem of choice.

“Redheaded Woman” became our guilty secret to be kept from their mother. She, not unreasonably, may had some problems with two teenage daughters and one preteen listening too closely of the lyrics of that song.

In 2012, while I was fading faster than I have been over the past few years, I went to see The Boss at Homebush with my eldest daughter. It was a reunion for both of us, the last time we had seen Bruce was in the Capitol Theatre on his small scale “Ghost of Tom Joad” acoustic tour, a few years earlier.

I first saw Springsteen in North Carolina in the late eighties, I think. I can’t remember the year, but I remember that concert like it was yesterday, it was my awakening to just how powerfully this guy and the E Street band could perform.

He sings to Trump’s lost Americans but he warns about easy solutions and false prophets, he sings the praises of Migrants and rehashes the old Woody Guthrie classic “This Land Is your Land” to embrace the world as it is today.

My partner and I saw him the last time he toured, I was stagnating then, not getting any worse but not getting any better, the tiredness and the pain was forgotten then, just as it was on Tuesday night when the two of us, struggled back home.

My Grandkids know immediately when a Springsteen song comes on the radio.

The thought of one more concert is enough to keep me going, but if it doesn’t, so be it.

I have shared my love and faith in this man with family and lovers and they will never listen to a song of his, without thinking of me.

His legacy has become my legacy.

Bruce Ingrey