I have a story that features Bruce Springsteen as a character. The story has been kinda bugging me lately, which means that it’s time to re-write it. That’s how I know when it’s time, the characters or the plot or something in the story start to worry the edges of mind.
The story was inspired by a dude I met when Joshua Furst came to read at The Loft. The dude, who is a handler, told us how he brought Bruce Springsteen to Grumpy’s to shoot pool before a concert. Thus, it made perfect sense that some handler would take Bruce to a bowling alley before a concert, right?
Since Bruce is a character in this story that I cannot remember the name of, I decided I needed to become a little more familiar with his music. I know a very little bit, mostly the stuff off of “Born in the USA.” In fact, the song “Glory Days” still kind of makes me want to barf because it was so overplayed the summer I was 13.
It’s not as though I have anything against the Boss. It’s total ignorance on my part.
This afternoon I asked my cubemate, Trip Shakespeare, if he had any Bruce. He rattled through a bunch of albums that I do not own.
“I only have Born to Run,” I said.
“I noticed you didn’t have a lot of Springsteen,” he said. Earlier in the day he had dug through Gideon’s iTunes library making requests for ‘Mats rarities, Westerberg live stuff, and some other songs. “You have Nebraska, of course.”
“No,” I said. “I only have Born to Run.”
Trip put down his iPod, rested his head on his desk, and began to weep. Or fake weep. He does that a lot.
“What?” I said, giggling.
He popped his head up, put his hand in front of him, and closed his eyes shaking his head.
“So, I don’t have Nebraska. You don’t have Blue Valentine.”
“I just, I just can’t believe it,” he said.
Since part of my job at The Nerdery is to be the main Twitterer, I made a crack about how Trip was weeping over this alleged misstep.
Holy cannoli! I think that one quip shook the very foundation on which Rock & Roll has been built. I had no idea that Nebraska was so well-regarded by the music geeks in my life. Nobody ever talks about this album. Is this some secret? Some music-geek only information that gets passed down from geek to geek? Perhaps this is how you get in the club. I am mystified and a little miffed that I’ve lived for 36 years having no idea that Nebraska is held in the same esteem as Blood on the Tracks and Exile on Mainstreet.