Posted by: beattieblog | July 2, 2008

The Boss Atop My Musical Bucket List

Must be my blue-collar ‘Jersey roots…dragging in my ’72 Camaro, cruising down to the boardwalk in my convertible with Mary , Roy Orbison playing too loud…oh wait, that’s not really me. But today in class at Fuller, I was reminded of a somewhat dormant love I have for Bruce Springsteen’s music – I still wince when I remember how my ’87 powder-blue Ford Escort ‘ate’ 2 of the 4 Springsteen Box Set cassettes.

From articles in Catholic periodicals to multiple Mystery Science Theater 3000 references (one of the little robots called these lyrics the greatest ever in rock n roll: Wendy let me in, I wanna be your friend, I wanna guard your dreams and visions. Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims and strap your hands ‘cross my engines!), Bruce is everywhere. We heard a good lecture from Jeff Keuss today entitled “Darkness on the Edge of Town: The Gospel of Hope According to Bruce Springsteen”. Gotta love it – and tomorrow is U2 day! If i were on the College of Cardinals I’d nominate Keuss for Pope.

Now Wendy and those “Born to Run” lyrics above might be a little racy for catechism, but Bruce grounds many of his lyrics in dense imagery of faith, sin, redemption and resurrection. This is part of why, having seen U2, Dylan and Van Morrison, The Boss tops my musical ‘Bucket List’. Springsteen gets a bad rap as “the poor man’s Bob Dylan”, and while I understand this sentiment, I say y’all need to dust off your Flannery O’Connor books and give the Jersey boy another chance (he did endorse Obama after all). Plus, Clarence Clemons inspired one nerdy anglo 5th grader named Ryan Beattie to pick up the saxophone! From an America: The National Catholic Weekly article in February, 2003:

“The loss and search for faith and meaning have been at the core of my own work for most of my adult life…Those issues are still what motivate me to sit down, pick up my guitar and write.”

So, send your iTUnes gift cards to me so I can buy my lost Springsteen music and tell me who’s on your list of “wanna see live” before you cross over The River.



  1. Otis Redding – the B sides

  2. My first response was Audioslave, but they’re gone. Second was RATM, but they’re gone too… Third was U2, so I’ve got one band that’s still around. Fourth was Jimi Hendrix Experience, but he’s just gone, so… Man. Most of the good music is dead… But Chris Cornell is up there, as is The Nightwatchman.

  3. I like it, sobrino. You’re starting to come around…:)

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