Wednesday, September 14

Walk tall

Three years ago I was stuck in a giant, sad, boring rut and had no idea how to get out of it. Then a song called New York City Serenade began to open me up to a wider sense of the world and of myself. This song was partly what got me back to university, back to the city, back to a life. 

This weekend, with time and money I don't have, I travelled 2500 miles from California, where I currently live, to Philadelphia to see Bruce Springsteen play. (That sentence alone would've sounded insane to me three years ago.) And what did he open the show with? New York City Serenade. In that moment, standing there in Philadelphia on my own solo adventure, I realised how much I owe that song, and his music. Eyes suddenly real watery. 

'So walk tall, or baby don't walk at all.' 

And then.

Two songs later Bruce is standing right in front of me. We establish eye contact. And yeah this is a big stretch - lots of other people get to the front multiple times, and he's seen a lot of front row faces over the years - but his eyes flash with this look as if he genuinely recognises me from Glasgow, Denmark, holding his hand in London. It was kind of like that 'hey, look who it is!' face you give close friends you haven't seen in a long time. So he raises his eyebrows at me. I raise mine at him. Then he sticks his hand out, takes mine, and grips it so tight for ages, literally will not let go of it.

It took me all summer to get over Wembley. I'll never get over this. 

This photo is of that moment. 

'Let there be sunshine, let there be rain, let the brokenhearted love again...' 

(Afterwards, the Philadelphian, New Jerseyan and Italian fans around me I'd befriended enfolded me with giant hugs, squeals, handshakes of respect, 'well played'. This is what I love so much. The power of his music to forge a fiercely special community.)

Here's a photo of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment