I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a huge Springsteen fan. I dunno, just not my thing. Can I appreciate his place in American music history and his impact? Sure thing. Just don’t want to listen to his songs. Most likely because pop radio in the 80’s overplayed everything so I can rarely listen to any song that I absolutely didn’t love.
While I don’t think he’s the actual musical GOAT, he is up there with the greats and that I hope we can all get behind. What I like about him is that while he doesn’t shrug away from his political beliefs, he is very open here that he believes his position as a musician is where he can most touch people and he doesn’t want that muddied up with politics.
So I like him a little more. I still don’t ever want to hear My Hometown again, but he seems a man of reason in times where we desperately need reason.
Enter the 2018 Tony Awards show where they brought out the big gun, Robert Di Niro to introduce a performance by the Bruce. But instead of doing that, he had to get in a few “Fuck Trump”s to bring the audience to their feet in celebration of fucking our President. I guess. I don’t care. This is the new normal and not even a little bit edgy or surprising.
What IS surprising, well, is the fact that this segment was supposed to be about Bruce Springsteen. Instead, De Niro made it all about himself and fucking Trump. Before the man who belted from my radio in the 80’s BORN IN THE U.S.A. and being damn proud of it was to come to stage, your hype guy just told us all we should “Fuck Trump.” That Springsteen has said repeatedly in the press that he doesn’t want politics to deter from his music JUST FUCKING DID! Duh.
But no one wants to talk about how Springsteen had to just sit on ice in the back and watch as his entire audience gave a standing ovation to a guy who said, “Fuck Trump.” Now, could be that Bruce hoot and hollered with the rest of ’em. Don’t know. It would be contrary to what he’s claimed to be and how he’s claimed to live and I have no reason to believe he doesn’t walk his talk.
What I do know is that I kind of feel bad for the guy. This was your time to shine and some self absorbed triggered old guy made it all about him and his hatred for the President of the United States.
But no one is talking about that. Only about how brave and courageous Robert Di Niro is for saying “Fuck Trump” to an audience which has shown their disdain for all things Trump related (by the way, which is a large portion of their paying audience but we won’t talk about that.)
So in The Boss’ honor, I’ll try to stomach one more listen of Born in the USA.
I still believe people fundamentally come to music to be entertained — yes, to address their daily concerns, and yes, also to address political topics, I believe music can do that well. But I still believe fundamentally it’s an affair of the heart. People want you to go deeper than politics, they want you to reach inside to their most personal selves and their deepest struggles with their daily lives and reach that place; that’s the place I’m always trying to reach. I’d never make a record that’s just polemical, I wouldn’t release it if I did. To me, that’s just an abuse of your audience’s good graces.
Firstly, I’m not a fan of the current occupant of the WH, however, I am a fan of Springsteen and if I had paid to see him watching someone take too long to introduce him because of his Fuck Trump speech would have pissed me off immensely (pardon the French). I know everyone has different tastes but I don’t expect political diatribe at a Springsteen concert. That I expected from the likes of Billy Bragg, Edwin Starr and a host of others in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, on the odd occasion I go to a concert I go to be entertained and to hear live some of the great songs of my youth.
Thhanks great blog post