It was in ’85 it all started. I was turning seven and Bruce had released Born in the USA. I don’t remember much from being seven, but I remember I loved the song Born in the USA.
My sister was hooked on Bruce and she influenced me. She loved Bruce and I took up on that. When I was eleven or twelve I got a mixtape filled with Bruce song for my birthday. My sister gave me this. I listened to that tape over and over and over.
1993 was a special year for me. It was the year of my first Springsteen concert. I remember the news on the front page of a huge Norwegian newspaper. I went screaming and running around the house. Then I called my best friend Linda who also loves Bruce as much as me. We went crazy together.
That summer in 93, I didn’t listen to other music than Bruce. He was constantly in my new cd-player for three months. Every time I turned off his music, I said out loud: Sorry Bruce, but I have to turn off now.
From that year, I started to collect things about Bruce. I cut out things about him from newspapers. Every little thing I could come over that included Bruce were safely cut out and stored in a plastic bag. I’ve bought a huge flag, calendars, buttons, t-shirts from concerts etc. My bedroom was filled with a huge Springsteen poster and pictures. Everything that I saw on TV was recorded.
Me and my friend Linda, we decided that when we died, we were going to take a picture of Bruce with us in the coffin. And they were going to play ‘the River’ at the funeral, because that was one of our fave songs at the time. Crazy, huh?
Quite early I decided I needed all his music on CD. It wasn’t enough with just a few mix-tapes. My first CD ever was Bruce Springsteen (un)plugged. My sister gave that CD and a Norwegian music magazine called Beat (with a huge Bruce interview) when I got confirmed. I think that, and the stereo my parents gave me, was the best gift I got for my confirmation.
Now that I got every official CD release, I’ve turned to LP’s. I love the sound of the LP and what better is there than Springsteen on LP? I collect old, used Springsteen LP’s and some rare un-official live recordings. I don’t have much, just a few, but the collection will grow.
I also got some books about Bruce and the E Street Band. I love reading about them.
This is the latest. A new LP (Greetings from Asbury Park), a new old magazine and various clippings from this weeks newspapers.
Now, almost 20 years after the madness started, I still collect clippings about Bruce and the E Street Band. It’s just something I can’t stop doing. I think it would feel unnatural to not cut out pieces about him, for some odd reason. I have a huge map with all sorts of things stored.
After the concert in ’93 I thought this would be the last time I would be able to see him. I said that in ’96 and ’99 too, when he played in Oslo. When he came in ’03 I stopped saying it. I knew then that it was impossible to predict what would be the last concert. After ’03, I’ve seen him twice in ’05 (with the Seeger Session Band), twice in ’07 (once in Oslo and once with my friend Chantal in Arnhem / Netherlands) and now two days a row, Monday and Tuesday, in Oslo. On Tuesday I had my 10th concert anniversary when I think about it :)
My best Bruce memory? That’s easy. It was in May 2005. Bruce was in town and he always stays at Grand Hotel. I was downtown doing some errands after work. Then mum called me. She’d heard on the radio that Bruce might be coming out of the hotel. I walked over to the hotel to see if there was anyone there. I saw some other people waiting and decided to stick around for a while. I ended up staying there for two hours – two long hours. But it was so worth it. Bruce came out. I had my camera ready and took a shot of him. He was walking right by me. It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing your idol one meter way from you.
The picture I took, turned out all blurry, but that doesn’t matter. I know it’s him :) I was so happy and ecstatic after he’d left half a minute later. My legs were like spaghetti and my hands were shaking. First I called my mum and thanked her for the lead on where Bruce was. Then I called my friend Linda and then my sister.
So what is it about this man that appeals so much to me? It’s a combination of lots of things.
His music, they way he writes, what he writes about… everybody can recognize something familiar in what he writes. He’s the everyday man who writes about universal things that everyone can relate to.
Bruce is a very down-to-earth man. He’s the man in the street and doesn’t want to be something else. Being famous hasn’t turned him crazy like other turn out. An example of that is this story I read in the newspaper thursday morning.
Bruce went for a walk in the Vigeland-park in Oslo wednesday night (around 22.00). He sees a small group of people (in their early twenties I think) sitting and drinking bear and having a good time. He walks over, sits down and has a chat. The group offers him a beer, he accepts. For half an hour he sits there, talking sharing stories etc. He said that doing things like that brings him closer to people and its fun and giving to feel the reaction this leads to. You got to love a man like that!
It’s not a downside that he’s quite charming and handsome too. His great smile and laughter; can anyone resist that? ;)
My fave Springsteen album and song? It’s hard to say. Album… it all depends on the mood I guess. It might be Darkness on the Edge of Town. Born in the USA is a great album too, with lots of fantastic songs. When it comes to songs, I think I have to say Thunder Road from Born to Run. It’s a fantastic song and after I once heard him explain the song, tell us what it meant, how it’s built etc, I just loved it even more!
As a last thing, I have to say I’m blessed to have a friend I can share my Bruce-mania with. It’s nice to be two in all the madness!