I’m getting ready to head back to Maryland today and it’s as bittersweet as always. Obviously I love being in New Jersey, but my home, and my life for that matter, is actually in Maryland/DC these days. I always listen to a lot of Bruce on the way to New Jersey. When I’m driving up here, he’s a bit of a primer to get me in the Jersey mood (as if I’m ever not in the Jersey mood). On the whole though, I primarily listen to ska when I get back to NJ, because that’s where the real memories of my youth are.
I’ll have to write a major FY post about that later though; this one is about the Boss. I definitely listen to Bruce the most when I’m out of the state. He just lets my mind drift momentarily back to Jersey when I can’t actually be here and gives me what I’m jonesin’ for.
Just as leaving Jersey made me appreciate it so much more, my love for Bruce definitely grew during the end of college when I was really missing the Garden State. When I was immersed in the state, and it was all that I knew, I guess I couldn’t see how quintessentially Jersey he was. But when the indescribable grittiness and freedom that I associate with my state were suddenly gone, I realized that Bruce poured it right back in through his music.
The more that I’ve listened to the man, the more lyrics I’ve come across that seem to yank on threads attached to memories of growing up in NJ and the desire that I’ve always had to get out into the world and discover the unknown.
When I think about how popular Bruce has become, I always wonder if everyone that listens to him feels it the way I do. The songs are certainly good enough on their own, but I associate them so tightly with so many things, I have a hard time believing that the masses appreciate them in the same way I do. I’ve come to equate it to something like really good Kimchi. I’m not Korean, but I know when I’m eating something delicious. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pick out all of it’s nuances, because I haven’t grown up eating it, sharing it, and really experiencing its place in its native culture. The closest I can get to letting you know how, and why, I feel so close to the man is sharing this video with you. If you’ve got the time though, I highly encourage you to watch it; Bruce explains how I feel better than I ever could.
I mean, seriously. The man just expressed everything I’ve ever felt in words. I almost want to shut this blog down after only a handful of posts because he summed up everything I’ll ever want to say.
All of this aside, it is seriously my life’s ambition to meet Bruce. I was originally planning on doing it solely by becoming excessively rich and/or famous, but on the way back from Seaside on Friday night, my friend Beaver suggested just hanging around Monmouth county. Becoming rich can wait until later I guess; I just wonder how long I’d be able to survive panhandling in Monmouth county.
Anyway, for all those Bruce noobs out there, I suggest that you listen to the following to get started: The entirety of Greetings from Asbury Park and Born to Run, Rosalita, 4th of July (Asbury Park), and Jersey Girl. Don’t bullshit either; really listen to them. I know I will.