Bruce’s rock history a lesson for all, in all walks of life

Find what “inspires you to action,” Bruce said in his keynote address at the SXSW festivval. For Bruce, it was seeing Elvis on Ed Sullivan.

For me, it was seeing Springsteen in Troy, NY, on Sunday Nov. 12, 1978.

Bruce, the great writer, is oh so evident in this well-crafted 50-minute speech.

Thanks to NPR for this audio clip.

Excerpts from Backstreets:

* Even before there was Elvis, my world had begun to be shaped by the little radio with the six-inch mono speaker on top of our refrigerator … Between 8 and 8:30 every morning as I snowed sugar onto my Sugar Pops, the sounds of early pop and doo-wop whispered into my young and impressionable ears. (I just sent Sugar Pops in a care package to my 20-year-old, along with SpongeBob Mac and Cheese and Chef Boyardee ravioli — she’s studying in Rome!)

* So rumble, young musicians, rumble. Open your ears and open your hearts. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and take yourself as seriously as death itself. Don’t worry. Worry your ass off. Have unclad confidence, but doubt. It keeps you awake and alert. Believe you are the baddest ass in town — and you suck! It keeps you honest. Be able to keep two completely contradictory ideals alive and well inside of your heart and head at all times. If it doesn’t drive you crazy, it will make you strong. And stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive. And when you walk on stage tonight to bring the noise, treat it like it’s all we have — and then remember it’s only rock ‘n’ roll.”

Bruce’s SXSW show was a blowout with special guests. I’m so pumped for this tour I ordered the vinyl today.



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