Want to be the boss? Don’t ever lose heart

While riding with my sister-in-law Jean to a class for cancer survivors, we were listening to E Street Radio and talking about how cool it is to hear one of your favorite songs on the radio, even if you can play that song at ease from your iPod and now your phone.

A “Be the Boss” segment came on and she said “you should do this!” I laughed and said one day I will!

Well, I applied about a year ago. Never heard anything. Then I re-applied in the fall of 2015 when the “River” tour was announced on the 35th anniversary of my first date with my husband. Mike and I had a good start: our first date was a Springsteen concert during the original “River” tour in 1980 in Buffalo, New York.

The hardest part was picking 5 songs and 5 stories. I have so many Bruce memories — it’s why I have this blog —  and it was hard to decide what would make the final cut. (Bruce has that problem with his albums too!)  After doing songs for my husband and kids, the easiest part was a tribute to Jean.

I wrote about Jeannie in this blog post, published a week after she died three years ago on a late-winter day in March.

Her daughter Amanda and I have been texting each other back and forth for years when a “Springsteen moment” came up. You know what those are: When you travel and spot a Springsteen license plate; when you wish E Street Radio would play a song and it magically is on air while you are riding in the car; when your mom’s Hospice caregiver is named Shirley E. Street.

Read more: Two Stones, A Rocker and A Wonderful Life

I miss Jean so much this time of year. I worked evening shifts and was home during the day while the others in her extensive support system were attending school or working. During my “Be the Boss” radio show, I played the live 2012 Albany version of “Janey Don’t You Lose Heart” for Jeannie. In my heart, Bruce played it for her that night too.

I waited too long for her to hear it with me in the car, but I’m sure she’s up there listening.

The folks at E Street sent me a digital copy and I put it to music and uploaded to YouTube with some video and a photos.



  1. Joyce, what is is that you can remember the most about your first concert seeing Bruce on November 12, 1978 in Troy? I know that “Rave On” opened the second set, and “Sandy” was played in the encores. However, do you have a special memory of it? Obviously, it must have been nice that the venue itself was only a mile from your home. Thanks. Paul Haider, Chicago

    1. I would say my favorite memory is making it to the front of the stage from the back and my friend Patty lifting me on her shoulders during the encores and touching his boot! “Spirit in the Night” is the song I remember most and vowing to learn every song in his catalog.

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