In 1978 I saw Bruce at a concert at RPI Field House in Troy, NY. As the concert continued later and later into the evening, I knew I would get in trouble for getting home so late on a school night. We started with seats in the back rows but by the night’s end I was on my friend Patty’s shoulders in front of the stage. I touched his boot. When I walked home I remember thinking: I’ll cherish that concert for the rest of my life.
As a 16-year-old, I became obsessed. I can trace significant events in my life — almost magically — to Springsteen moments. It’s not so unusual to get this wrapped up in another person’s artistry. Art tends to do that to people. For some, a book leaves a lasting imprint. J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” set the standard for its ability to directly relate to vast numbers of readers. Bruce says he learned more from a three-minute record than he ever learned in school: He scaled the walls of Graceland looking for Elvis; he credits listening to Hank Williams’ “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It” for inspiring him to write “The River,” a song about his sister and her family.
I wrote about this in 2000 in an essay for the Times Union titled “Springsteen Moments Are As Clear As The Light of Day”
In 2002 I wrote a cover story in our Preview magazine about the history of Bruce Springsteen concerts in the Capital Region. An archived version is here.
Thirty-three years later, I am compiling all the memorabilia I’ve collected and all the stories I’ve written about Bruce. This is my New York Serenade to Springsteen fans. Hope you enjoy.
— Joyce Bassett