Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Is That Good Enough For You?

Turns on the animal

Sometimes I wake up, go through my morning and cannot figure out what to write about for this blog. I’ve written about this very thing before, but the ending is different this time so stick with me!

So today, like pretty much every day, I went through the motions of taking a shower, getting ready, then coming out and feeding the pets. First the cats, then I walk outside (it was 39 degrees F this morning, which was wonderfully brisk!) and take care of the chickens. Then I come back in, get coffee going, make sure the youngest is up, downstairs and eating breakfast. We leave the house at 7:40 and that’s when I turn on Feedback.

Sees the possibility

I know I’ve talked a lot about Feedback lately. Truthfully it’s because I finally have a vehicle that has satellite radio. I’ve listened on and off to Lori’s show(s) since she first announced being on Feedback, but nowadays – I can listen regularly. So, I try to listen every day. I might not get an entire show in, but I hear at least half. Sometimes I laugh, other times I’m yelling at Nik (oh yes), and still other times, I’m inspired. Today was that day.

This morning, they had Sarfraz Manzoor on, who is the author of Greetings from ‘Bury Park. His story was the inspiration for the recent movie Blinded by the Light. Ultimately, the movie is about being a fan of Bruce Springsteen.

He’s got the answer

One of the topics they discussed was how it felt to have Springsteen give backing to the movie. They talked about how Bruce showed up to the premier and then the afterparty…and Sarfraz said something so poignant, I’ll never forget it.

“Imagine you create something that’s really personal to you, and then he… the person it is partly about, graces your premiere and says ‘I give my approval to it.’ You know what I mean? It’s not the same as me going to a concert or seeing him on Broadway. It’s him coming to our party. And then he played!”

He goes on to explain that even crazier, after the “whole photography thing”, Sarfraz expected Bruce would go home. So he asks him, and Bruce answers, “I’m going to watch the movie with you.” And so Springsteen sat two rows in front of Manzoor and throughout the movie there is a silhouette of him, meanwhile the movie is going on and it’s about his (Manzoor’s) dad and all of these things…and he can see Bruce watching the film.

Stuff directly out of my wildest, craziest dreams…right there.

Doesn’t go away

Now, Lori and Manzoor (Nik too, although he was quiet and Lori took the lead here) go on to talk about the discomfort with how some characters in the movie love the Pet Shop Boys and think Bruce is over, and yet Springsteen was having to sit there and watch that in the film….but to me, that’s not really that important. (sorry Bruce, no offense)

No, I’m stuck back thinking about how it might have really felt to have that approval.

Here’s the thing – I’ve already admitted here that I seek approval, so this is totally in my wheelhouse, but can you imagine?

Several years ago now, I can remember chatting with someone online. At the time, Amanda and I were really hoping to have some sort of tangible acknowledgement from the band. Something beyond a follow on Twitter or a link on their site. Bear with me here, because this is tough to admit and write, but it’s true. At the time, I desperately wanted that approval. I wanted that validation, or so I thought. No matter what I said, how I responded, I don’t think I made my point clearly. This person’s response, and rightfully so, was that I needed to be OK with what I was writing completely on my own. I didn’t need the band to approve it. In hindsight, that person was right.

Don’t want illusion

It has taken me a long, long, time to come to terms with that. Did I think it would change my life or be an experience so profound that it might spark something in me? I don’t know for sure. I think it was definitely about validation though, at least for me. Approval and validation weren’t coming from any other places at the time for me, least of all from myself. So, I’d hoped to find that here. Perhaps that is saying far too much about myself, but I know that I’m a work in progress. If sharing some of my biggest flaws help someone else – so be it.

Since I’m in that introspective space, I’ll go one farther and say that part of my initial motivation for trying to write a manuscript and get a book deal was the band. It was as though I needed to get through all of that surface crap to really dive deep and find my own motivation. In a lot of ways, I wonder if that very thing isn’t part of what kept us from getting our projects published. I don’t suppose I’ll ever be sure, but I do know that I’ve changed along the way. The project Amanda and I are working on now is very different. Still about fandom, still about music, but Duran Duran isn’t my motivation. They, or at least the experience I’ve had as a fan over the years, is my inspiration, but it isn’t what is motivating me to write. No, that’s coming 100% from me.

Power glory ride

So when I say that I can’t really imagine what it must have been like for Sarfraz to have his hero show up and support his work, I mean it. I can’t. The emotion in his voice as he told the story was palatable. I mean, what fan wouldn’t want an ending like that? Is that enough to drive me, though? I don’t think it was enough for Sarfraz Manzoor, either. The approval from Bruce was just an amazing side benefit that was so big, he likely could not have dreamt it.

No, it’s not. While having the band’s approval and support would be otherworldly and of course, very welcome – that’s not why I keep writing. For me, this is personal.

Recently, I explained it to my husband. Some people do decathlons. It is a goal, and they train every single day to get there. Some people never even cross the finish line, but they are determined to keep trying and don’t give up. Other people start bands, or write screenplays. What about athletes who train for the Olympics? Many people never even get there, but they keep trying for as long as they can. For me, writing a non-fiction book that gets a publishing deal is my thing. That is my dream and I don’t want to give up. Writing this blog every day is part of that dream, too. It is almost like my brainstorm board, or my chalkboard. It keeps me thinking, dreaming, and working.

Now, I’ll share with you that no, my husband still doesn’t get it. He won’t ever get it because he is pragmatic, and doesn’t operate based on emotion. He’s very black and white. Writing makes zero dollars unless you are published and the book does well. Not just one tough thing, but two impossibly high hurdles in my way, I guess. As he pointed out to me, writing is actually costing money right now since we pay for hosting, research materials (research books are not cheap!), and all that good stuff. It’s menial, but it adds up. You can’t be a writer as a career if you never get anything published, or so he says. I could have continued arguing with him about that, but I decided to just let it go.

Won’t give up

This was my own light bulb moment, mainly because I answered my own “Why do you keep writing?” question. It’s not about the money (ha ha ha), or the fame (still laughing). It’s about reaching the finish line and doing it on my own steam. I just want to see it happen. For myself.

In a lot of ways, to circle this back towards Duran Duran, if I may – I think this is why Amanda and I have never tried all that hard to meet the band. I mean, yeah – both of us have gone to album signings and that was lovely and all – but I mean really meet them. Let’s face it, we’ve been doing this – the blog – for long enough now that if we really wanted to shove the issue, we could find a way. Many others of you have, and it is because it was worth it to you to do so. I get it.

I think about how even at the last show at Agua Caliente, I ran into people who went outside to see them pack up and leave. Where was I at the time? Oh, I was at the bar. Dancing to Duran Duran. What’s worse, I didn’t even feel a twinge of anything about not being there. I was doing what I wanted.

For me, the reasons for operating the website, posting the blogs and writing about fandom have far more to do with my innermost thoughts than they do about seeking approval from Duran Duran. That’s “the place” in my heart that motivates me and keeps me going day to day. The band, and this fandom, serves as my inspiration.

-R

The Power of Music to Connect and Heal

I am a sucker for heartwarming stories. I believe in the healing power of music, and I know firsthand how much I treasure my fandom. So, when I stumbled across a beautiful story featuring all of those elements, how could I not share?

This story shared with me on Facebook because my friends know I’m always on the lookout for good stories about fandom. In a world filled with near-constant negativity (and election sound bytes, which these days are always negative) – I need the occasional pick-me-up to remind me that the world isn’t all bad.  I would imagine our readers feel the same. Daily Duranie is all about “the good stuff”.  Fandom, for that matter, is the happy place!

So, before I go much farther – here’s the link to the story.  While you read, I’ll be sitting here with my coffee.

First of all, I realize this isn’t a story about Duran Duran. That said, I think every one of us has something to gain from reading. Music heals. I’ve said those words over and over again. This story is just further proof.  The power of music is undeniable. It brings people together, it fights evil, and when many of us cannot get past our differences—it is music that can bridge the gap.

It wasn’t so much that Bruce did anything special. After all, they went to a book signing and spent the same amount of time with him as anyone else. This isn’t really a story about the artist as it is about the family and their journey.  But when you think about it, out of all the music they could have played for their daughter while she spent those six months in the hospital, they played Bruce Springsteen. Tom, Juniper’s dad, was what I would consider to be a pretty hard-core fan.  They mention that he followed Bruce on tour for forty years. It was second nature to play the music that likely comforts him for his daughter. I would like to think that I would have done the same, as would likely many of you.

We all know the music that connects with our heart, whether that is Springsteen, Duran Duran, or something else entirely.  When we take the time to share that with our children, we are giving them part of ourselves. I have no doubt that my kids will always equate Duran Duran with me, long after I leave this planet.  While yes, some days that might be a curse (!!), on other days – it is a gift.  In the case of Juniper and her family, that music not only connected her and her parents when she was so fragile should couldn’t be held, it also healed.

I can’t think of anything else more beautiful than that. This is why music is so powerful.

-R

 

 

 

Springsteen to Duran Duran: Fandom is happiness

I was watching the news this morning and I heard that Bruce Springsteen was coming to the Grove in Los Angeles this morning to sign his new book—Born to Run.  The news segment focused on the amount of people in line and how long they waited.  The first few several people in line had camped out overnight, and the reporter thought that was—oh go on, you know the word—crazy.

What struck me wasn’t how the reporter felt about the people who had waited in line overnight, but how happy those folks were to be there waiting for Springsteen.  These fans were easily (on average) a good 10-15 years older than the average Duranie.  Yet they were still out there, and having what seemed to be a great time.

I also laughed at some of the comments made to the reporter:

“Anything for Bruce!” 

“Oh, I’d do him, I mean THIS…..over and over again!”

“Waiting overnight isn’t so bad, I’ve waited two and three days in line for his concerts!” 

“I’d follow him anywhere!” 

“When we all get together, it’s like a family reunion, so that is part of what makes this fun.” 

Many of those statements are things I’ve heard at our own gatherings, whether concerts, appearances, or even meet-ups or conventions. The feelings are the same, no matter the fandom, and really—those comments the Springsteen fans shared  are exactly why they work.  I think when it comes down to it, people who are really into fandom—not just into the band—but also into being a fan, are looking for that sense of togetherness. They want friendships and personal connections.  Those relationships sometimes outlive the fandom itself, and they are real.

It is almost too bad that more people don’t recognize fandom for what it does rather than the stereotypes it sometimes creates.  I say almost because fandom is special, and if people don’t get it, I guess I’m of the opinion that maybe that’s OK in the long run. Far be it from me to take on the task of convincing everyone otherwise.

Yes, I’m the first to say that there are crazy people who sometimes take fandom a bit too far. I have my lines in the sand, other people have their own. I can’t decide for others what constitutes “too much”, but I can tell you that in my mind—being able to take a day or two to “camp” out for a book signing with a group of my closest friends, people who genuinely understand me—doesn’t seem so crazy to me. In fact, it seems like a luxury right now!

At the end of the segment the reporter cautioned the viewing audience that if they were interested in going to this signing, they should probably forget it because she’d already counted over a thousand people in line and Bruce had something like 1115 books ready to sign for this particular in-store appearance.  A thousand people were already in line waiting at 7am this morning. Amazing.

I found myself smiling in memory of the past year. Driving incredibly late at night up and down the state of California….picking up friends at the airport…going to shows and discovering that once again, my seats are in nearly the same spot as they were for the show prior…buying ridiculous pants at a Target store just so that we could tease John and Simon (as if they even saw our video, but dammit it was funny to us anyway)…meet-ups along the way…VIP parties…vodka tonics…new cities…and yes, those crazy videos Amanda and I made.

Like many of those interviewed in line this morning, I wouldn’t trade any of the memories I’ve made during the past twelve years, much less those from this summer.  Those thoughts, and the smiles that follow, are what will keep me going during times when life isn’t quite so carefree and I’m wishing for times with friends again.  Not long ago I wondered how long I could really keep this up, thinking that at some point I’d want to stop.  Seeing Bruce’s fans still out there having fun makes me hope I’m still involved in ten or fifteen years.

-R