Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bruce Springsteen, "The Rising", Me, and Sean

I'm continuing my September 11th tradition of listening to Bruce Springsteen's The Rising.  To be honest, it's a tough album to listen to because of the topic but I've found myself getting more attached to it in recent years.

Music, as we know, is all about opinion.  It's in the ear of the beholder, of course, but it can also be about where you were when you heard a particular song, or perhaps you're reminded of a person, a place, and event, and so on.

Sandi was pregnant with Sean when September 11th happened.  That was one of the driving forces that just made me want to get home that day.  Our son was both five months later.  The Rising came out that July.  My "Tee Time" colleague, Michael Breed, and I are both Springsteen nuts, and we played it a lot on the show that year.

Flash forward a few years.  Sean and I were in the car when the title track came on the radio - a good reason for me to pump up the volume.  The tune had us both be rocking (Sean has some serious music chops) and when the real sing-along part came along, you know, "Na na nananana na na", Sean was right there.  He sang his little heart out - couldn't have been more than two or three at the time - and officially, a Bruce fan was born.

At the end of the song, I taught him one of the true trademarks of being a Springsteen fan, by yelling "Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuce."  He took to that naturally, and he was off and running.

To be honest, Sean is much more of a Beatles fan, but he'll still let go with a "Bruuuuuuuce" on occasion.  Yet I can still remember the countless days that I would pick him up at daycare and, not longer after he got into the car, he would ask the following:

"Daddy, can you play 'Rosie?'"

"Regular 'Rosie' or live 'Rosie?'", I would say.  Of course we had options!

The song, of course, was "Rosalita."

Even now, we can be found playing "air" instruments (he mostly played keyboards and piano, while I strummed guitar or pounded the drums) if the song comes on.

Music can do that.  It can strengthen your love of a song or artist, if only because of the simple moments of a father and son rocking out.  It might not have made me a bigger fan of Bruce Springsteen, but it definitely added a different level to it.

So now, when I defend "The Boss" so vociferously, you just might understand why.

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