My 15 Seconds With Springsteen

img_0130It’s a little ironic that I ended up meeting Bruce Springsteen at a used record store. 

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet with The Boss at a store outside of Atlanta called 2nd and Charles – a place where you trade in used cds, records, books, movies and games for a fraction of their original value. 

I’ve been a Springsteen fanatic for close to 8 years now. But it wasn’t always that way. When I was in high school I went through a phase of trying to expand my musical tastes. In doing so I purchased a copy of “Born In The U.S.A.” to dive into the world of the E Street Band.

I listened to it for about a week before I decided Bruce Springsteen wasn’t for me. I traded in the cd for some spare change at a store just like 2nd and Charles. 

I had no idea that one day years in the future I’d be so obsessed with the New Jersey rocker that I’d be willing to stand in line for nearly 4 hours simply to shake his hand and take a picture with him.

Even though I paid $40 to only get about 15 seconds with my idol (more on that later) I thought the experience was worth so much more than I paid for it.  Continue reading

Monday Morning Music: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

922853_10153794330701303_7844604813520770486_nAfter Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band finished their second performance on SNL this past Saturday I was fairly disappointed.

Don’t get me wronged – The Boss and the band put on a couple of great performances of songs from their new box set celebrating the 35th anniversary of “The River” (a great Christmas present for the Bruce Springsteen fan and blog writer in your life).

On any other night I would have been elated to hear performances of “Meet Me In The City” and “The Ties That Bind” live on Saturday night.

The only problem was this was the Christmas show. Continue reading

3 Steps To A Successful Halftime Show

I’m kind of done with football at this point.

Between deflated footballs and ridiculous press conferences and domestic violence and post-concussion syndrome, I’m honestly ready for this season to all be over with.

Yes, I’ll be watching the game on Sunday, just for the grand spectacle of it all. But I don’t really have the heart to write anything football related right now. (If you’d like to read something like that I have done it before.)

katy-perry-nfl-650So instead of writing a piece on the big game, I’m going to focus on something far less upsetting: the Super Bowl Halftime show.

This year Katy Perry will perform in front of the biggest crowd of her life. Between the 70,000 or so in attendance at University of Phoenix stadium and what will likely be a record audience watching on television and online, the “Roar” singer will be placed on an incredible platform for arguably the most important 12 minutes of her career.

You might think it’s a pretty special award for Perry to be able to perform on the halftime stage. After all, she is one of the most recognizable pop stars in the world just 7 years after her breakthrough hit “I Kissed A Girl” placed her in the public eye.

But you would be wrong.

Performing the Super Bowl Halftime Show is not an award. It’s an audition. Continue reading

You May Be Wrong

bruce-springsteen-born-in-the-usa-1

I got rid of my first Bruce Springsteen CD. 

When I was in high school I purchased a copy of Born In The USA. I knew the songs everybody knew – the title track, “Glory Days”, “Dancing In The Dark”. I was all into exploring classic rock artists at the time and so I gave Bruce a shot.

I gave the CD one listen. I just couldn’t get into it. For some reasons Bruce’s brand of tunes didn’t connect to me at age 17.

So I took Born In The USA to the pawn shop and got some terrible trade-in value for it. The Boss and I went our separate ways.

I used to think I simply wasn’t a Bruce Springsteen fan. Then my tune dramatically changed.  Continue reading

Merry Christmas From Conan and The Boss

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

You thought I’d go all Christmas season without writing about Bruce Springsteen?

Did someone ring your Jingle Bells too hard?

Here’s “Merry Christmas Baby” from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with an assist from Conan O’Brien on guitar.

Yes. Conan O’Brien playing guitar with the E Street Band. If that doesn’t say Christmas, I don’t know what does.

Christmas is a time of celebration. It’s a time of gathering and singing together with everyone around. It’s about inviting people who wouldn’t normally be there into the joy.

Think about it – it wasn’t just Jesus, Mary and Joseph who made the Christmas story possible. God invited three wise men to come out of the East and play a part. He invited an ordinary innkeeper to play a role. He invited the manager of a lowly manger to provide a home for the newborn king.

Ordinary people invited into the extraordinary celebration of the newborn king. Now that’s something to sing about.

If you’re having a humbug kind of day – stop. Breathe. Watch the video. Or find your favorite Christmas song.

Sing along. Take a few minutes to take it all in and consider all the reasons you have to celebrate. Remember God is inviting you to come off the sidelines today and join an incredible story.

Happy Friday.

Merry Friday.

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The 40 Year Old Vision

40 years ago this week, Bruce Springsteen dropped his second album, The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, a personal favorite of mine.

The record would go on to become one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and help establish the career of a first ballot Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

But nobody knew that 40 years ago. Continue reading

5 Ways You Can Be A Rock Star Today

photoYou can be a rock star today.

You may not be performing before 10,000 adoring fans inside an enormous arena as you read this.

But trust me on this one.

No, I’m not *technically* a rock star. But I did see some live and in person last week.

The Killers are a rock group out of Las Vegas who have been performing their hits “Somebody Told Me” and “When You Were Young” around the world for the past 10 years.

I got to see them perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, GA last week. Lead singer Brandon Flowers turned out to be a fantastic live performer and the entire band put on a great set.

As I watched the show, I noticed a few simple traits The Killers embraced which all great rock stars have in common. Turns out you too can apply these 5 practices to your life to become a rock star in your office: Continue reading

We All Tell The Story

Last night I watched a wonderfully fun and intimate new documentary called “Springsteen and I”. The film is comprised entirely of video footage and testimonials submitted by Bruce Springsteen’s biggest fans.

These aren’t scripted, ‘reality-show’ type testimonials. These are raw, honest, personal tellings of each person’s Springsteen story. Some are shot on cell-phone cameras (some even flipped on the wrong side of the iPhone). All of them are unique in the way they relate to The Boss.

There’s the blue-collar couple who’ve never been at the right place or time to see Springsteen in person but hold their own concerts dancing in the dark in their kitchen. There’s the young female truck driver who wouldn’t seem to fit into Bruce’s demographic but connects to the working life he sings so soulfully of. There are children. There are seniors. Citizens all over the world who share how much one man’s music means to them.

None of the people in “Springsteen and I” are storytellers for living. They’re not actors or performers. Their stories aren’t rehearsed or well-polished. Perhaps this is why they resonate so well – they’re just real. Continue reading