Monday, November 19, 2012

And The Road Goes On Forever....

This promises to be one hellaciously fine week for the Jersey invaders here in the beautiful environs of Colorado's Front Range.  Today is our first full day here.  While I know not what the day-time portion of the itinerary includes, this evening's dance card has been set for some time.  Tonight four transplanted Jerseyans (two of us of the temporary variety and two of us of a decidedly more permanent ilk) are heading south down I-25 to Denver.  Waiting for us there?  None other than the Bard of Freehold and traveling show.  

I was first fortunate enough to see Bruce Springteen perform in concert on September 23, 1985, which was his 36th birthday.  At some point during the show, a birthday cake was wheeled out onto the stage.  He joked with the Big Man about how old he was, how old he felt and how he did not know for certain how much longer he could keep on doing what he was doing.  He performed outdoors on a stage set up on the field at Mile High Stadium (the genuine article.  Not the polished imposter that later replaced it.)  Snow remained on the field from an early Autumn storm that had rolled through the Front Range twenty-fours earlier, prompting the postponement of the September 22nd show. 

By my count Springsteen has embarked on at least ten tours since he voiced his fear to Clarence all those tours ago about being too old to keep doing it more than twenty-seven autumns ago.  I have been really lucky in that I have seen him perform at least one time on most of those subsequent tours, including this one.  I was there when the traveling road show made a stop in late September in his home port of East Rutherford, one night under the late September stars and the other under a portent of storms to come. 

This evening, Rob, Jess, Margaret and I shall be among the folks in attendance at Denver's Pepsi Center.  Ah, the sanctity and climatological stability of an arena show!  When I was a collegian matriculating about a thirty-five minute drive from Denver - in Boulder's foothills - the Pepsi Center did not exist.  The local hoops team plied their craft at McNichols Arena and Denver had neither a NHL hockey team nor a MLB baseball franchise.  A cynic might be heard to opine that in consideration of the NHL's recurrent labor strife and the Rockies' utterly dreadful on-field performance in 2012 that Denver still lacks those two assets. 

At some point this evening I shall try to catch a glimpse of my three concert-going companions and capture them in a single frame in my mind's eye.  Twenty-seven-plus years later I return to the scene of the original "crime"....well close enough for geography's sake.  In the almost three decades since his 36th birthday, the Bard of Freehold has covered a lot of ground.  Me too.  

I cannot pretend to speak for him.  But for me, it has been one hell of a ride - far better than anything for which I could have hoped standing on the field at Mile High all those years ago....  

....with the promise of better days ahead.



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