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November 15, 2009

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Y'know, Mr. Bruce himself should read this -- for its poetry, pathos, elegance, honesty -- and then he should ponder the questions you ask at the end. I'd be *very* curious to know his reaction to your post.

Fabulous work, Tina. There is a song in this. No strike that, more than a few songs. You done did Bruce proud...

My favorite line: "The rat traps, filled with soul crusaders..." This transcends race.

I've read Tina Kelley's beautiful poetry and insightful social analysis in The New York Times... I'm not surprised in the least that she would connect with the power of The Boss beyond just state pride or teenage nostalgia, and notice the lack of faces of color in his audience. I love this blog posting, because it gives us all so much to think about.

Bruce Springsteen is certainly not a racist, but there may be something about his work that resonates specifically with the white working class. And while Michael Jackson had fans that were both black and white (and Hispanic, south american, Asian, east Asian, middle eastern, and on and on and on), when he died, Al Sharpton correctly declared that he was "our boy, we gave him to you." And when he died, his fans didn't flock to Madison Square Garden, it was the Apollo.

Cher and Madonna represent strong women, but most social commentators and the artists themselves would probably say that their most ardent and loyal audience is the gay community.

But back to Bruce, Ms. Kelley puts it best when she herself notes that in regard to New Jersey, "the pride we took in finding beauty and meaning where everyone else saw overcrowding and pollution," is perhaps the artist's most singular contribution.

It is a talent that binds every great artist with those who come to love them - they give us life, they give us hope, they bring us together.

Thank you again for giving us so much to think about... And thanks for defending Bruce! Every band that tours talks about how disorienting it can be, and anyone who watches him perform live -anywhere and anytime- has to admit that he is doing anything but phone it in. He gives his heart, God bless him. Give the guy a break.

There is a lot to think about here. I was in high school for the dawn of rock'n'roll and Elvis. That led me to the blues, and the blues led me to jazz. One of the few concerts I have attended was one of Bruce's in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington, in the mid-80's.

Music has been a positive force for change in the surrounding society throughout my life. And different groups have had different music and were changing in different ways. A question I would now ask is, "Has music diverted energy that would fuel political change into change in social 'styles'"?

But then the mind-altering substance and sexual revolutions of the 60's and 70's were huge. And maybe the economic successes of the middle class during that period didn't call for political change.

And maybe music was speaking to different groups according to where they were in their social "styles"?

And there the difference in ethnic groups is obvious ... and further divided into subgroups ... and it seems each of us finds a music for our soul. Observing who follows which Pied Piper should tell us something about ourselves ... whomever we are.

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