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When I came back to vote for the final round of Paolo’s poll one of the few things I saw on a very brief visit was a thread on the rumoured Broadway run by Bruce. I skimmed the thread because it sent my blood pressure up and I went back to my life. With the “latest” rumour however I thought I would have one last blurt before I need to go focus on some pressing personal issues. But this is a blurt with feeling because elements of the commentary about the proposed show just made me shake my head. I know and appreciate that the naysayers were countered by many others but an element seemed to be missing in those responses. A human level reality check. Something we apply to our own lives but seem to miss when it comes to others (not just Bruce). I am not a Bruce Springsteen fan. I love and admire Bruce but I am not a fan because I am not a fan of anyone. This is a simple personal quirk due to the origin of the word fan – fanatic. I do not want to be a fanatic about anyone (or thing either) because that way perspective disappears. And our chief point of perspective at GL, that is so often lost, is that Bruce is a person. I don’t just mean he has feelings and a life. He is a physical human being, the same as the rest of us. With that goes not just a family, emotional and social life but a body. One that eats, farts and develops age related problems. One that comes with all the complexities that reaching 68 bring. That body not only has to keep the very ‘hungry’ fans happy but do trivial things like get out of bed, visit his mum, talk his kids through problems, make up to Patti for being a dick and exercise the horses. What do we know about Bruce and some elements of his body and mind? · He has talent both as a writer and a performer but has been producing for 40 plus years · He is a perfectionist and wants to be in control · He has a depressive disorder that requires anti-depressants that have physical and psychological impacts (including for some people a significant loss of creativity). Those drugs also give him back to his family when the depression takes him away. Which is what is actually important. · He had a father who developed either the very rare Late Onset Schizophrenia or even rarer Very Late Onset Schizophrenia. A father who earlier had many of the same anger control and depressive symptoms Bruce has. Bruce saw that and has had enough insight to work on his problems. · He has a much beloved mother who is aging quickly and who Bruce clearly wants to have spend her remaining time close to him and her broader family. · He has physical problems (e.g. wrist) that require management at least. · He is aware (I would lay $50 on this) that people with even mild hearing loss have twice the chance of developing dementia as those without and the greater the loss the greater the risk (a causal link is not proven but a definite correlation has been). · He uses Teleprompters and lyrics taped to speakers as an everyday part of his shows. · He uses very standard set-lists that allow him to access the most familiar part of his repertoire. · He loves performing with but hates managing the ESB. · He knows the ESB all have lives and careers that cannot revolve around him solely. · He, like a significant proportion of the population, has become more introspective as he watches mortality march on across his parents and his body. · He is nearly 68 years old; by which time if I am not retired it is because I am dead. · He not only loves performing, he does it because it helps him with his psychological issues. · He gives his absolute all in performances to the point of being drenched in sweat and panting. · He still does shows that are 60-90 minutes longer than the average “star” of the moment. · He does not need the money. Now this old bloke with a bit of history behind him is reportedly thinking about a show on Broadway. He will have thought about the possible benefits: · Close to his home · Close to his wife and family · Close to his beloved mother who is not as young any more… · Close to his dogs and horses · Close to his psychologist/therapist · In a city where he can on any given night invite hundreds of different interesting people along to the show – onstage or not. · No band to manage · Not as physically demanding · Can be structured any damn way he feels like it · Can be altered as he goes with the flow · Will involve a smaller audience in a more controlled environment that can allow him to tailor his interactions in a way he can never do in a stadium. · Will allow him to do something completely different or a tiny bit different depending on his need. Now of course he will have to factor in the negatives: · Some people on fan sites with no perspective, no empathy and a bizarre sense of entitlement will label him a sell-out, past his use by date, lazy, milking his fans… So if Bruce is actually contemplating this Broadway run they are some serious choices to make. I don’t envy him having to face the task of being an adult balancing his own and his family needs against those of people who seemingly do not have enough empathy to imagine the real challenges he faces. Good luck with that Bruce. And very good luck to any of you who get to see him do whatever he chooses to do, because given all I said above he could quite easily choose to do absolutely nothing at all. Frankly I love what he has already given me enough to accept that too. Now you could debate what I have said or as a more constructive use of your time you could work out which of Bruce’s songs you would like to crowd source (like the following example) while waiting in an audience, a supermarket queue, an elevator or anywhere there is piped music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZnBNuqqz5g p.s. it would be Badlands or Jungleland in my case. p.p.s. @berlintramp – I will be in touch before October re Caramello Koalas. @Me and Frank - she is a girl!! A funny little girl. Oh and Kiwi has a safe warm home with cat crazy people so sometimes things work out OK.