Meet The New Boss

Entertainment Weekly, 1995-03-12, by:
...More important, at least to Etheridge, she will be joined by her idol, Bruce Springsteen, for one song. She just left him in a dressing room. "He says he's nervous too," she says. "How can he be nervous? He's a god." She turns to Billie Jean King, a friend who has shown up for the concert. "Did you ever play with your idol?" King nods. "Yeah," she says. "I couldn't breathe." Etheridge, too, looks in need of oxygen. "I am so so frightened," she says softly. "It's like someone reached into your brain, plucked out your most secret fantasy, and gave it to you."

A half hour later, midway through her set, Etheridge pauses..."I used to go home from school, plug my eight-track tape in, listen to Bruce Springsteen and dream," she tells the crowd. "One of the things I dreamed about was someday singing with him. So when this came up, I thought, What would happen if I asked? So I did. And you know what? He said yes!"

..."I used to sing Springsteen songs at the top of my lungs when I was a kid because he was singing about a girl and I could relate. But I think not having female singers like him leaves out women who are strong and straight and feel those things too."

...In Brooklyn, the show is over. Etheridge heads back backstage again. The song she did with Springsteen, "Thunder Road," was the only one she had to repeat (she was too busy staring at him that she forgot a crucial lyric). But it's okay she got to sing with him twice. "Man, this one goes in the book," she sighs. "I don't know if it gets any better than this."

But it does. A few minutes later, she joins Springsteen, his wife Patti Scialfa, and Cypher (her girlfriend) in the hallway outside the dressing rooms. The two couples talk briefly. Bruce and Patti are holding hands; so are Melissa and Julie. Springsteen asks if they want to join him and Scialfa for some dinner. And you know what? They said yes.