Sunday, May 08, 2022

Born to Da doo ron-ron

I have finished listening to Bruce Springsteen reading his autobiography (passim) on Audible.

Seventy nine chapters bracketed with a forward and an epilogue. Let's kick off with what sounds like faint praise. "Chapter 5: The Irish, " announces the Boss at the beginning of chapter 5. Next off " Chapter 6: My Mother." Begin to see a pattern emerging? Hardly anyone does this on Audible, making it difficult to break up their books into bite size pieces.

By way of contrast, let me praise it with a faint damn.

…Once they were here, Patti and I knew our children would be our first priority. All of our tours would be booked around school schedules, childrens’ events, birthdays, and because of Patti’s insistence, planning, and dedication, we made it work. I worked hard not to be an absentee dad, but in my business that’s not always possible and Patti picked up the slack. She also guided me when she thought I was falling short. For years, I’d keep musicians' hours, a midnight rambler: I’d rarely get to bed before four a.m. and often sleep to noon or beyond. In the early days, when the children were up at night, I found it easy to do my part in taking care of them. After dawn, Patti was on duty. Once they got older, the night shift became unnecessary and the burden tilted unfairly toward the morning hours.

Finally, one day she came to me as I lay in bed around noon and simply said, “You’re gonna miss it.”

“Miss what?”

She said, “The kids, the morning, it’s the best time, it’s when they need you the most. They’re different in the morning than at any other time of day and if you don’t get up to see it, well then…you’re gonna miss it.”

The next morning, mumbling grumbling, stolid faced, I rolled out of bed at seven a.m. and found my way downstairs. “What do I do?”

She looked at me and said, “Make the pancakes.”

Make the pancakes? I’d never made anything but music my entire life. I…I…I…don’t know how!


What a sweetheart our Brucey is, I thought sentimentally reminiscing about my little Ben (now six foot three) as a toddler in his high chair getting outside a fish finger, plastic fork in hand. Then my hedonic set point (miserable suspicious atmosphere hoover) reasserted itself. "I'll bet you anything you like," I misanthroped to myself, "he becomes a master pancake thrower."

Sure 'nuff:

After some early cementlike results, I dialed it in, expanded my menu and am now proud to say that should the whole music thing go south, I will be able to hold down a job between the hours of five and eleven a.m. at any diner in America.

But then again, just one trivial and insignificant (to everybody else but me) slip with regards to tone in over five hundred pages. Not too shabby sir. Not too shabby at all. It is a marvelous book.

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