There really aren't any celebrities who I'd be thrilled to meet.
With the exception of two:
Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp.
I've actually met quite a few other celebrities and while it was interesting...they were just men and women who I'd seen on television, or in the news.
(Although the Pamela Anderson moment was exceptional, and signing books with the Fonz was epically cool.)
But I had a chance to meet Bruce a little bit in his autobiography, Born to Run.
I knew some of the stories.
There have been a number of other Bruce books...all sort of tell the tale.
Yet, this was a chance to actually hear the words from the man himself.
The drive, the work ethic, the love of music, the concerts, the writing, the deep pain of living.
It's funny, but I can recall exactly which record store I was in when all of Bruce's records came out through the years.
I remember listening to Darkness for the first time with Digger and Doug...the first listen through of Badlands just blowing me away.
I was 12.
I recall playing Backstreets for my brother John and letting him listen to the words to get him hooked. Me, John and Tom drove from North Collins to Hamburg to pick up Born in the USA. John was singing the song without ever having heard it before, way off-key, reading the words.
The first concert with John, Tom and Kellie. The show changed everything I was ever thinking about up to that point.
Jim and I saw him in Mountain View, California, Fluffy and me in Toronto, me and Rosie in Long Island and Washington. With my sister, Carrie and sister-in-laws and friends...all over the damn place!
Bruce has a cool million just off the Fuzzy's!
I have now seen 33 shows...most of them with my beautiful wife, and family...always family. A shared love.
I picked up the Ghost of Tom Joad at one in the morning. I was 20th in line. There was a line for the after midnight release. My brother Jeff was third in that same line. I remember how he skipped out of that store.
And Bruce has always been there for me!
He saved me about a month after Jeff was stolen from us in Albany.
Bruce flat-out saved me that night.
So, you see, reading the book was sort of a religious experience for me.
Then, Mom called.
We talked about his interview on Colbert.
She enjoyed it and she spoke about how his values, growing up, seemed to mirror the values that my parents taught us.
"That's why we love him!" I explained.
So, what did I think of the book?
Well, I think you can guess.
Thank God Bruce's Mom bought him that guitar.
I look forward to the next 10 albums, 20 interviews and 30 shows.
He did what he set out to do...
...help people live their lives a little.
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