This is just to notify my readers that it’s vacation time for me and family, I’ll be gone for three weeks, and if the planned Spanish hikes haven’t done me in, will be back refreshed, and ready to write up a storm! I’ve only been blogging a very short while and have made some lovely friends already. I want to thank all those who have made such wonderful comments, and encouraged me to keep writing.
We’ll be flying back to the UK on Saturday, after a long absence of 22 years! Being the quintessential globetrotters that we are, (we call ourselves The Hobos) we never quite made it back home in all these years. With the advent of satellite TV, it just seemed that we were always so close by, why visit? There were a billion other countries that hadn’t been blessed by our presence, so why go over old ground? All my family migrated to South Africa years ago, and but for a couple of his brothers, we were not very close to Lance’s family. And we probably wouldn’t have returned, had it not been for The Boss, Mr. Bruce Springsteen, who beckoned the soul of his two most fanatical fans, my hubby Lance, and daughter Annabel.
Bruce Springsteen, for me, IS my relationship with Lance, and his lyrics are the poetry of my life. He sings the ups, the downs and the in-betweens, and except for some of his more folksy songs, to my mind, the man can’t seem to do anything wrong. I wasn’t always such a fan of the deep and meaningful warble. This dimension of life was thrust upon me when I met Lance all the way back in 1980. Previous to that fateful day, a song, in my estimation, was only of any use if it inspired my bottom to wiggle from left to right of its own accord, or if it got my feet to tap without me thinking. I was Disco’s biggest fan, spending my youth bopping away at the weekends, and doing household chores for my mother to the sound of Anita Ward, Kool and the Gang, Gloria Gaynor, and KC and the Sunshine Band. I liked silly songs like the Birdy Song, and Joe Dolce’s Shaddapya Face. Even now, I am inclined towards the shallow end of the music spectrum; boy bands such as Blue, Westlife and the BackStreet Boys still have me humming guiltily and my toes tapping furtively, as I turn my back on the chagrined looks of my husband and daughter.
Meeting Brucey…sorry…Lance, was a story in itself. Complete opposites in every conceivable way, we were drawn to each other when I was introduced by his sister. My first reaction was one of shock, since instead of the blonde-haired blue-eyed adonis that stood in front of me, I was expecting a dreadlocked Rastafarian black man, the kind of guy I was into at the time. Angela, Lance’s sister is Jamaican-born you see, and had forgotten to tell me she was an adopted child.
Lance’s way of showing interest in me was to play me ‘More Than a Feeling’ by Boston and ask me what I thought of it. Not used to being asked intelligent questions about music, I just sort of grinned and said ‘yeah, it’s cool!’ This strange probing into my musical intellect (or lack of it) was to continue. One evening, after a couple of dates, he put on a record at full blast and shoved a lyric sheet in my face. ‘Read this’, he enthused, ‘tell me what you think!’ I was flummoxed. I was used to more romantic ways of spending an evening, and this was just plain weird. Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The River’ rang out as my eyes followed the words of this song. By the time it was over, I sat in stunned amazement. I’d discovered a new dimension to music that I didn’t know existed. Music was poetry, and if there was once thing I loved, it was poetry. Suddenly, this strange beautiful man before me didn’t seem so weird after all. This was my first introduction to the world of deep and meaningful music, and I was thrown in at the deep end. I spent many dates poring over the lyrics of the many different artists Lance insisted I listen to. Bruce was at the top of a big list that included Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Stevie Nicks.
I knew I was in trouble on our third date when, after visiting a rock ‘n’ roll haunt of Lance’s, the DJ placed Springsteen’s ‘Hungry Heart’ on the turntable. There was a stampede as everybody at the table, and I mean everybody (yes, Lance, my date, included) bolted for the dancefloor. I was left alone amongst women and men in leather jackets, biker helmets and blue jeans. I was used to plush night-clubs, women poured into tight satin trousers, men sporting John Travolta white suits, and the sound of the Bee Gees in the background. In my world people asked you to dance, and stayed politely at the table if you didn’t. It was then I knew what a hold The Boss had over my man, and it was only later, that I came to appreciate why.
To this day, I’ve had to put up with Bruce for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From time to time, I’ve had to place a house ban on his music, especially since Annabel moved from a healthy appreciation of The Boss’s music, to complete and utter Fanatic mode. To this day she hasn’t made the connection between my constant playing of ‘Tougher than the Rest’ and ‘Brilliant Disguise’ while I was pregnant with her, and her absolute love of those two songs. These days, both her and Lance are thick as thieves. And with the gig in Hyde Park coming up, our home is festooned with Bruce posters, every laptop in the house has Bruce wallpaper, and youtube is in danger of a meltdown as these two count down the days.
I won’t be going to the concert. I’ve seen many bands in my day and saw Bruce twice, once in Brighton and another time in London. In those days, I did everything in my stillettoes; they were a permanent fixture, an extension of my body. I even ran marathons in them. To meet Lance and Annabel’s standards, to be at a concert means you have to queue all day and all night to get a spot near the stage. It means having to stand there all day watching every other Tom, Dick or Mary perform. For me, a woman who these days can only wear her platform heels from the car to the restaurant door, the whole thing would be a nightmare. I’d moan because my feet hurt (I wouldn’t dream of wearing my Nikes; they’re just not fancy enough), I’d want to go for a wee every five minutes, and my neck would get a crick in it because I couldn’t see over the barrier (yes, I’m a shorty). And besides, I’d be likely to pass out and be carried over the crowds, which happened once at a Meatloaf concert in Dubai. It was hot and humid and to my great dismay, I toppled over in a swoon. The next day, the local Expat newspaper headlined with ‘Young Lady Passes Out with Sheer Delight as Meatloaf Enters the Stage’. I was mortified, and have avoided concerts ever since!
So as the two Fanatics get their Boss fix, I’ll be watching him on the telly, with my G&T in hand, the loo nearby and my Jimmy Choos perched nicely on the coffee table. When the highlight of the holiday is over, we’ll be off to Barcelona!!!
Take care everyone, and I’ll be back soon.