Good news: The local library auditorium is filled to capacity for my ninety minute program on Bruce Springsteen called "Jersey Boy". Reality check: The library is near ground zero of Boss-land and the program is free. No matter, I'm thrilled to bring this program to fans of the artist Richard Russo calls " … the greatest songwriting storyteller of his generation".
Although I didn't know it until class was over and she introduced herself, Bruce's first cousin was in the audience the last time I delivered this particular program. (I had a suspicion something was up when someone in the back of the room asked to see my bibliography slide a second time, something that had never happened before and has not happened since). When we spoke after class, she praised my research - hence the request for re-showing that slide - and affirmed the insights I'd surmised from my reading. Then, a few weeks later, she kindly mailed a few of Bruce's hand written set lists to me. Those lists will be an exhibit for my presentation this Wednesday. The recent request I made for an interview with this same cousin was politely declined. Still, I've got a tasty anecdote and those set lists to share.
Two other fairly new primary sources will also assist me speaking to the "sold-out" crowd: "Born To Run" - Bruce's bracingly honest 2016 memoir - and the recent Netflix special highlighting his highly successful one man Broadway show each provide new context and fresh emotional depth to support my presentation that focuses on Bruce's songwriting craft . And who knows? A serious Bruce fanatic who happens to be my neighbor saw the Boss playing some guitar on the Manasquan inlet a few years back. So FYI, Mr. Springsteen, my guitar will be close by for a live demonstration I do when speaking about your song "Fire". Feel free to hop out of your seat and join me on stage. I know that stage is smaller than the ones you're accustomed to, but there's plenty of room, one Jersey Boy to another.