What is it about this guy that endures after performing for 50+ years? Why are so many people completely addicted to him?
How does he fill stadiums of 50,000 people night after night after night?
How does he reach new audiences every decade?
How does he make every performance fresh, like it’s not the millionth time he’s singing Born to Run?
Why do people see him perform a hundred times? Wouldn’t they get bored? Nope.
Bruce is like Coca Cola.
It’s been around a very long time, but people keep enjoying it. New people try it and become fans. It’s still fresh every time you pop the top and people don’t seem to get bored with drinking it.
The parallels are somewhat obvious.
- They both come in a shapely container.
- Both products are consistent, though variety is possible by mixing it up differently.
- They’re both sweet and bubbly.
- They’re always fun to experience.
- They both makes people happy.
- And, they are the real thing.
Both brands have endured. Though Bruce adds talent to the formula.
I haven’t met Bruce, but it feels like we’ve been friends for decades. He’s been there with me to celebrate the ups, helped me to never surrender during the downs and get mad when it’s right.
Good looks, that voice and the music aside, here are a few things I know that make me admire him and make him number 1.
He’s never had another job besides making music.
Here’s someone who knew what he wanted to do and never diverted from that path since his mother bought him that $18 guitar. (Thanks Adele!) Many people say he is driven, focused and relentlessly devoted to his craft. He never gives up.
He writes all that stuff
Seriously, all of it. Just read the lyrics to “Blinded by the Light” or “Thunder Road” and see what I mean. An example:
“Well, the screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves. Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays…”
He reinvents himself periodically
Not one to get in a rut, Bruce experiments with new sounds, new ideas and new genres. He seems unafraid to try something new. If it doesn’t work, so what! Move on.
He gets personal
No one lays his heart on the line like Bruce. His whole life is laid down in his music. He’s an emotional jar of jellybeans.
The best parts of his concerts are the moments when Bruce talks about whatever Bruce wants to talk about. This time he talked about how he doesn’t like mustard. Other times he talks about his father. Or something that happened in the news. He is a deep thinker. He cross-examines life with an empathy that is unmatched by any rocker.
He tells true stories
Bruce paints pictures in our minds with his words. Every song is a short story. It always feels like it really happened, which it probably did.
He’s got style
It’s subtle but perfect.
No hiding for Bruce. If he’s angry, we know it. If he just wants to have fun, we’re right there. He has the courage to say what he thinks.
He gives his everything
This guy does not hold anything back. He’s unstoppable. He literally throws himself into his audience.
These are the things that keep Bruce on top. At 66, most people are ready to slow down. Not Bruce.
He’s currently on the cover of Vanity Fair, on a world tour and his autobiography “Born to Run” is about to be released. He has won 20 Grammys, 2 Golden Globes, an Academy Award, won the Kennedy Center Honor, been on numerous magazine covers including Time and Newsweek simultaneously and sold over 120 million albums worldwide.
I’d say he endures because of all of the above. All ages love him. A 3 year-old got to the mike and sang “Sunny Day”. Next to me was a grandma rocking out. Check out this video of a 10 year-old who memorized the lyrics to “Blinded by the Light” (No easy feat!).
I confess I’m one of those who have seen him countless times. I still don’t know how he does it, but just when I think this will be just like last night, it isn’t.
It’s new bottle of coke every time. Just as tasty and simply addictive.