I have always been a Bruce Springsteen fan. I’m not sure what lured me into his fold. I think it was my first boyfriend Mark – he looked just like him in certain photos, especially those on the Born To Run album. Regardless of the whens and wheres, by my Junior year in high school I was a Springsteen fanatic.

My induction into the legendary marathon Springsteen concerts was right before Christmas in 1980. My friend John was able to get us two tickets to his show at Madison Square Garden. The seats were behind the stage, first row in the upper deck. For any other performer, these tickets would’ve sucked – but not for Bruce. He had no back drop blocking the view from behind, and he played to the rear of the house often. At one point he donned a Santa hat and played “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town.” It was an unbelievably great show, and I was hooked.

I’ve seen Bruce a total of 11 times solo, and a few other times at concerts like “Human Rights Now,” but the best was my second live show – when I saw him at the Brendan Byrne Arena  in Rutherford, NJ. It was July 3rd, 1981 – the 2nd night of his week-long stint in New Jersey. I had bought a tickets with friend Michael Lopez – he was interested in taking photos, I was interested in being close. I shelled out $110 bucks for a seat in the 10th row, center stage.  Back then, that was a ton of loot for a concert ticket.

I knew from my previous concert that Bruce jumps into the crowd, and with my 10th row seat, I planned on taking advantage of his vulnerability. I had warned the dudes next to me to clear a path if Bruce happened to wind up in our aisle, or they may find themselves somewhat mangled.

I’m not sure how far into the concert it was – an hour or two – but during Ramrod, he jumped off the stage and was playing in the aisle closest to me. I did not hesitate. I jumped over the four guys to my right and marched right up to Bruce. For a split second we share the spotlight, and then I threw my arms around him.

I remember I could feel his sweat. I was covered in it. The embrace only lasted a split second before a roadie pulled me off, but I didn’t care. I ran back to my seat in absolute euphoria. I had made physical contact with my rock n’ roll God.

Later that night I was able to rush the stage during the encore. I saw Bruce sing Jungleland 3 feet from me. I stared into his eyes – into his soul. After the show I went into the bathroom and saw that my cheap ass maybelline eye liner and mascara had run. I looked exactly like a raccoon – the northern New Jersey variety.

I refused to shower that night or the next day. We left for our vacation on Martha’s Vineyard the next morning, and I listened to Bruce the entire way from NJ to Wood’s Hole. My mother yelled at me more than once to shut my music off, but I just couldn’t do it.

I was 17 then. Now I’m 47, and although I’m still a Bruce fan, I’m not like I was in my youth. He’s playing in town on Tuesday, but the tickets are too expensive, and I don’t want to leave the girls alone for the length of the concert. It’s a school night – and I can’t leave a Bruce concert early. I just can’t.

Yesterday my husband told me he had a secret. He works in town for a small outdoor concert venue. We saw President Obama there over the summer. They just hosted the Dalai Lama 2 weeks ago. I got piss drunk watching Earth Wind and Fire and Crosby, Stills and Nash there last year.

And the secret? My boy Bruce is coming to do a free acoustic concert to support our President on Tuesday – at the venue my husband works at. He’s connected. I’m connected. My life may change in a few days.

I know I can get in, and better yet the venue is two blocks from my office. But I may actually be put in a position where I can meet the Boss. Not just throw my arms around like a crazed fan, but meet his gaze, shake his hand and tell him exactly what his work has meant to me for the past 30 years.

A bucket list moment.

So we shall see. Chances are, I’ll come home Tuesday night and fix dinner for my girls no different than I was that morning when I fixed their breakfast. Hubby can only do so much to make this happen, and I know he’ll try his best. Yet, there is a job to be done, and he may not be able to set me up.

But maybe, just maybe, mom will have had a dream fulfilled.

So we shall see.

 

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