When I was young, my family and I would take road trips to visit my Dad’s side in Duluth. On our long journey my father would always play the classics; Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young. Listening to these songs made me feel as if I had magical insight into what my dad’s life was like growing up, watching him light up as he sang the lyrics and danced in his seat.
Over the years we would always listen to the same great musicians and I fell in love with them. As a female in my teens, my friends found it a bit odd that I wasn’t interested in mainstream pop culture. Yet my friends’ disapproval of my taste in music made me feel closer to my family.
On my sweet 16th birthday, I did not want a big bash. I wanted to see the Boss. Amazingly Bruce was in town the weekend of my November birthday and I was ecstatic. My dad (whose name is also Bruce) bought us tickets to the Magic 2007 tour. It was a thrilling experience. Bruce Springsteen and the E street Band wooed the crowd with their energy and dedication to making the music speak to the audience. I even got to see Clarence Clemons, the famous saxophone player, do his thing (before he unfortunately passed away in 2011). The concert was one of my first and I will never forget it.
As we were leaving the event center, my dad saw the merchandise table. He was quite adamant that we needed to wait in the long line to buy a band T-shirt. After about an hour, we reached the table. I saw the exact shirt that I wanted and thankfully my dad bought it for me. When I was handed the shirt, it didn’t feel like a regular old plain polyester/cotton T-shirt. This garment felt more like a symbol of the many years I spent having wonderful times with my father. I think I wore it the entire next week!
During my sophomore year of college, I was given the opportunity to study abroad in London, England. I had never traveled out of the country, let alone been away from my family for three and a half months. While packing my suit case I was sure to bring some comforts of home—one of those comforts was the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Magic Tour of 2007 shirt. Every time I missed my family—especially my dad—I would wear that shirt. Even going out to explore the city, I would dress up the old shirt layered with fashionable clothes just so I would feel closer to my family.
I still have the shirt, even in my graduating year of college. It’s funny; sometimes when I wear it out of the house older gentlemen will approach me and explain how much they love the Boss. Once, while enjoying a night on the town with friends, a man programming the juke box shouted and pointed at me and then all of a sudden my favorite Bruce songs blared through the speakers. We ended up listening to Bruce Springsteen’s songs all night long. I love that shirt and won’t ever give it up!