Today is Bruce Springsteen’s 69th birthday.
He was born on September 23, 1949, in Freehold, New Jersey; the first child and only son of Douglas and Adele (Zirilli) Springsteen.
In commemorating this day, I extend to Bruce my best wishes and a word or two of thanks for all of the joy – the uncountable-and-still-accumulating moments of toe-tapping, head-bobbing, butt-kicking, ear-to-ear-smile-inducing, inhibition-tossing, dad-dancing, fist-pumping, singing-along-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-voice-shredding, heart-throbbing, soul-soaring, mind-melting, deeply-inspiring and absolutely-without-a-doubt-life-affirming joy – that his music, on record and in concert, has brought to my life.
Thanks, as well, for a great story.
On April 20, 2006, Bruce sat for a long talk with Dave Marsh, his biographer and old friend, on the mezzanine of the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Bruce was in town conducting rehearsals with his new group, The Seeger Sessions Band, who were scheduled to give their debut performance that evening at Convention Hall.
That conversation resulted in an eleven page article entitled “Will It Go Round In Circles?” in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue (#85) of Backstreets: The Boss Magazine.
Among the many topics they discussed was Bruce’s new album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, to be released by Columbia Records on April 24.
Bruce also told Dave the story of when his cousin Frank gave him his first guitar lesson.
I cobbled together a condensed version of Bruce’s story; something I could print in a medium size font on one side of a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and hang on the wall in my teaching studio.
Here it is.
Now, I’ve been teaching teenagers how to play the guitar for a very long time. Since as far back as I can remember, well before I read Bruce’s story in 2006, the first chord I’ve taught to every hopeful beginner has been the E minor chord.
Thanks again, Bruce, and Happy Birthday!
P.S.: Good job, Frank.
And now for some of that joy, or what Bruce called, “the sound of surprise and the pure joy of playing.”
The personnel on “Pay Me My Money Down” was:
- Bruce Springsteen – Acoustic Guitar & Lead Vocals
- Sam Bardfeld – Violin & Backing Vocals
- Frank Bruno – Acoustic Guitar & Backing Vocals
- Jeremy Chatzky – Upright Bass & Backing Vocals
- Mark Clifford – Banjo & Backing Vocals
- Larry Eagle – Drums & Backing Vocals
- Charles Giordano – Accordion
- Ed Manion – Saxophone & Backing Vocals
- Mark Pender – Trumpet & Backing Vocals
- Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg – Trombone & Backing Vocals
- Patti Scialfa – Backing Vocals
- Soozie Tyrell – Violin & Backing Vocals
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions – American Land Edition was released on October 3, 2006.
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album at the 49th Grammy Awards on February 11, 2007.