My Favorite Artist, Songwriter, and Storyteller
I was the type of teenager who always wanted to get out of the house — a sentiment I’m sure most kids that age can relate to. Teens feel the calling to break free and live away from home without always realizing how much their parents are doing for them while they live there. It’s easy to romanticize the “struggle” and how going to college is the best way of escape, even when our parents help pay for tuition. As a teen, there was no one who inspired those emotions and comforted me in those moments more than my favorite songwriter and singer, Bruce Springsteen. June 21 is World Day of Music, which gives me a chance to talk about Springsteen and that little bit of teenage defiance. However, it wasn’t during some concert or even driving around with my friends that I first heard his songs. Back in the ‘80s, Springsteen was huge — his songs were everywhere. Everyone was listening to him, including my dad. When I was in middle school, I remember overhearing my dad listening to him, and the song that stuck out to me was, of course, “Born in the U.S.A.” I love music of all kinds, but since the moment I heard that song, I instantly loved Springsteen. It was such a big song that came out on just a fantastic album, so it was no surprise that it caught on with people of all ages. For me, Springsteen’s songs stoked that “teenage rebellion” vibe my teenage self couldn’t ignore. With “No Surrender,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Thunder Road,” he quickly became my favorite artist, and 40 years later, I’m still his biggest fan. One thing I love about music, and something that Springsteen always portrays in his, is how songs tell stories. Whether I’m listening to his songs on the way to work or at one of his concerts, I always get caught up in the stories he brings to life. I’ve seen Springsteen in
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concert many times, and every time, it takes me back to when I first heard that song, and I get to revisit those moments and stories. Last year, my husband and I went to one of Springsteen’s concerts in New York on Broadway. It was a truly wonderful experience. The concert was only one part of the trip we had planned that year to enjoy the city after we managed to grab the sought-after tickets. I remember sitting down in the seats feeling very excited to see him perform again. I had heard all his songs before, but I was in for a treat. That concert was unlike any I’d experienced before. It was just Springsteen up on stage as he sang and told stories of his past. When someone can move you through their story, or any kind of story, and do it right, it’s emotional. That’s exactly what that concert was. It was touching and moving all at the same time — it’s hard to even explain just how amazing and impactful of an experience it was. I’m so glad I had that opportunity. I’ve followed Springsteen throughout my life. His music has given me so many moments and cherished memories, and I can’t help but feel grateful to him. I’ve listened to him for several decades, and I’ll continue to listen to him for many more.
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-Heather Qu ick
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