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Happy Birthday, Bruce.

By Craig ONeal (The Boss~Live!) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
“The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.”

Today is Bruce Springsteen’s 69th birthday and we should all celebrate. Why? Because he’s “the Boss.”

Full confession? I’ve only just started listening to Bruce – or the Boss or Mr. Springsteen (as someone who just became “a real fan,” what does one call him? Is “Bruce” too informal?).

Either way, music is something that hits you and becomes personally relevant at the right place, right time of your life. That’s how I came to Bruce Springsteen and yes, I acknowledge that I’m a bit late to the game.

I haven’t been under a rock. I’ve been aware of Springsteen’s music my entire life. Like most of the population, I’ve heard “Born To Run” dozens of times on classic rock radio stations. But most of my earliest musical influences were British – The Who, The Beatles (obviously), Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Police – and for that reason, I tended to gravitate towards that particular genre.

I thought Bruce was decent enough but I never understood his mass appeal. Honestly, his music just didn’t speak to me – that is until I turned 30.

I came to know Bruce three months ago while driving down the road on what was otherwise an uneventful day. I was in a bit of a funk when “Thunder Road” came on the radio. It caught me at the right place and right time.

It spoke to me. I was overcome with emotion and I suddenly got it.

I’ve since come to realize that Bruce is exactly what we need him to be: an artist who reaches you wherever you are, at any given time — someone who speaks out against injustice and gives a voice to the common man. Yes, I’m aware it sounds painfully cliché but it’s not. It’s simple, it’s honest and in the right moment can get you through anything. I know because I’ve experienced it.

Thanks, Bruce and happy birthday.

In his honor, here’s my top Springsteen tracks:

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