That ride to see Southside with KP and Bake stirred loose my Springsteen moment

So I’m riding in the back of Bake’s car winding through Chenango County’s backroads and the first time I ever hear the glorious voice of Bruce Springsteen flashes through my brain.

High school. Spanish class. Miss Carroll in a chair with her students. Margie Knapp placing her already cherished new album from a balladeer from Jersey on a beat-up, AV squad requested record player.

Vinyl in my heart and brain.

This young teacher set aside show-and-tell sessions so we would have to think outside our text books and bring in Spanish-related items for discussion. I’d made it all the way to Spanish III. I had an ear for the language, if not the most heartfelt devotion to textbook conjugation and wrote vocabulary. Truth be known, I did most of my at-home absorption by watching sitcoms that caught my attention on the New York City Spanish-language channel on cable.

Anyway.

Margie dropped the old needle on that black circle, and out came this voice and whirlwind of music.

Lyrics I’d sing thousands of times in my life.

A fly could have landed in my open mouth, I’m quite sure.

Miss Carroll, hippest teacher I had, probably dug this unheard of artist, too. But her inner teacher forced these words to come out of her mouth:

That’s not in Spanish!

But, oh, how I loved Rosalita, each and ever word and note. It spoke to me in that special language that a high-schooler is developing with music that will be cherished forever and ever.

Thank you, Miss Carroll and Margie Knapp, where ever you may be, for joining me at stop one on the Boss’ train of faith and devotion.

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8 thoughts on “That ride to see Southside with KP and Bake stirred loose my Springsteen moment

  1. Growing up in Jersey, Bruce was the soundtrack of my childhood as well. I still have my original Born To Run album and it remains one of my all time faves. While I do listen to his new stuff, I dearly miss Clarence and the E Street sound.

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  2. Odd as it might seem, given my obsession with Bruce, it was not a love at first listen thing. I remember thinking that Springsteen was a little soft for my uneducated hard rock High School ears. Then, just as I was about to leave for college, Darkness came out. Talk about a one, two punch. Badlands into Adam Raised A Cain. It’s been all Bruce ever since. Didn’t hurt that I went to school in Philly, a Bruce stronghold. Seems every dorm room in the quad had a speaker propped in the window, cranking out Jungleland.

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