CNN Senior National Editor
Happy Birthday to Bruce Springsteen, 60-years-young today.
I bought two tickets when Springsteen came to Atlanta back in April.
Having rocked at one of his shows here several months earlier, I gave these tickets to my teenagers, so that my daughter and son could experience “The Boss” and the E Street Band in concert.
I’ve had that pleasure several times, dating back to September 20, 1975 in Darby Gym at Grinnell College.
That was less than a month after release of the album “Born to Run” and five weeks before Springsteen simultaneously landed on the covers of TIME and Newsweek, back when that was a big deal.
So what was he doing in a small town in Iowa when rock-and-roll stardom beckoned?
Well, more than a year earlier a few of the kids from back East had persuaded the college to book the New Jersey-based Springsteen for what said to be a small, four-digit paycheck.
I sat on the floor about 10 feet from Clarence Clemons for four amazing hours as what appeared to be most of Grinnell’s 1,200 students packed the gymnasium.
I remember walking into economics class the next morning and walking out soon thereafter, unable to hear what the professor was saying.
But my favorite Springsteen moment took place not in a concert hall, but more than 30 years ago in the apartment of a friend.
Greg Kot and I were a couple of guys from Chicago’s suburbs who started work at a newspaper in Davenport, Iowa, on the same night in June 1978. Kot knew then that he wanted to write about rock-and-roll for the Chicago Tribune. He’s done that now for two decades, along with authoring a couple of books and co-hosting a syndicated radio show.
Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” had released a couple of weeks before we arrived at the Quad-City Times and Kot insisted I come over after our night shift to hear the album.
I straddled a turned-around chair as he placed the record on the turntable, cranked up the volume and watched my face as I sat stunned by the power of the music and mesmerized by the lyrics.
Thirty-plus years later, “Darkness” is still my favorite Springsteen album.
The satellite radio station featuring Springsteen’s music is pre-programmed in my car.
Springsteen is on the cover of AARP’s magazine and I’m old enough to find it in my mailbox.
Where has the time gone?
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