Friday, April 18, 2008

Bruce Springsteen Endorses Obama

“A great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken.”
(Bruce Springsteen)

Endorsements don’t matter a lot in these presidential primaries; however, some matter more than others. What I watch for are the statements and comments that come with an endorsement. Some of them can be revealing and some can be helpful. I like the letter that was posted on Bruce Springsteen’s web site, endorsing Barack Obama. It’s printed below for you to read over.

“Dear Friends and Fans:

“Like most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

“He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where ‘...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone.’

“At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams of My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.

“After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.

“Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President.”

Yes, I like that statement. It really says it about as well as can be said.

Years ago, Irene Silber, a wonderful a dear friend, told me she was a huge Springsteen fan. I looked at her oddly and doubted her sanity.

‘Charlie,” she exclaimed, “he’s going to be a classic.”

I chortled menacingly and in utter disbelief. Today, clearly, Bruce Springsteen has achieved legendary status in the rock’n roll world. He is indeed a classic!

My apologies to Irene.

1 comment:

  1. A few thoughts on Danny Federici
    Jim Abbott
    When I heard the news that E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici had died on Thursday at age 58, it took quite a few minutes for the reality to sink in.

    When it did, there was only one thing to do: Call the biggest Springsteen fan that I know, my old pal and former colleague Nancy Pate. Here at the newspaper, Nancy and I were like family, which is the same context in which I have always viewed the E Street Band.

    Even more than the music, the band represents the noble idea of sticking together, through thick and thin, forever. That's a pretty lofty notion to take in, especially if you've run into a bad relationship, bad marriage, single-parenthood, health issues or any of the myriad struggles that make life so challenging.

    So, anyway, Nancy picked up the phone and we started reminiscing about the band's history and then our own. She and I have been to a few Springsteen shows together and through more than a few adventures at work. Without her presence, I never would've had a chance to do what I love.

    After the shock wore off, she got feisty:

    "This pisses me off," she is telling me, "because these guys are the good guys. Hey, tramps like us..."

    The E Street Band didn't do drugs, didn't carouse irresponsibly. They don't fit into the new tabloid mentality. Federici's three-year battle with melanoma had been kept so low-key that attentive fans such as Nancy and I weren't aware of it.

    He had joined the band in 1969, according to the biographical information in the forward to a new Springsteen volume, For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans.

    Federici played with the Boss in the seaside juke joints with Child and Steel Mill. "In Danny's case," the Chicago Tribune's Louis Carlozo writes. "greatness is understood, measured in the sublime flicker of his organ-playing hands."

    After 40 years in the band, Federici's hands are still, but I'm optimistic that, like all families, the E Street Band will find a way to persevere. It gives hope to the rest of us.