rediscovering the boss

My first crush was on Bruce Springsteen.

I was young. Very young.

These were the days when all I wore all day, every day, was my one-size-fits-all Batman t-shirt.

My dad had Born in the U.S.A. on cassette tape and used to play it repeatedly in the car whenever we drove anywhere. Mostly because he loved it. But also because this was the eighties and everyone used to play that album repeatedly. Except for the Prince fans. And thank Christos I wasn’t raised by a pair of those.

I loved Bruce Springsteen before I even understood music.

I didn’t really listen to much “children’s music” beyond, of course, Raffi, Fred Penner, Charlotte Diamond, you know, the usual.

The music of my childhood is good ole rock and roll.  I remember “Chantilly Lace” being my favourite song for quite a while. I remember being absolutely blown away by “Rock Around the Clock.” I thought Buddy Holly was it.

As I’ve aged, I’ve remembered this youthful glee and it has given me context to appreciate how much rock and roll changed the game. I can understand teenagers wetting themselves at the sight of Elvis’s wiggling hips. I never swooned for Elvis, but I swooned for Jerry Lee Lewis. (That was a little ironic, in retrospect. I would have been just his type.)

And then I heard the Boss.

You know how some memories just stick with you?

I remember the first time I heard Springsteen.

I remember being in the car with my dad and loving the music so much that I asked, “Daddy, who is this?”

And he looked at me, with that rare twinkle in his eye: “This is the BOSS! Don’t you know who the Boss is?!”

He laughed with the joy of confusing such a young and naive little child.

But I instantly thought of my mom’s daily discussions over the dinner table, talking about her work day, talking about her… boss.

Oooooooooh, I thought with elation, Mom works for the Boss!


Sadly, a while later, when I discovered the awful  truth… that my mom did not work for Bruce Springsteen, I was heartbroken. Heartbroken in that way that only a melodramatic six-year-old can be.

Despite the adversity, I knew it was a love that would last a lifetime.

One day, Bruce, one day.

An extra treat: The Boss and E Street Band at their finest:

Author: Ashleigh Kay

I divide my time between a variety of poverty-inducing ventures: writing for fun and writing for torture; watching far too many movies and reading far too few books. I have lived previous incarnations as bookseller, bureaucrat, filmmaker, zinester, student, and wayward traveller. I studied Film at Langara after seven years at Simon Fraser entrenched in English, Archaeology and about every other Liberal Arts and social science topic you can imagine. I am very good at Trivial Pursuit. I am related to Dr. Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English dictionary, which explains my perfect spelling and penchant for black cats. I once lived in a house in the South Hill neighbourhood of Vancouver with six people, four cats, one goldfish, and a vegetable garden for a front yard. We called it The Commune. It was where I lived with my husband before he was Husband, before he was Fiance, before he was Boyfriend, back when he was just Boy Roommate. Life was a sitcom and we were the “will they/won’t they.” We did. Once we ran away to England because we like having adventures. But we didn’t like it that much, so we came home again. I have the personality of a superhero’s alter-ego. Only I don’t fight crime. At least not yet. I am currently obsessing over romantic comedies and hosting murder mystery dinner parties (online these days, of course!).

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