Why Bruce Springsteen Has Been In My Soul, Mind and Heart Since 1978

Why Bruce Springsteen Has Been In My Soul, Mind and Heart Since 1978
and Why 2016 and The River Tour Has Bridged Many Gaps.

by Toby Davidson

October, 2016

My journey from Asbury to vanity

My journey from Asbury to Vanity

Let me begin this post by sharing three experiences that happened over the past 12 months starting with the most recent.

Seattle – Bruce and me – the hug! + Seattle – Toby’s Plus One

Seattle – Bruce and me – the hug! + Toby’s Plus One

#1: On Oct 1st 2016, in Seattle, WA at Elliott Bay Books, I had the incredible (dream-like) opportunity of meeting Mr. Springsteen (finally) one on one, face to face, soul to soul. This monumental event included a photo opt and a chance to say….THANK YOU.

Seattle - From 1978 to 206

From 1978 to 2016

I got the” hug of a lifetime”. I must say, that up until this point, sadly or not, this was the best day of my life. If you are reading this post I believe there is no need to waste valuable character space explaining how or why this came to life.

Toronto River Ticket + River Tour Poster 2016

Toronto River Ticket + River Tour Poster 2016

#2: On Sept 23rd Bruce’s 67th birthday, fans around the world celebrated with him and boy did we have a great time in My Hometown of Toronto, Canada at a Rockin’ Roll centric downtown establishment called The Cadillac Lounge, the closest thing to The Stone Pony north of the border. The owner, Sam Grosso, also a life-long Bruce super – fan was the only BruceBud I knew upon arrival. Within minutes, I had 10+ more dedicated “Bruce Community Friends”.

This special evening included an open mic jam dedicated to Bruce tunes followed by watching the much anticipated Late Nights Show with Stephen Colbert with Bruce being the sole guest, promoting his much anticipated autobiography. Other than the seasoned interviewer saying, “I didn’t know you were Catholic”, it was, like always, a heart-felt, authentic, charismatic interview peppered with engaging snippets of storytelling that his beloved fans wait on baited breath for.

Gillette – Boston

Gillette – Boston

Thirdly, the first time in my 38 years as a Springsteen super-fan, attending many concerts over the years, I consciously committed to taking the time, money and energy to attend as many shows as I possibly could on the most recent River Tour ending in Foxboro, MA on Sept 14, 2016.

I’m proud to say that I participated in a total of 12 shows (previous tour record was 5); 2 in Europe, 1 in Canada and the balance in the USA. Of the 12, I made it into the pit 5 times. Prior to this tour I had NEVER taken the time to do the pit line process. It’s now time to segue into how it all started and why, 38 years later, I made the three items above a priority in my rather hectic life throughout 2016.

San Siro Ticket

San Siro Ticket

San Siro Web Ad

San Siro Web Ad

San Siro E Street Lounge

San Siro E Street Lounge

I often think back to that specific spark that started the fire and since then has never stopped burning. In 1978, one evening while home visiting, my 18 year old, university attending elder sister walked into my bedroom and casually tossed me an album and said, “someone on campus saw this guy live, a ‘folk singer’ and I though you may like it”…. That was it. Lights off, only a narrow crack of light from the hallway streaming through my bedroom door, with precision, I dropped the needle on my portable bedside turn table, placed my bulky ear phones snuggly across my head and proceeded to expose my 16 year old anxiety ridden heart, soul & spirit to something that since that moment has made my little life so much bigger, better safer, happier & yes, calmer.

San Siro Tramps

San Siro Tramps

It was a visceral & spiritual connection. An unimaginable feeling of unconditional belongingness. It was 1978 but the album was not “Darkness” but rather the inaugural, uniquely complex sound & words of “Greetings”. It was love at first sound byte.

My First Listen

My First Listen

I listened to” Greetings” start to finish, both sides, over and over and over ,night after night until I organically and privately knew every word (and there are lots of them) to most songs (can’t say all, but most). I also recall staring at the iconic colorful, cartoony sea-side image laden album cover that had a ‘flap’ that I would toggle between memorized, reading the words in a dream-like way over and over and over night after night. So here I am, in 2016, fully immersed in a Bruce-centric year and now able to better understand…WHY.

River Tour Tix & Wristbands 2016

River Tour Tix & Wristbands 2016

Since that first note streamed through my consciousness in the late 70’s, finding a permanent spot, Bruce, his music and his mind has provided all of us lucky fans a “tool” or “mechanism” to turn to 24/7 when life becomes overwhelming, and when isolation seems to be the only solution. Bruce once said, “Isolation is a very dangerous place”.

She's the one

She’s the One

The 2016 River Tour gave The Boss loving global community a platform to beautifully and creatively convey how the past 30+ years unfolded for him and reflect on the journey. How he was able to reach into his own tool box to participate in life in a way that when he was 16 probably could never had imagined.

Auburn Hills Palace

Auburn Hills Palace

With his inherent generosity of character, unfathomable work-ethic, this tour gives those that really “get him” a communal place to ‘regroup’ and feel safe in a world ridden with darkness and know that life with all its ups and downs is sunny and that dancing in the dark is balanced with glory days.

Auburn Hills Spring Nuts

Auburn Hills Spring Nuts

Bruce, if you are listening, I am forever grateful and until my very last breath I am fully committed to being a part of this epic journey that I’m sure will be filled with many twists and shouts.

 Buffalo - River Tour Poster Photo ©Kirsch

Buffalo – River Tour Poster Photo ©Kirsch

You are a gift to all of us and yes, faith is rewarded. Joyfully, super-fan, Toby Davidson

Toby Davidson, serial entrepreneur, founder Cookin’s Greens Brand, and principal at Concept to Shelf Management Consulting Firm. Toby lives in Toronto, Canada. Besides attending as many Bruce Springsteen concerts as possible, she likes to travel, rescue dogs and dance. Her favourite Springsteen album is Greetings from Asbury Park.

Many thanks to Bruce Base for providing original memorabilia and photos illustrating Toby Davidson’s story. Bruce Base is the most valuable and comprehensive Bruce Springsteen archive resource on line.

6 Responses to Why Bruce Springsteen Has Been In My Soul, Mind and Heart Since 1978

  1. debbie haring says:

    Hi Toby. Long time fan. Also since greetings. loved your statement to use Bruce’s music as a tool to turn to when life is overwhelming. My husband and I have done it many times. Through good n bad. His music has been the background of our life.

    • toby says:

      Hi Debbie

      thanks for your comment! I really enjoyed Bruce’s autobiography. Have you had a chance to read it? keep the faith going – you and your husband have it right and great you can share this great human being together as you move through life. Happy Holidays


  2. Miriam Davidson says:

    Toby! What a heartfelt, well said tribute to a great American poet and musician! I feel honoured that the album I casually shared with you so many years ago has brought you such joy, through great times and dark days too! I’m so happy to see you finally got to meet your hero! How wonderful to get to say thank you to him in person! I’m sure he appreciates all the love you and countless other dedicated fans heap on him. What a great story Toby!!
    Love you, your “elder sister” Miriam

  3. JLA1984 says:

    Toby – thank you for putting into words what we think and feel. You definitely “get it” and what Bruce means to us on so many levels.

    Thank for sharing your journey with us. It is indeed an honor to know you!

    – M

  4. Andrea Davies says:

    Great article. I to have turned to Bruce”s music in overwhelming times. Fantastic you got to so many shows and finally met him. Well done, I am jealous. Only made 7 in total! Next time I am going to try the pit!

    • Toby Davidson says:

      Hi Andrea, (see you in the pit next tour)
      thanks for your nice comment.
      yes, there are many of us in this Bruce mindset. Why not, it’s a all good in a world that can be challenging and stressful – Bruce is a healthy habit

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