Unbelievable Broadway Birthday
By ice rivers
While driving to the Cornelius library, I heard a radio announcer proclaim with a note of sadness in her voice that tickets for the final Bruce Springsteen On Broadway show were going for as much as $44, 000.
When I got home from the library, I told Lynn what I had heard.
She refused to believe it.
I told her that I was only repeating what I heard on the radio.
The interaction reminded me of the "actor" in the Old West who was tryng to recite some Shakespeare in the local saloon/whore house. He got about halfway through the "to be or not to be" monologue when the boos started and the tomatoes followed the boos.
The "actor" stepped out of "character" and yelled back at the drunken cowboys; "Hey, I didn't write this shit, I'm only reading it."
So I don't know for sure if tickets cost that much.
I do know how much I paid to see Bruce, the first time; a long time before anybody was thinking about Broadway. I paid $20 bucks and sat in the Front row of the Eastman Theater.
Born to Run hadn't come out yet but it was warming up in the wings.
The theater was about half full. The word was starting to spread.
Bruce had his East Street Band band and his guitar. I had my camera.
We were about the same age.
He saw me with my camera. He gave me a look that said "Dude, you got a camera?"
I gave him a look back that said "Dude, you got a guitar, I got a camera."
We understood each other.
I was in his face and he was in mine.
The world was opening in front of us. We both knew it.
He stayed connected with me for the whole show.
He blew me away but he didn't blow away my camera.
This is way before digital of course. I had 36 exposures of high speed Kodak film.
I didn't need flash.
He played right into the camera. He winked at it. He slid into it. He pointed at it. He did everything but climb into the camera itself.
I felt like we were totally connected.
I felt like our legs were strapped across the same engine.
We were together.
When the show ended, I was a much better photographer and I gave him the nods to show my appreciation.
He took the nods and signalled back "How do ya like THAT shit".
I signalled back that I did and I always would.
I still do.
I had a darkroom at the time. I developed those pictures that night.
They were and still might be the best pictures that I've ever taken.
I printed a few eight by tens.
I eventually gave them all away.
I figured, I'd always have the negatives.
I figured wrong.
The negatives got lost as collateral damage in the end of a relationship.
Bruce meanwhile, already Boss, was on his way to becoming a rock and roll God.
I wonder how much the folks who are paying $44,000 dollars for a ticket would pay for any of those lost images.
Of course, I wouldn't sell them.
I wonder how Springsteen feels about that ticket price.
I continue to believe that he was not then and is not now into the whole thing for money.
I've seen him in concert six times since.
Every time, I've been further and further away from him
The last time I saw him, he was the first performer to ever play at Fenway Park.
It was my 60th birthday.
Tomorrow, I'll be 72.
Bruce will be closing his show on Broadway.