SNC: Scholars Study Bruce Springsteen
Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia - May 14, 2005
Photo by Thrasher
So can you believe this?
Bruce Springsteen scholars from around the world came to "Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium" in West Long Branch, New Jersey this weekend to examine Springsteen's music from an academic perspective.
Now why in the world would anyone spend a bunch of time analyzing a rock star's lyrics and infleuential impact?
From Associated Press article by KILEY ARMSTRONG:
"If you're sad, happy, angry -- if you want to scream, rant and rave -- there's always a [Springsteen] song that can express it", said Patty Pappas of Toronto.
"Bruce's music can call us to a higher purpose," said Dr. James Kelly of Carlow University in Pittsburgh, calling Springsteen a vehicle for discussions on social causes, war, race, gender and class.
Discussion topics were dizzying. Springsteen and psychology; the movies; spirituality; American culture; history; the criminal justice system; the online community; family.
Bruce Geeks worship Springsteen as a storyteller and a poet. References abounded to the likes of writers Jack Kerouac and Flannery O'Connor; Springsteen has said O'Connor's work helped inspire the "Nebraska" album.
The "Springsteen and Social Consciousness" panel stressed that the boss puts his money -- and his energies -- where his mouth is. Singer-activist Jen Chapin, daughter of the late Harry Chapin, said Springsteen has raised millions of dollars for grass root causes including hunger.
"I've dealt with a lot of celebrities," said Chapin, giving Springsteen an A-plus for his "integrity" and determination to "follow through on his promises."
"Bruce and his music, through his lyrics as well as his performances and his social consciousness ... speak to the common man or woman," Bernhard said. "He resonates with many of us" -- in all walks of life.
Well. Imagine that. Following a musician because of their "integrity"? Lyrics that are "a vehicle for discussions on social causes, war, race, gender and class"? "Worshipping a storyteller and a poet"?
We understand there will be an international symposium held on Neil Young in October in California. Know anybody going?
Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young
"You know, the difference between the greatness of Bruce Springsteen and that of Neil Young as someone once explained to me back in college: Bruce makes you think you, too, can be as great as he is; Neil makes you think he is really no better than you are to begin with. Remember that."
Dr. Eric Alterman - Altercation
More on Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young: The Difference in Greatness.