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GUEST BLOGGER: The 11 principles of Bruce Springsteen
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The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than ...
Bruce Springsteen
The writers of this blog are not music critics, and they don't consider a second (or third, fourth or fifth) mortgage to be a perfectly reasonable course of action to pay for front-row tickets, but despite being a whole lot more middle aged than they were when they first put \x34Born in the U.S.A.\x34 or \x34The River\x34 down on the turntable, still feels like Bruce has something -- OK, a lot of things -- to say about our country and the way we live our lives, things that not a lot of other artists are saying. And whether he's talking about the knife that can cut this pain from your heart, the house that's waiting for you to walk in or what that flag flying over the courthouse means, he's nailing down feelings that are so universal that they can raise your spirits and break your heart at the same time. Plus, lets face it, the man rocks.
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By Steve Matoren
July 9, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Steve Matoren is a life-long Tramp and the writer/producer of the upcoming in-depth documentary film, Is There Anybody Alive Out There?! The Magic of Bruce Springsteen and the soon to be published book, The TAO of BRUCE. You can contact him via Email at buttsintheseats@yahoo.com or Twitter @imaliveoutthere for more.

(Photo via backstreets.com)

While Bruce Springsteen continues on his magical, heart stomping, booty shaking, European Wrecking Ball tour, back here in the USA, were celebrating our nations independence. And it got me thinking about the connection between America and Bruce. Not only will The Boss will be forever credited as rock and roll future, but also the rock and roll voice of this country. Even more than that, his prolific words transcend borders, generations and religions. If theres anyone else in the world who speaks in a common language to a secular humanity more so than Bruce Springsteen, please let me know.
During Springsteens magnificent 40-year recording career, hes covered a range of relevant topics we can all relate to. For many of us, hes consistently been our infinite light, hope and joy throughout much of our lives. On this July4th holiday, and in honor of the US Armys 11 principles of leadership, here are the 11 principles from The Greatest Boss born in the USA.

  1. Life

It aint no sin to be glad youre alive.


Darkness on the Edge of Town 1978
Perhaps no one embodies living such a joyous and passionate life as Bruce. Whats interesting about this song lyric is that it came during a time of great struggles and identity for the man who penned it. What it points to is Bruces never ending reminder to himself, and to his audience, that you have to live your life as best you can, right now!

  1. Love

Love me tonight, and I promise Ill love you forever.

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle 1973
Life is incomplete without love. Its that simple. The greatest gift you can offer someone is your love. Bruce reminds us My Love Will Not Let You Down and of course, Two Hearts are better than one.

  1. Girls

Id drive all night just to buy her some shoes,

and to taste her tender charms.

Drive All Night}

The River 1980
What do men want? We want women. Bruce writes and sings about girls exactly how men think about them. Theres nothing we wont do to capture your admiration or to be with you.or Sandy, Mary, Mary Lou, Wendy, Rosie, Cynthia, Janey, Theresa, Frankie, Candy, Kitty, Linda and a Red Headed Woman. For only a girl can cause that thunder in your heart.

  1. Cars

All the redemption I can offer girl,

Is beneath this dirty hood.

Thunder Road

Born to Run – 1975
In other words: No car. No romance. A car can take you anywhere in life. Not only is a car a symbol of independence and freedom; its the actual thing to get you there.

  1. Work

More than rich,

More than famous,

More than happy

I wanted to be great.

The Promise

The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town – 2010
A mans entire self-esteem is affected by his work. But a job is only that. Too many of us let our work determine our worth. Its not great to work. More importantly, work to be important in someones life. Work to be great.

  1. Manhood

God have mercy on the man,

Who doubts what hes sure of.

Brilliant Disguise

Tunnel of Love 1987
Being a man isnt complicated. And its not about bravado. Determine what you want and go after it. No retreat. No Surrender. Walk tall and be Tougher Than the Rest. And if you have to get down on your knees and beg your woman for forgiveness, do it!

  1. Faith

Faith will be rewarded.

Land of Hope and Dreams

Wrecking Ball – 2012
No matter how tough times get or how much youre struggling, keep hope alive. Somehow, someway, you got to find a Reason to Believe.

  1. Dreams

Tomorrow, therell be sunshine

And all this darkness past

Meet me in the land of hope and dreams.

Land of Hope and Dreams

Live in New York City – 2001

When Melissa Etheridge spoke on her MTV Unplugged special in 1995 about Bruces influence on her life, prior to him appearing on stage with her to perform Thunder Road, she said, If anyone can make you dream, its Bruce Springsteen. Ironically, in grade school, kids picked on Bruce for always daydreaming. Before he was revered as The Boss he was ridiculed as The Dreamer. Good thing he didnt listen to them. Everyone has the right to dream of something, be it a better life and future, or whatever matters at the time. And the most important thing about dreams is they should never stop.

  1. Brotherhood

We stood side by side each one fightin for the other

Blood Brothers

Greatest Hits 1995
Regardless of your political leanings, the reality is were all in this together. Nobody wins, unless everybody wins. We may come into this world, and leave it, alone; but in between, were blood brothers. No one makes it on their own. One world. One community. Bruce has searched for meaningful connections his entire life. His self proclaimed life long conversation with his audience is not a One Way Street. Its the common ties that bind us that really matter the most.

  1. Music

We learned more from a three minute record

than we ever learned in school

No Surrender

Born in the USA 1984
Music can be our salvation. It feeds our soul and illuminates our world. It moves us and it shakes us. It wakes us and it drives us. Its the soundtrack to our lives.

  1. Death

As long as were here and youre here, theyre here.

My City of Ruins interlude,

Wrecking Ball Tour 2012
Death is inevitable, but ones spirit and memory remains in our hearts and minds. As long as we continue to recall and sound their names, their souls live forever.

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