Bruce Springsteen’s music changed my life. I can’t say that about anyone else. I was a teenager in the sleepy Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, when ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ came out. Coupled with immediate purchases of his earlier albums, that record got me thinking, maybe I want to get out of here, maybe I want to check out the city, dream a little bigger, find the Promised Land. That led me to go to NYU to study television, a fairly bold move for someone in my area, and thereafter I was more or less on my way. Bruce’s music, it seemed to me, was about taking chances.
But all of that goes out the window when Bruce gets political. His insights are recycled, his subject matter is on the nose. Is there any worse song in the Springsteen canon than “41 Shots”? I would add to Laura Ingraham’s sage advice to politically minded musicians; Bruce, shut up and sing “Jungleland.”