Editor’s Note: Before Valentine’s week ends, we though it appropriate to share this guest post on Bruce love by Steve Matoren, writer/director/producer of the upcoming documentary film “Is There Anybody Alive Out There?“
I’m a 100 percent heterosexual 41-year-old single man and I’m in love with Bruce Springsteen. I’m neither embarrassed nor at all concerned by this bold public declaration of affection. In fact, I’m extremely proud of it, knowing there are thousands, if not millions, of other men, who feel exactly the same way.
Fresh off attending the MusiCares Person of the Year Award as a volunteer, I figured I should pay tribute to the man I have a severe case of Bromance with. The event was indeed incredible. As if we all need another reason to remind us Bruce is every bit the world class humanitarian as he is the accomplished musician. His latest Grammy nominated single, “We Take Care of Our Own,” speaks to the core of his songwriting and ideals. The Boss doesn’t just rock, he cares too.
From early in his career Bruce built a deep connection with his audience, as he sought purpose, passion and love in his own life. He invited us to join him on his journey. Seek out our light. Live our dreams. All the while preaching, only together, will we truly make it. In order to leave behind the Darkness on the Edge of Town, traverse through the Badlands, and ultimately, reach the Promised Land, we need one another.
For men, Bruce sings perfectly how we think about these things that give us meaning …about cars, about girls, and about life. And like Bruce, we all just want to know if love is real. His spirit fuels our hearts. His words entice our minds. His music lights our fire. He’s tough. He’s sensitive. He understands. Bruce talks and walks like a man. He’s the epitome of a “guy’s guy.” With all due respect to Jerry McGuire, it’s The Boss who men want to be, and who women really want to be with.
This Bromantic Boss affair reaches all the way to the highest office in the land. During his first national campaign, President Obama remarked, “I’m running for President because I can’t be Bruce Springsteen.” Then, during the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors, Obama reminded us that he may be the president, “but Bruce Springsteen is the Boss.”
Ask preeminent Springsteen host Jon Stewart what he thinks of Bruce Springsteen. Rolling Stone magazine published a cover story last year where Jon spent an entire afternoon convincing Bruce how much he meant to him. Or better yet, go to YouTube and watch Jon’s incredibly humorous, yet poignant introductory remarks from those ’09 Kennedy Center Honors.
When it comes to our collective “man crush” on Bruce, nothing about our adulation is meant to be funny, over-the-top, or too dramatic.
NBC News’s Brian Williams, perhaps the most ardent of celebrity Springsteen tramps, confessed to Wendy Williams that “if there would happen to be some sort of chemical imbalance one day that would cause him to go in the other direction, Bruce would be his guy.” And he wasn’t joking.
Newsweek President Rob Gregory’s license plate calls out “Bruuuce” to all on-lookers.
New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent travels the world for three things. Fine dining, cigars…and Bruce.
Author Peter Ames Carlin just spent 494 pages detailed pages examining the life of Bruce.
An 18-year old Scottish blogger who tragically lost his Father 5 years ago and has found both consolation and inspiration in Bruce’s music finally saw him in concert for the first time last year. “In New Jersey in September, I stood in the crowd as Bruce spoke about allowing the ghosts of our past to walk alongside us, with us. In that moment, as though with the cool evening wind of late fall, came something which has changed my life forever. I found peace with my Dad.”
The two Eds, Norton and Burns are smitten.
John Cusack could go for a soak in his Hot Tub Time Machine with a certain Jersey boy.
And speaking of time travel, Michael J. Fox has plenty of plutonium to power the flux capacitor anytime for the Boss.
The coolest of the cool, Arthur Fonzarelli is hot for him.
Zoolander Facebook stalks him.
Jimmy Fallon drools over him.
Bababooey wants to share a banana.
Judd Apatow photobombs him.
In 2008, Danny Devito gushed and drooled like a little schoolgirl while inducting his Asbury Hero into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Robert DeNiro’s signature line “Are you talking to me?” came courtesy of Mr. Springsteen.
Tom Hanks belted out “Rocky Ground” into my ear at the infamous Apollo Show earlier this year as if his next Oscar depended on it.
Bono, Eddie Vedder and Tom Morello all want Bruce to be their fourth. Country star Eric Chruch immortalized The Boss in a song called, what else, “Springsteen.”
Even Bruce’s current manager Jon Landau, who you would expect to have the deepest of crushes, wrote this when he was just another music critic for The Real Paper in 1974, BEFORE he became his lifetime business partner. “When his two-hour set ended I could only think, can anyone really be this good; can anyone say this much to me, can Rock ‘n Roll still speak with this kind of power and glory? And then I felt the sores on my thighs where I had been pounding my hands in time for the entire concert and knew that the answer was yes.” And oh by the way, in that same column he also declared, “I saw Rock and Roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”
In a world filled with broken promises, distrust and false idols, one man continues to rise above and outshine the rest. When people ask me why I love Bruce so much, or why I need to see him perform in concert over and over again, I always say the same thing. He never disappoints. And while I’ve never actually met him, I did touch his foot once while he crowd surfed … I feel like I’m as close to him as any other man I’ve ever known, outside my father – who’s also in love with him … mainly because of me. In all sincerity, I trust him. I know I can count on him. He’s my best friend.
Another close friend and I use to say to each other that if we could find a woman to light up our lives like Bruce does, we’d be the two happiest guys in the world. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
If you want to see what it looks like for a bunch of grown men to turn into little boys, to have tears of joy in their eyes with their arms raised high, go to a Bruce Springsteen concert.
In Landau’s much quoted historic review he also wrote, “There is no one I’d rather watch on a stage today.” I’ll call and raise that sentiment.
There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than watching Bruce on stage today. And I do mean NOTHING. Well…I wouldn’t mind throwing the baseball around with him and then having a beer.
I love you Bruce Springsteen.
Contact Steve Matoren on Twitter at @imaliveoutthere or visit isthereanybodyaliveoutthere.com.