"Just to add to what the Obama Campaign stated earlier today, while Bruce is an ardent and dedicated supporter of Senator Obama, he will not be performing at, and, in fact, had never planned to perform, at Invesco Field this Thursday." - from Brucespringsteen.net 8/28/2008
These words come as sad news for my mother, God love her, who told me last night that she had a vision of Bruce showing up just as Barack finished his speech and launching into "The Rising." I could not argue with her idea from a show biz standpoint. It would make great theater. But would it make great politics?
I can remember watching Springsteen unleash that song on the world back in July of 2002. It was a call from a fan after the September 11 attacks that set him to work on that song: "Hey Boss, we need you!" And so back he came, guitars a-blazin', drums a-bashin' and voices a-wailin'. He called on a wounded nation to reach out and take hold of that dream once again:
"A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin' on the end of the line"
That's the reminder never to give up. That's hope dancing on the end of that line. So it's no wonder that the Obama campaign has been using that message, that invitation to "come on up for a rising tonight." It's a revival of the things that make America work for all of us. One of my wife's favorite Bruce lines came at the end of a show: "Remember, nobody wins unless we all win."
After the Steven Spielberg-directed, Tom Hanks-narrated tribute to our troops last night, the Democrats run the risk of becoming that thing that they have worked so hard to avoid: a caricature. Too much star power might just overshadow the real importance of what is at stake in the next two months. And so I'll be watching tonight, wishing just a little for that "special appearance" but keeping in mind that the time for celebration is behind us again for now. There's a lot of work to be done before election day. I'm guessing the Boss will put on a heck of a show at the inaugural ball.