"The ghost of Bruce Springsteen"

By Joey Sweeney

Published August 8, 2002 7:00PM (EDT)

[Read Joey Sweeney's "The Ghost of Bruce Springsteen."]

Here's the immortal Bruce line that sums up the most lucid thought I've ever had on that mumbling doofus and his corny music: I've seen enough, I don't wanna see anymore.

I worshipped that schmuck back in the '70s when I was a kid and he still made good records. After a quarter century it is obvious that Bruce Springsteen doesn't know any more about life than the bozos in Van Halen or Foghat.

What an embarrassment to have expressed admiration for that imbecile.

-- John Saleeby

Joel Sweeney's article on Bruce Springsteen was extraordinary -- the best and most heartfelt writing about music I've read in 10 years. Perhaps not since Lester Bangs wrote about Lou Reed has there been a more sincere, knowing and sometimes funny recitation of what music can mean to us all.

So much important e-journalism gets clicked off into oblivion, but I bet Sweeney's tribute will be read and reread years from now. Thanks for publishing.

-- Tom McManus

Robert was making his Web rounds, and decided to check out Salon (like the proverbial second marriage, a triumph of hope over experience). Hey ... Robert sees Springsteen being hyped! Robert wants to check it out. Unfortunately, Robert discovers the article was written by some self-important android named Joey Sweeney. For the next five pages, Robert will be subjected to the Life of Joey Sweeney (and how Bruce illuminates that Life).

Memo to Joey: No one cares about you, your parents' divorce, the fact that you took drugs, or any of the other biographical details that have you firmly ensconced in the 50 percentile of American life.

And if you're looking for a journalistic star-fucking gig, forget about Bruce. Dave Marsh has tenure there, baby.

-- Robert Borg

I just finished Joey Sweeney's diary about his life being influenced by Springsteen, and I am in tears. This is absolutely what it is like to be touched by someone's music. It wasn't Springsteen for me, but the bone-deep feelings are the same.

And what beautiful writing! This is just one of the many, many reasons I love Salon -- not just fascinating, well-researched articles, and heart-wrenching, and sometimes wildly funny, essays, but this kind of incredible writing. Absolutely perfect.

Thank you. I hope Springsteen reads this. I'm sure it won't be the first time (or the last) that someone has made him truly aware of how important his work has been for so many people, but it would certainly have to stand out as an awesome tribute.

-- Teresa Blagg

While my experience is different -- I was in college in the '70s when Springsteen began his concert career -- Mr. Sweeney's words are profound.

I saw Springsteen live for the first time for $3.50 a ticket at a then-small university in Omaha, Neb. Since then I managed to be a part of his concert experiences in Omaha, Kansas City and, finally, New Jersey, in 1999 in East Rutherford at the Continental arena.

Mr. Sweeney has managed to capture how Springsteen's music stays with you through time and becomes a part of you.

Since I am a freelance writer, I can see how his story clearly explains the power Springsteen's performances and his music brings to everyone who is willing to listen.

I can remember coming home at night, when I was working one of my first jobs in the public relations/advertising field and just listening to Bruce's songs for comfort and solace. I did not like my job and I was faced with the reality of working for a living, rather than the dreams I had of being a writer.

Springsteen seems to have always been in tune with me and with what was going on in the world.

His personal story is a testimony to how hard he has reached to make his dream of being a musician come true.

Now, as in other efforts, he is again reaching out to people who are grieving and suffering. This time from the aftermath of 9/11, as well as the chaotic national and international scene at this very moment.

I am also impressed by Springsteen's desire to keep his private contributions to food banks, 9/11, etc., out of the limelight.

For me, Springsteen represents someone I never believed could exist. A musician who cares about his home, his family, and about helping other people across the United States. There is a selflessness about him and a genuine desire to be there when he is needed.

Lastly, as he has matured, so has his music and even his voice. This is rare.

I am proud to live in New Jersey and have called it home for the last seven years.

-- Janice Fisher

Please, Mr. Sweeney, Bruce Springsteen and his embarrassing 9/11 exploitation, "The Rising," is no more capable of "healing this nation" than the First Primate is of ending corporate corruption. Springsteen is an aging rock star living in a zillion-dollar mansion, completely out of touch with ordinary Americans and quaking in fear that he may soon become irrelevant, the natural career arc of all aging rock stars. It happens. Let him go.

-- D. Sanders

By Salon Staff

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