One of your old grad school friends here. I’m still reading, I just don’t speak up much from the back of the class (as it were). I’m not from the tri-state area, so my adolescence wasn’t framed by Springsteen (or, for many of our grad school friends, by – egad! – the loathesome Billy Joel). I’m from Boston, so for me it was The Cars and early Aerosmith – you know, “Toys in the Attic” Aersomith. And the J. Geils Band, of course, with Peter Wolf and the great Magic Dick on harmonica.

Anyhoo…Joan and I saw Springsteen in concert following the release of “The Rising,” back before the last election and his campaigning with Kerry. The crowd wanted all of the old favorites (As in “Hey, isn’t that the beginning of “Rosalita?”) but he wasn’t so willing, insisting on playing newer songs. He also offered a LOT of political and social commentary in between songs that Joan and I enjoyed from our lawn seats but led most of our neighbors to boo. It seems that our ideological position was not appreciated by them, as they glared at us a number of times for our cheers to Springsteen’s suggestions that we should question our leaders and that dissent is not inherently unpatriotic.

Is there some sort of relationship between ideology and one’s feelings about the Springsteen canon? “Nebraska” lovers to the left, “Born in the U.S.A” fans to the right? I have a guess about those who like the “Seeger Sessions”…