Can a true Bruce fan not know his concert number?
When Bruce plays New Jersey, it makes news. When Gov. Chris Christie attends a Bruce show, it makes news. When Christie dances at a Bruce show it makes Youtube.
Tuesday night all of that happened ... again. It marked Chris Christie's 141st Bruce Springsteen concert.
My question is: How does he know? How do fans of Bruce, or of any band followed religiously, keep track like this? I'm not doubting it's true. I'm just in awe that a guy who can't remember key aspects of Bridgegate events or even where his phone was can be certain of the exact number of times he has seen the Boss.
But people do. A radio host I knew back in Detroit named Mike Stone could tell you the exact number of Bruce concerts he attended and even had it written into his contract that whenever Bruce performed in a so-many0miles radius of Detroit, that he automatically got the day off. Our own Joe Votruba will tell you he has seen Springsteen exactly 16 times.
So am I not a true fan? First of all, my numbers are small, single digits, and even then I'm not certain if it's five or six. I saw one of his 15-night homestand shows at the Meadowlands in 1999. Then again a few months later in Detroit (well, Auburn Hills actually) at The Palace. Once more on Sept. 21, 2003 at Comerica Park in Detroit. Back at the Palace again in 2009. And I saw the blizzard make-good concert at MSG on March 28 of this year. But I have this nagging feeling that there was another concert I saw that I'm not remembering. A very certain feeling, but just can't place when and where.
And then I wonder how is it possible for me to be a true Bruce fan when I have failed my concert count and only in the single digits? How does Chris Christie know with certainty that it's been 141? Do these megafans keep actual written records? Or a loyally kept souvenir box that they can refer to? I don't get it.
I think Springsteen is a lyrical genius. The poet laureate of a blue collar generation. His music moves me like no one else's. When my father died I played "My Father's House" on our show the day after Dad's funeral. When my son was born I played "Living Proof." His songs serve as touchstones for my entire life. I still feel like I'm a true fan even if I can't play the numbers game. But I'm sure the numbers guys would disagree.
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