What college students can learn from Bruce Springsteen (Opinion)
Bruce Springsteen once sang "We learned more from a three minute record baby than we ever learned in school," and now he's the subject of a college course at Rider. I'm sure at the time Bruce wrote that line he never would have believed it. So what can we learn from Bruce Springsteen? What can we learn from that three minute record?
Rider professor Stephen Allen tells Rider News that he prepared for the course by listening to 2 Bruce albums a day for about a year and he was a frequent visitor of the Bruce Springsteen archive at Monmouth University. Allen sounds like a passionate man when it comes to music and I'm sure the course on Bruce Springsteen's music and it's impact is going to be very interesting. Although I think he just described every morning in the life of Tom "Bruce Brunch" Cunningham.
What I would find interesting is the path Bruce took to getting those 3 minute records into your possession. What did he put in those records that made you want them so badly? That would be the life of someone who lived outside the dorm with experiences that you could never learn in school. How did he market them to you? If you're old enough to remember 45's you're old enough to know that in order to get they were the only place to get the sing that was on the flip side of the single. They never appeared on an album. How did Bruce rise to fame at a level so high that you had to see him? What made those concerts so special? What are the ingredients that make up Bruce Springsteen and how can I as an aspiring musician tap into that formula?
Bruce Springsteen created a character that we see grow from album to album. The boyish kid who was "Growin' Up" to become the "Scooter" who, along with the Big Man, "would bust the city in half" as he "pulled out of here to win" got a life lesson in "Born in the USA." He's been through a "Tunnel of Love" and came out on the other end with a happy marriage and family and a career that continues to grow as very few others have.
Bruce Springsteen cares very much about the world and what's going on in it and uses his influence to get his opinions out, many times at the risk of losing life long fans. But he's at the point now where he can do whatever he wants without any harm to his career. What would be a great college course is teaching other aspiring singer songwriters to get there.
Unfortunately, you can't teach life, you have to live it. I'm also not sure if the world or the music business is set up for another Bruce Springsteen. Then again, growing up with his music, I never thought I'd see the day he'd be the subject of a college course, but for the sake of my children who may one day take it, I'm glad that he is.
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