Love or hate, in NJ there is no middle for Bruce Springsteen (Opinion)
If you grew up in New Jersey in the 70s or 80s, chances are you grew up loving Bruce Springsteen. You may have bought all his albums, camped out in line for concert tickets, (remember wristbands?) and maybe you were lucky enough to meet him one of the many times he just showed up at your favorite Jersey Shore club and played.
That was then, this is now.
Now you're older, your dreams of being "sprung from cages on Highway 9" or leaving that "town full of losers" have settled into a job or career, maybe a family and a political viewpoint that may not jive with the hero of your youth. That young Bruce that sang about our early struggles has gone on to form his opinions from a struggle-free life, not so much for the rest of us who live in New Jersey.
Now we all have friends and relatives that we don't agree with politically and usually, we're able to let that slide, talk about something else. But when it comes to Bruce Springsteen, many cannot separate the love they have for his music from the hate they have for his politics.
This became apparent to me when a senate committee voted unanimously to designate this and every Sept. 23 "Bruce Springsteen Day" in New Jersey. It's also his birthday. This all came about when Assemblywoman Valerie Vaineri-Huddle, D-Bergen, went to see "Springsteen on Broadway" and became so inspired that she started the ball rolling.
You can bet if Bruce was on the right instead of the left, regardless of his career, that ball would have never moved. Who knows, if she's lucky, she and all her colleagues can get a photo-op with the Boss. That is if they could tear themselves away from trying to fix what's wrong with New Jersey, like we elected them to do.
You would think the idea of a "Bruce Springsteen Day" would go over well in New Jersey. Once upon a time, WPLJ disc jockey Carol Miller tried to get "Born to Run" as the unofficial theme of Jersey's Youth. But the idea of a Bruce Springsteen Day has been met with a lot of opposition both with our listeners on New Jersey 101.5 as well as my social media. Here's some of what you said when I asked, "How do you feel about Bruce at this point in your life and his? Can you separate Bruce the singer from his politics if you don't agree with them?"
As you read the response, you'll see that unlike that little chapel in Kansas, when it comes to New Jersey, for Bruce there is no "middle."
DEBATE: Can Jersey separate Springsteen from his politics?
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.