Paying The Cost To Be The Boss - why don’t i get Bruce Springsteen?

August 29, 2016

Somehow, the penny has never dropped for me with The Boss. Plenty of people whose musical taste I respect rave about what a genius he is, so I feel like I should like him too. I’ve tried to like him, but for some reason, things have never quite clicked, and it feels like somehow I’m failing in my duties as a middle-aged music fan.

I know that some music is an acquired taste - maybe I need to get used to it, the same way that people need to get used to the taste of beer or wine. But he’s hardly difficult listening, so why doesn’t he do it for me?

Perhaps the problem is that I never listened to him in my formative years. Once we’re past our teens, we tend to be far less susceptible to picking up new musical preferences.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never seen him play live. I had a similar indifference to the White Stripes and the Pixies until friends had spare tickets for their gigs, and now they’re both among my favourite bands.

Maybe my expectations are unrealistic. People say he’s some kind of genius, so when I listen to him and hear a pretty good bar band, I’m left feeling disappointed.

Maybe his silly nickname has put me off him. Or the fact that by the time I tried to listen to him, I was more familiar with his guitar player as a semi-comic gangster than as a musician.

Or maybe he’s just not actually all that good, and there’s some Emperor’s New Clothes thing going on.

Whatever the reason, I just don’t get what all the fuss is about Bruce Springsteen, and when I think of “The Boss”, this is what comes to mind: