Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Gun's For Hire

So, I took a two-day writing hiatus to collect myself. Essentially, I needed to do this because the culmination of all of my Bruce Springsteen-loving years came to one fantastic head two nights ago.

I heard through the grapevine last month that a Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen tribute band would be playing a show at a local grungy watering hole in town. I thought it was amazing at first, but was even more drawn to the ticket stand when I found out that this band, called Tommy Youngsteen, was made up of the supporting members from Stars, The Stills and the Sam Roberts Band. Too good to be true, I thought.

Gearing up for this delicious evening of yesteryear rock hits, I obviously cranked Bruce, loosened up my hip bones and stretched out the ol' dancing ankles. Having a casual glass of vino with friends before, we re-lived (via YouTube) the magnificent music video moment when Springsteen pulls Courteney Cox on stage at the end of "Dancing in the Dark" to sway and shake to the closing beats of the song. Jokingly, I practiced my Courteney Cox 80s moves, you know, just in case...

Once we got there, the band and their jumpy covers of all the old classics were just what the doctor ordered. Of course, The Boss was saved until the end. All of the songs - from "Glory Days" to "Born to Run" - were getting me right out of my seat and into the crowd to thrash around, oblivious to who was around me, oblivious to anything but the sweet sounds of Brucey.

Sure enough, the opening chords to one of the greatest songs ever written, "Dancing in the Dark", began to chime, and things got wild. My friend and I started bouncing aimlessly around the middle of the crowd, screaming every word with all of the breath in our lungs, when the band announced they needed to find their "Courteney Cox for the song." I really am not what you call a "limelight-loving" sort of gal, so I stayed put where I was, head down, hands in the air, mouthing the lyrics and just soaking in the moment.

It was then that I felt a huge tug on my arm, only to realize my friend and I had been hand-picked from the throngs of female fans (who were all pitifully mumbling the wrong lyrics), and were being yanked on stage. A shaker, a tambourine and a mic stand are tossed at us - and into the chorus we go. Remember a second ago when I mentioned I wasn't a limelight kind of girl? Well, maybe it was the blinding stage lights, maybe it was the seven gorgeous backing musicians, or maybe it was just the thrill of Bruce - but let me say, I was living the dream. Shakin' it, screaming, bumping behinds with the keyboardist, all of that good stuff. "You girls know your Bruce," one of them said.

How it is that I just dedicated a few hundred words to sharing this, I'm not sure. But if you know me, you've already heard this story regurgitated and acted out several times since this night. This is one moment I will never forget. I was Courteney Cox, I lived the dream, and I got just about as close to Bruce as I'll ever get.

Long live the Boss.

(If you want to see exactly what I tried to replicate, scroll to 3:20 in the video. That was me.)


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