What’s with all the Bruce Springsteen references?


It may seem like I have a bit of an obsession with Bruce Springsteen. I do. You’re not wrong.

I love The Boss. I adore the E Street Band. I own every album and way too many concert recordings, DVDs, books, and documentaries. I’ve seen him live in concert once and on Broadway.

His music makes me happy. The lyrics speak to my soul and my experiences. Like so many Springsteen fans, his music has been the soundtrack to some pretty important moments in my life.

But, this obsession of mine is about so much more than the music.

My fiancé, who died suddenly three years ago, loved Bruce Springsteen. He was obsessed. Even more than I am. He learned to play guitar following along to his music. He played songs for me that fit the things happening in our life. He recorded his version of “Surprise Surprise” as my birthday present the first year we were together.

When friends of ours lost their home in the wildfire in Fort McMurray they also lost their record collection—including original releases of all the Bruce Springsteen albums. When Tyler found out he immediately set out to replace the first six albums, saying no one should have to live without Bruce.

When he was mourning people he’d lost, he listened to “My City of Ruins”, which also became a fitting song when the wildfire hit Fort McMurray.

He suggested “If I Should Fall Behind” as our first dance song at our wedding. The one that never happened. I’ve got that song tattooed on my right arm as a reminder of Tyler’s love and what might have been.

Listening to Bruce Springsteen is like a visit with Tyler.  

So, if I’m listening to music, chances are it’s Bruce Springsteen. Or Taylor Swift, but that’s another post for another day. I listen to music while I paint and when a fitting song comes on, it becomes the title of a piece. There are a few that are named for the song that was playing when I took the photo. Or the song that fits it best.

I gently encourage you to listen to the songs these paintings are named for while you look at them. It changes them, a bit.

Making art is how I have figured out a way forward. Music has been there all along, so there’s no surprise to me that it’s become a part of the art.