Bruce and the blessings of compromise on a Tuesday night


Bruce Springsteen was talking about compromise last night. Adult compromise, as viewed by the kids startled to first discover Mom and Dad had hopes and dreams. The world takes some of those away. You choose to let go of others. These aren’t easy choices. What the kids don’t see, Bruce said, are “the blessings of compromise.” They see Mom and Dad, lessened. They see that and vow never to let that happen to them.

“They ain’t gonna do to me what I watched them do to you,” says “Independence Day.”

I chose last night to take my nearly 6-year-old daughter to see Springsteen. She loves Springsteen and has since I was working on the Album by Album book (available at Amazon).

I knew there was risk involved.She promised she’d make it to the end. I knew she wouldn’t. It’s insane to think a kid who goes to bed at 7:30 would make it through a show that started at 8. I knew it was insane and especially so at $150-per-ticket.

She didn’t make it. She made it 2 hours and 20 minutes and so if she’d been attending a performance by a mortal, she’d have pulled it off. But she was home asleep by the time Bruce led a lights up “Shout.”

I never in my life imagined I’d leave a Springsteen show early and I’d take her again in a second. She got to shout along to “Meet Me in the City Tonight,” her current favorite. She pumped her fist to “Badlands” and she got to hear “The Promised Land,” one she’s been singing since she was three. I got to hear “Drive All Night”–from the concourse, while we walked, because I knew side 4 of The River would be tough for her. It was tough. But she also leapt to the top of her seat during “Cadillac Ranch.” First thing this morning, she pulled on the T-shirt I bought her and told her mother, “Bruce fell into the crowd!”

On Twitter last night, a friend asked how she did. She did her best, I replied. And her best was plenty. I thought this morning I’d get up and writing something that looked like a review of the show. I couldn’t tell you much about the show. I hear it was great. We made it to “Because the Night” when she looked up and said, “I’m tired. Can we go?” Of course we could.

Last night, “the blessings of compromise” were arriving home before the show was over but hearing her say, “This was the best night ever,” and, “I love this so much my heart is beating like never before.”


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