Come on baby take a seat on my fender
It’s a long night and tell me what else were
You gonna do
Just me and you, we could
Sha la la la la la la la
-Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
It was one of the best moments in my life. It happened on a Saturday night in September 2010. The backdrop was so apropos…The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The event was my moment with the Boss.
Let me begin with a little backstory. My obsession with Bruce Springsteen began in the late 70s. As a young kid growing up in Fort Lee, New Jersey, I spent nearly every single summer day at a friend’s house. She had a pool and that meant tons of fun swimming and listening to music. We usually listened to whatever was on the radio. However, when her older sister or brothers were around, the music quickly changed. The radio dial was tuned to WNEW for some Bruce Juice or it was one Bruce cassette after the other. This is how my love affair with Bruce’s music and my passion for his storytelling originated. Enough of the backstory from my childhood in Fort Lee, and let’s go back to THE story unfolding in Asbury Park.
I must admit though, I did feel like a kid again while driving “down the shore” with my cousin Jesse. I had a permanent smile on my face and felt like screaming. I still couldn’t believe it. I was on my way to a Bruce concert at The Stone Pony. Are you kidding me? I have the golden ticket. Amen!!! Praise the Lord.
Jesse and I arrive in Asbury Park and I’m practically in tears when I see the Kingsley Street sign and the boardwalk. Is this really happening? I pass through The Stone Pony’s security and find myself walking around the club. I was over the moon with excitement. Holy shit…I’m in the house that Bruce built!
The stage was set.
The instruments were tuned. Where’s the Boss? How will he make his entrance? A fellow Bruce fan tells me, “Stick around the back. He usually mingles with the crowd and works his way to the stage.” Why did I listen to him? Ugh! All of a sudden everyone is screaming and Bruce is on the stage. Damn! I was so livid. To make matters worse, another fan comes up to me and shows me a photo from her camera. Beaming with joy she exclaims, “ Look, I got a shot with Bruce when he walked in the side door!” I smiled back at her but in my head I was yelling, “Bitch! Why don’t you just stick a knife in my heart?” I was so jealous. The begging and pleading with God starts. “Are you there God? It’s me, Lisa. Please, I’ve loved him forever. Just get me to the front of that stage.”
I needed more than just some divine intervention, I bark out an order to my cousin Jesse, the Marine in the US Military. “ Jesse, I don’t care what you have to do. I know you’re ready for warfare, now get me to the front of that stage!” At this point, Jesse is at the bar enjoying the music and my signature drink, Jack and Coke. I was too damn nervous to drink that night. He quickly walked away from the bar and knew I needed serious help. On a mission, he laughs and says, “ Yes, Ma’am!” A little push here, a little shove there, and… OO RAH! The Jersey Girl has landed. I’m in the front! I made a statement with all that pushing and shoving. Don’t mess with a girl from Jersey especially if her backup is a Marine!
Just when I thought the night couldn’t get any better, Bruce starts “Darlington County.” I’m singing along, screaming, and dancing…and DREAMING???? Wait a minute. This is real. Bruce sits on the stage, right in front of me. Oh my God, I’m not dreaming. The Boss is inches away from me.
“Come on baby, take a seat on my fender, It’s a long night and tell me what else were you gonna do, just me and you, sha la la”
What else were you gonna do? Ha! I scream in Bruce Springsteen’s face, touch the fender, (I know, the lyrics refer to the fender of a car but for the sake of this story…Bruce was playing his fender guitar), and I seize the moment…I yell, “I love you!” AND…like a true Jersey Girl, kiss Bruce!
Amen! My prayers were answered. For the rest of the concert, I’m in heaven.
Touching that legendary guitar was icing on the cake. I’m obsessed with that guitar. That’s the guitar on the “Born to Run” album. That guitar is Bruce Springsteen and that’s a fact. Let me explain…In April of 2010, I drove to Cleveland with my husband and kids and walked through the entire Springsteen exhibit, “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land” at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. I read the book written by the Curator of the Museum. I listened to the audio interviews between the Curator and Bruce. That electric guitar, a 1952 Fender Esquire Neck with a 1954 Fender Telecaster Body, is Bruce Springsteen. The Boss said it himself and I quote,
“For me, when I put it on, I don’t feel like I have a guitar on. It’s such an integral part of me. It’s the only instrument when I put on…I can’t feel anything on me. It’s an extension of my body. That thing is just an extension of who I am. It, literally, was the receptor of all my hopes and dreams, the symbol of my ambitions and desires.”
Now for the whip cream and cherry on top…the concert ends and another fan approaches me and says, “ I captured Bruce singing to you and wow…that kiss, it’s all on my video camera.” In a complete state of shock, I scream, “ Are you serious? I will do anything for you. I NEED a copy.” We exchange emails and phone numbers. Less than a week later, I have a copy on a CD and a flash drive. I had every single frame of the video made into still photos. They’re framed and on the wall in my home. The best part of it all is…the fan that captured my moment with Bruce, is now a friend and one of my Bruce Buddies. I’m forever in debt to her and of course, to my cousin Jesse. I must also thank Bruce for singing to ME,
“tell me what else were you gonna do”
Here’s what I’m gonna do: I’ve decided to combine my passion for Bruce’s music and lyrics with my passion for writing. The Fender Guitar is to Bruce what writing is to me…the receptor of all my hopes and dreams, the symbol of my ambitions and desires. I owe this revelation to the only Boss I’ll ever listen to…Bruce Springsteen. Thank You!