In the chain of our responses to the most influential art, or artists, of our day, there is a link for most of us, an image. One could describe it as a honey-drip, slow-motion picture. We see one hand passing a baton into another, the influences of the influential. And in that rite of passage, Bruce Springsteen is no exception. But perhaps more than any other living artist, his personal work and the personality of his singular voice conjure the smaller hand of his own youngest days. The hand of a young man whose shoe soles walked the sands and streets of the Jersey Shore, humming, dreaming, hiding. The shy thoughts, and the bold heart thumping ever harder, his hand drawn to enter into our picture to pass that baton to the guy we call the Boss.
Sense of self, and the way one shares it, is perhaps the most valuable and poetic gift in the arsenal of one's life and craft. In contemporary American music, Springsteen, 58, is its most enduring and robust giver. Whether in a song or an appearance on The Charlie Rose Show, you always get a sense of personal truth, humility and passion. A sense of humor, a sense of rock 'n' roll and a raconteurism once solely the domain of tribal chiefs. But chief comes from chieftain. And that's just not an American word. Boss? Now that comes from boss man, and if this guy ain't the boss...man, nobody is.
Penn is an actor and director. His most recent project was Into the Wild
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