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Popping Back : Fans Fume, Others Cheer Bruce Blast

March 22, 1987

In the Popping Off column in the March 15 Calendar, Kristine McKenna aired her negative views on the Bruce Springsteen phenomenon. Here's a sample of the heavy reader response, which ran roughly 60% to 40% against McKenna's opinion.

A funny thing happened when I turned to Calendar today. There was this article about a guy named Bruce Springsteen.

Only it wasn't the Bruce I know.

This Bruce is described as a musician who "offers so little that he does rock a disservice."

This Bruce is accused of "writing about life with an air of resignation that is the very antithesis of the spirit of rebellion basic to great rock 'n' roll."

This Bruce is described as sexless, charmless, humorless and bland. And most puzzling of all, this Bruce is criticized for creating music having "more in common with a Sousa March than with the '50s R&B he so liberally plagiarizes."

Nope, 'fraid not. This isn't the Bruce I know. The Bruce I know never lulled me to sleep during one of his 3 1/2-hour marathon performances--if I recall, I had a hard time staying seated.

Oh well, what do I know? I'm just a glassy-eyed, lazy and simple-minded Bruce fan with no flair for fashion and a penchant for lonely highways, old cars and faded denims.

Maybe you're right, Ms. McKenna. Bruce just isn't pretty or slick enough to justify rock stardom. I'd be better off listening to artists like Michael Jackson or Duran Duran. Those guys wouldn't be caught dead wearing red bandannas. Besides, I'd hate to see them sweat in public--their mascara might run.

Don't worry, Bruce, I still love you, ya big lug.


Santa Monica

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