"Thunder Road" is my favourite song by Springsteen. Well, It's basically my favourite song by anyone.
But before "Thunder Road", came "Wings For Wheels". We only have the live versions. Is it really a great song? I don't know. I don't care! The important thing is the energy! If you want to know where The Boss finds all his energy, it's in this SONG!
You can hear his young excited mind whirring up and whizzing by and firing out into the world through this song. You can hear it in the whole band. There is no way they could have performed songs like this and NOT ended up as one of the greatest bands ever.
That line just kills me, in a GREAT WAY. BUT TONIGHT'S BUSTIN' OPEN AND I'M ALIVE!
This was Springsteen in the 70's. "Thunder Road" went on to be one of the greatest and most loved songs ever written. But this came first. This was "Thunder Road" before it was "Thunder Road."
Makes you think about all the times you didn't quite nail it and wanted to ditch your work. It's important to remember you don't make your greatest hits right out of the gate, you gotta create a whole life's worth of junk first.
But here's the thing. The junk ain't junk. "Wings For Wheels" has a magic that is undeniable. The energy and the vision and the idealism and the beauty; it screams through your speakers and makes you want to wake up in the 1970's at a concert, as part of a small group of people who really got to be a part of something.
That's all we want in life, to be a part of something. To matter.
"Wings For Wheels" matters. The scraps of junk you create on the road to your masterpieces, they matter. They're pieces of you. Probably bigger pieces than you realise. And the people who dig these pieces will dig everything you do. It's like the girlfriend who likes all the things about you that everyone else finds insufferable. You reach people by just putting yourself out there; by saying TONIGHT'S BUSTIN' OPEN AND I'M ALIVE!
But I got this old car and she's pretty tough to beat."
And I'm telling you right now; if he played "Wings For Wheels" at a concert, the roof would explode. And if the gig was outdoors we'd all build a roof over it just to prove how powerful the moment was.
I can feel all of Bruce Springsteen's career in this song. I can feel my own too. That's what the best songs do -- they sound like you, they encourage you, they ARE you. I don't have the creativity or the genius or the magic of Bruce Springsteen; but when you really really delve into a song you love, a song that makes you want to jump up and scream and run and write and dream and see and believe -- you think, even if just for a moment; WHY NOT? Why can't I achieve greatness?
That is why I Love Bruce Springsteen.