Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Father and Son(s)

There is a live version of Bruce Springsteen's song "The River" which includes a speech about Bruce's teenage head-butting with his Dad. If you've ever heard it, you are already tearing up just reading about it; if you haven't, here's a summary.

He says (not verbatim, my memory's not that good!): "I had really long hair, down past my shoulders, and my father always hated it. One time, I got into a motorcycle accident and I was in the hospital, and my father had someone come and cut it while I was in the hospital.

Man, I was so mad. I can remember telling him that I hated him... and that I would never forgive him."

"Anyway, when I was a teenager, a lot of my friends were going off to Viet Nam - and those that came back, they were never the same.

And me and my father, we'd fight so much, I can remember him saying 'I can't wait till the Army gets ahold of you - when the Army gets ahold a you, they're gonna make a man outta you.'"

"Well, one day, I got my draft notice. And a few days before I had my physical, I didn't come home - just stayed out with my friends, and never went home. And when I had my physical... I failed.

And I went home, hadn't been home in days, and my father was sitting at the kitchen table. And he said, 'where you been?'"

"I said, 'I had my physical,' and he said 'what happened?' And I said, 'I failed.'"

"And he said... 'well, that's good.'"

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