Every now and again, one is reminded of rock ‘n roll’s power to capture and transform our lives.
This past week, Bruce Springsteen delivered the keynote speech at the SXSW Music festival. SXSW, which hosts 2,000 bands in 92 Austin clubs, is one of music’s destination festivals. (One feature of this year’s festival was a focus on global music. Be sure to watch the interactive video conversation with a few of the global music masters talking about their work, their reach, and globalFEST in New York.)
Springsteen showed why he deserves the title “the boss.” That is if you think of bosses as being so open, so honest, and so inspirational. Springsteen turns the significant artists and songs in his life into pure poetry. Among so many points that cross all the arts, Springsteen stressed that no matter the style or the genre, it’s about authentic creation.
His speech was as illuminating for those of us who are fans as it was for those who are working to be the next generation of musicians for our lives.
Open your ears and open your hearts. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and take yourself as seriously as death itself. Don’t worry. Worry your ass off. Have unclad confidence, but doubt. It keeps you awake and alert. Believe you are the baddest ass in town — and you suck! It keeps you honest. Be able to keep two completely contradictory ideals alive and well inside of your heart and head at all times. If it doesn’t drive you crazy, it will make you strong… stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive. And when you walk on stage tonight to bring the noise, treat it like it’s all we have — and then remember it’s only rock ‘n’ roll.”
Watch and listen to Springsteen talk about the power of rock ‘n roll and genesis of creativity. No matter if you know how to play or just like to sing along, I defy you not to be inspired.
And, if you want a Springsteen retrospective, check out the KadmusArts Springsteen playlist!
- Bill Reichblum