It’s been 36 years since Bruce Springsteen released The River back in October of 1980. There’s been a lot of hullabaloo concerning it as Columbia has just released a large River box set of sorts with concert DVD, an hour film about the making of the record as well as outtakes and a remastered record. 
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I’ve always been a big fan of that particular record. It was the second Springsteen record that I was old enough to know was on it’s way and was anticipating it’s release. Keeping in mind this was very pre internet so unless the radio station or your local record shop had some inside info, one had no idea what was about to be released, what sort of songs would be included, etc. There was no internet song leaks or special YouTube previews. Like they say in my son’s school, ‘You get what you get and you don’t get upset.’ Of special note to those of us that lived in my town was that the title song was about Bruce’s sister that lived just five minutes away as the crow flies down County Line Rd. 
So the record is finally released and we see it’s not one record, but two, count ’em two records! The rare double album.  For those of us that couldn’t get enough Bruce, this was Christmas come early. Soon after that the tour announcement came and I decided to laser in on the shows at the Spectrum in Philadelphia as I was the designated driver for all concerts back in those days and I didn’t feel all that comfy yet driving to NYC and the train and bus wasn’t an option for my crowd. I was sorta the lead on everything Springsteen related amongst my peers back then so I took the names and money and was able to procure excellent seats for us. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe it was something like the 7th row stage left in front of where Clarence Clemons used to stand.
 
So I’m in my car, a silver Buick Electra 225 for those keeping score at home. And I’m assigning tickets to the names on the list. I quickly realize that there’s twelve names on the list and just eleven tickets. What to do? I said, out loud, to myself, ‘I feel sorry for the sucker that’s not going to be going to the show.’ As the words were still ringing out, I heard a clear voice inside my head saying, ‘Dave, you’re that sucker!’ I couldn’t believe it, but it was all too believable. I was going to be the one not going. A life long lesson in self sacrifice learned.
 
The tickets were distributed and the night of the gig came. Turns out it was the night John Lennon was murdered so in the annals of Springsteen shows, it’s known fairly well. I’ve been to many a Springsteen show since, but this was the one that got away. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing. 

 

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