Monday, December 3, 2012
THE BOSS OF CHRISTMAS
Bruce Springsteen rocks Christmas. Over the years, he's performed some amazing Christmas songs with a lot of heart and soul, and the E Street Band helps him kick up some powerful Christmas spirit. Christmas goes beyond religion, of course, but Bruce attended the St. Rose of Lima Catholic school in Freehold where the nuns instilled some old school religion. His old man was Dutch and Irish, but he was raised--in his words--"as a good Italian boy from Jersey" by his dear mom, Adele Ann Zerilli, and her Italian-American sisters. His grandpa was born in Vico Equense, a city near Naples, where good children are visited by La Befana instead of Santa. At any rate, Bruce holds the holiday dear and brings the same exuberance and excitement to his holiday carols as he would to any of his own life-changing, soul-shaking rock and roll songs.
The first time I saw Springsteen perform live, back in 1978 on the "Darkness" tour, he played a wrenching set and then, toward the end, he performed "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with sax player Clarence Clemons dressed in a Santa suit. The place went crazy. In spite of the somberness of the tour, and that darkness at edge of town, there was Christmas magic in the air.
Now you may not have the Christmas spirit, or you might not celebrate it, but I offer no apologies for these kick-ass performances. Sorry, Scrooge.